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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)

TITLE: Homeless Angell
By donna robinson


I stood in line at the Grand Central drugstore and saw him out of the corner of my eye. John Grishamís book The Street Lawyer came to mind. Maybe before he would have been just a homeless person but Grisham has a way of making you conscious of the human being. He was holding a can of spam and would take a few steps forward to get in line and then back out. Money was visible in his hands and I wondered if he had enough. Several people would ask if he was in line and each time he backed away. Finally he put the spam back on a shelf and walked over by the door. Impulsively I grabbed the spam and paid for it with my purchases. As I walked out I gave it to him. He looked surprised and told me he had money. I said, ďYes, I saw that but itís okay, itís on meĒ and walked away.

It would have been a simple good deed but he followed me out to talk. I knew that human contact must not come often to him. He asked me if I was spiritual. There was a time I would have immediately boasted I was indeed spiritual. I could tell he could see my hesitation as I said a little. He told me that he had a problem with lines and too many people but he was spiritual. It would be an interesting conversation. He talked about having gone to Jerusalem and I might have doubted it but I noticed the battered briefcase in his hand and thought maybe at one time life had been different for him. He had an interesting way of looking at things but finally I said I had to go and we said goodbye.

As I walked away, I wondered about myself. Spiritual feelings were now very controlled as I no longer had any illusions about the receiving line of faith. The outflow of caring for others had kept his normal pace; I had just controlled the intake of faith. It was either that or become cynical and chance losing it all. I used to tell God I didnít mind the mountains He presented to me. I didnít always like climbing them but I had learned to look for the pockets of gold in the climbs. It was simply a life time of mountains with no valleys in between. I was tired and I had finally had enough.

So the free spirit child inside no longer ran free. I took control and limited how much pain she had to endure. I thought about my drugstore man. Despite his condition, he was still letting God have control. Yet, I could no longer do that and I had to smile at the irony of it all. God had control with his life but he was a little bit crazy too and I wondered if that is all it took, just being a little bit crazy. Regardless, the man and I seemed to have one more thing in commonódespite the different roads we took, neither of us seemed to be at peace with the world. What I had accepted finally was that Control always had a price. Some would say Godís control gave better dividends. At one time I might have agreed. I took one quick look back and wondered if God had sent an angel to me. I smiled thinking it did seem to fit his sense of humor latelyÖ

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This article has been read 753 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/06/06
I liked this! There was one quick 2nd person slip in the 1st paragraph, but otherwise this is well-written and thoughtful. Consider revisiting this sometime, and writing more as a story, with dialog in addition to the descriptive passages. Might be interesting!
Nina Phillips02/07/06
I liked the honesty you showed in your story. Sometimes we want that front to be perfect, but we really know it's a different story on the inside. Reflection like this helps us grow. Appreciate your sharing! God bless ya, littlelight
I enjoyed this story. I particularly liked this sentence.

(I didnít always like climbing them but I had learned to look for the pockets of gold in the climbs.)

Nice job.
Joe Moreland02/13/06
I, too, liked the honesty in this piece. We all are always so afraid of letting others see our doubts and hesitancy in our Christian journey that we often miss out on ministering to those who struggle daily with those doubts, thinking they are the only ones. A story like this serves a need that most are incapable of being honest enough to fill. Thank you for writing it.