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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: Knock, knock, knock
By Bill Obenauer


"Hold on a second. I'm not quite sure what you just said. It almost sounded like you said that you're not coming home for Christmas this year," Roger Avitouer said to his daughter.

"Dad," Beth replied, "you know that's what I just said. We haven't spent a Christmas with Keith's parents in four years and they've invited us to go on a family vacation to the Bahamas with them for the holiday this year. We'll be with you guys for Thanksgiving. What's the big deal?"

Knock, knock, knock.

"What's the big deal?" he repeated. "What does your husband have against us, anyhow? You're going on vacation with his parents. When was the last time you went on vacation with us?"

After a brief pause, she answered him, "Dad, we do different things with each of our families. There is no competition between Keith and I regarding our parents. We always try to do what works for everyone, but sometimes we have to do what works for us as well. I love you and I wish that we could spend every holiday together, but compromise is a part of marriage. Why do you have to make this situation harder on me than it already is?"

Knock, knock, knock.

Beth had a point, and Roger knew it. He also knew that if he conceded to her point immediately, it would lessen his negotiating power in future family quarrels. As Roger tried to find a way to hold his ground, without pursuing the argument any further, his phone alerted him of a call coming in on the other line. Call Waiting immediately became his escape route from the conversation. He quickly told Beth, "I've got a call coming in on the other line. I have to go."

Roger hit the flash button on his phone and answered, "Roger speaking."

"Yo. Roger, buddy. It's Tanas. How are you?"

Tanas was not from the area, but had moved to America when he decided to pursue his dream on playing professional hockey. He landed in New Jersey, and led his team there to several championship seasons. As the face of his franchise, a reporter once asked him how he felt about the fans' suggestion that the franchise be renamed after him. Tanas jokingly replied, "I thought it already had been."

Shortly after his playing days ended, Tanis showed up in Roger's church wearing a red hockey jacket with a pitchfork embroidered on the front breast. The coat immediately caught Roger's eye and the two of them started talking hockey after the service. They had been friends ever since.

Knock, knock, knock.

"Lousy," Roger said. "Beth just told me that she's not coming home for Christmas, and this annoying salesman keeps knocking on my door and won't go away. I'm just about ready to lose it."

"She's not coming home for Christmas," Tanas replied. "That's horrible. I'll bet it's her husband's fault. Men are always trying cause a division between their families and their in-laws. It's ridiculous man and you've got to tell her that!"

Knock, knock, knock.

"Oh, there's that salesman again!" Roger exclaimed. "I'm ready to open the door and give him a piece of my mind!"

"No, don't do that. That's just a waste of time," Tanas reasoned. "What you need to do is call your son-in-law and give him a piece of your mind! Let him know who the head of your family is!"

Knock, knock, knock.

"I can't take this anymore," Roger said to his friend. "I've got to answer the door. I'll call you later."

"No Ro..."


Roger slowly opened the front door, but to his dismay there was no salesman there. There was a man, whom Roger did not recognize, yet he immediately felt a deep connection with him. He had short dark hair and a neatly trimmed mustache. His facial features seemed Arabic, or perhaps Jewish, and he was dressed casually. He wore a navy blue Izod shirt with a pair of plain khaki Dockers, but perhaps the most amazing thing Roger noticed was his footwear. His shoes were just a plain pair of brown leather loafers, but they were not touching the ground!

"You don't look like a salesman," Roger said to the stranger.

"I have not come to sell you anything," the man replied, "but I can give you peace."

"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in..." Rev 3:20, NLT

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This article has been read 611 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/15/08
Good job with the twist at the end, turning this story into a tidy little allegory. Nicely done.
Debbie Wistrom05/16/08
Great angle on this.

You held my attention with the knocking.

Will he accept the peace...?

Mary McLeary05/19/08
Yes! How often do we listen to the wrong advice when we should just answer the door. Good lesson.
Lollie Hofer05/19/08
What a great twist at the end. The incessant knocking had my attention. I'm glad he answered the door. Very clever.
Lollie Hofer05/19/08
Oh, I forgot to write that I liked the little hint to the logo on the front of the "friends" jacket - that possibly this wasn't a voice to be adhered to.
Patty Wysong05/19/08
I liked the voices here--one of them being the knocking. Good idea!
James Dixon05/20/08
One logo and a bit of back tracking too. Very Subtle. Good message.
Marilyn Schnepp 05/22/08
The constant "knock, knock,knock" kept me glued to this story and drove me up the wall as much as it did Roger; (but now I'll show my ignorance)the scripture cited is the Lord speaking, so I'm blank as to why the author so vividly described His clothing down to his shoes, etc. Am I missing something? - But the overall creativity was brilliant. A fun read with a point well taken.
Joshua Janoski05/23/08
You had me curious about the knocking the entire time I was reading. I had a feeling that it might have been Jesus that he was ignoring, but I had to keep reading in order to find out for sure. Clever twist! Sorry that I missed reading this earlier in the week.