Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)
TITLE: Not Fit for the Kingdom
By Shayne Catoe
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“You dirty, cheap liar, Marian!” Olivia never had words worthy of her child’s needy heart. All Marian wanted was love and acceptance.
“I didn’t take it, mama. Maybe it was Oscar. He’s been back here a lot while you work the bar.” Marian didn’t see the open hand coming against her cheek. A painful welt was left along with the red hand mark. Tears stung her eyes.
“I’m going back to work, watch her Oscar! If she goes near my liquor cabinet I want to know.” Olivia didn’t care for Marian, except that she cooked, cleaned and entertained her men while she tended bar.
“Don’t be a crybaby. I’ll show you what real tears are darling.” Oscar had done it before when he was drunk, taken Marian’s weakness to his advantage.
Years of terror passed for Marian.
“Marian! Wait up, I get better customers when we hang. It’s that youthful look.” Lila was always dead on the money. “I don’t know how you ended up here, but I’m glad you did.”
“Shut up Lila, here comes a Rolls.” They got in.
Marian and Lila answered to Rudolf. He provided protection from everyone except himself.
“Where’s Lila? Give me your take, and tell me where she is!” Rudolf loosened his grip from around Marian’s neck so she could answer.
“I don’t know. We went in together. I never saw her come out.” Marian knew not to lie.
She also knew not to tell Rudolf the entire truth. It was survival.
The men said, “We’ll take you into protective custody if you turn states evidence on Rudolf.” Lila agreed. Marian wouldn’t cross Rudolf. Too many women ended up in the grave. Marian didn’t think the Feds could protect her?
Rudolf was arrested. The women working were also taken into custody. Marian was booked for prostitution, drug possession and accessory to murder.
Prison years hardened Marian. “They think they’re doing me a favor with all their counseling, schooling, and Bible classes. When I’m a free woman, I’ll go wild.”
“Marian, you’ve got a visitor.” The guard was as stunned as she was. Four years, and Marian never had a visitor.
“Lila? What are you doing here? Why do look like someone out of a woman‘s magazine?” Marian was shocked. Lila didn’t realize how strange she must look.
“Marian, I came by the prison to tell you something.” Lila said she’d been praying for her, and that her Pastor’s wife was the one leading the Bible studies there.
“So you’re a Bible thumper now, after all you’ve done? Come on Lila. That Born Again garbage has you sucked in? There’s no such thing as forgiveness for people like us.” Anger spread across Marian’s face, but tears of remorse sprang from her eyes. Her first tears in years.
“Marian, there’s a scripture that changed my life. I was Born Again. You can be Born Again. Let me quote it, then I’ll leave.
“I didn’t say I wanted you to leave. Nobody comes. You might as well say whatever you like.” Marion wanted company.
“It says, ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators…nor adulterers…nor covetous…nor drunkards…will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.’* This means you can go from painful brokenness to healing. I’m here to help.” Lila didn’t know much about sharing the Words of Life, but she’d begun. There’d come a day of victory for Marian, but not for many more visits. The door had begun to open. A healing would come.
Marian was released from prison. Lila was outside waiting for her. Jesus made her free in prison. Now she would be a bondservant for Him on the outside.
“Remember the nights on the street Lila? I think of the woman I was, and the one Christ made me. I never knew love, until Jesus found me. There’s Mandy. Think she’ll talk to us? No ones around.” Marian pulled out a tract and handed it to the homeless girl on the corner, hoping for a chance to share how she too might inherit the Kingdom of God.
*Hebrews 11:25b (KJV)
*I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV)
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