Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Black Sheep of the Family (10/03/13)
TITLE: A New Beginning
By Karen Milkiewicz
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Matthew held his head high, pretending not to care, but the words stung. He silently cursed himself. He should have expected no less. He knew he wasn’t wanted. Wasn’t that always the way? From the time he was a young boy, he was told he didn’t measure up. “Why can’t you be more like your brothers?” his parents would ask. Matthew didn’t mean to cause trouble, but his natural curiosity always got the best of him. He wasn’t like his brothers. They were interested in the family business, but Matthew preferred books and numbers.
As Matthew grew older, he knew he had to do something to make himself stand out. He was clumsy with his hands, and every time he tried to help his father, he failed. He wanted to make something of himself, so he found a new occupation. An occupation that caused everyone he met to hate him. The woman on the path this morning was no exception. Why had he thought today would be different?
Matthew was good at his job, and had become wealthy. He thought he could make his family proud. He wore clothes of the finest quality, and adorned his neck and hands with gold. When he brought gifts to his family, they rejected them, thwarting his attempts to buy their affections.
Disgusted with the memories the young woman’s comment evoked, Matthew made his way to his booth to begin work. At least he held power there. People might not like him, but they had to obey him. There was some solace in that, right?
Pulling out his ledgers, he sighed to himself. Who was he kidding? The money, the power, none of it meant anything. All Matthew really wanted was for someone to accept him. Someone to love him for who he was. All his life he had been aching for it. He shook off the plaguing thoughts and opened up his books.
After a while, Matthew heard a commotion in the distance. A crowd of people was approaching. Matthew stood, craning his neck to get a better look. It was that preacher that was causing such a stir all over town. He was coming closer. With a crowd like that passing by, Matthew could collect a bundle in taxes. As the man came nearer, though, Matthew’s thoughts turned away from money. He looked at the man, dressed as a common peasant. There was nothing special about him that Matthew could see. What was it that drew all these people to him?
As the man approached, Matthew began to feel self-conscious. He pulled the rings off his fingers and stuffed them in his pockets. He couldn’t take his eyes off the preacher. He wasn’t a handsome man, but there was something about his eyes. Before he knew it, the preacher was in front of him. Matthew tried to look away, ashamed. For some reason, he cared what this man thought of him. He couldn’t bear the thought being rejected yet again. But what else could he expect? The preacher was a fellow Jew, and Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans. Of course he would hate him. Everyone else did. Matthew looked up, and to his surprise, the man was standing right in front of him. Matthew looked into his eyes, expecting to find contempt, but what he saw instead was so beautiful it took his breath away. For the first time in his life, he looked into another person’s eyes and saw what he had always dreamed of. Acceptance and love. Suddenly nothing else mattered.
Then the man spoke the words that Matthew would never forget.
“Come, follow me.”
With those three words, Matthew’s life was forever changed. He threw his rings into the crowd, left his stand and money bags behind, and followed Jesus. Walking away from his past, his life was about to truly begin.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.