Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
TITLE: What's the Difference
By Gerald Dean
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“How do you tell the difference between good and bad people mum?” asked Paul, one half of
fifteen year old identical twins.
“Our teacher said, what some people call good, other people call bad”
His brother Peter nodded in perplexed agreement.
“Sit down both of you, while I tell you a story” said their mother.
“Around the end of the nineteeth century in England there lived identical twin girls just like
yourselves. Their names were Rachel and Elizabeth.
As they grew up, they also grew apart in the way they lived their lives.
Rachel studied hard and eventually became a well known eye specialist, who was in great demand
for difficult eye surgery. She became quite wealthy and gave sums of money to the poor, and
worked relentlessly for the church raising money and organising events. People admired her
many attributes. Naturally she became proud of herself and enjoyed the constant praise of others.
As a teenager, Elizabeth became involved in undesirable practices. She associated with dropouts
She moved from boyfriend to boyfriend and at the age of fifteen fell pregnant. She aborted the
baby at a back street clinic run by unqualified staff. Her body became infected and she very
nearly lost her life.
War came and Rachel volunteered to serve her country. She was assigned to a medical team in a
North London hospital. Her skills were very effective, and especially helped to save the sight of
wounded soldiers and other war victims. She felt how right she had been in choosing the medical
profession, and how her own hard work and dedication had paid off.
The girl’s lives continued to go in totally separate and opposite directions, until war broke out
again in Europe.
Although Rachel was now married with two children, she again volunteered to serve her country,
thereby helping to overcome the evil and tyranny that had emerged on the mainland of Europe.
Elizabeth seemed more interested in her own welfare than in helping the war effort. She was
living with an army deserter, in comparative comfort, in an abandoned cottage deep in
countryside of Eastern England, well away from the bombardment taking place in the cities.
She was now in her forties and beginning to realize that perhaps her life was a bit of a mess. Her
selfish lifestyle was starting to worry her conscience.
Towards the middle of the war, Elizabeth became homeless, but managed to find a small disused
apartment above a store in the East End of London.
The bombing continued unabated and intensified in its ferocity.
On one particular night of horror, Elizabeth was alone, and became absolutely terrified. Feeling
safer in the open, she started walking the side streets and allies where she could at least see what
was happening in the sky.
It being mid- winter she soon became freezing cold and had to shelter in an old empty church.
She had never been more scared in her life. Like someone drowning, visions of her purposeless
life started passing before her eyes.
Then the fearful rasping sound of a ‘doodlebug’ flying bomb faded immediately overhead;
Followed by an ominous silence.
The bomb fell directly on the church, demolishing it, and killing Elizabeth instantly.
Almost simultaneously in Northern London, another bomb landed on the hospital where Rachel
was working. She too died.
In heaven the first sister marvelled at the beauty around her. “
In hell the other sister was tormented and cried out for relief ”.
“Poor Elizabeth” said the twin boys in unison.
“But it was her own fault” said Paul grimly.
“Oh No” interjected their mother.
“It was Rachel in hell, not Elizabeth”
“But that’s not fair” objected the boys again in unison.
“You see” continued their mother “In the church Elizabeth had called aloud on the name of the
Lord, and repented of her sins
God did not save her from physical death when the bomb struck the church, but at the eleventh
hour saved her soul.
Rachel had done many, many good things during her life, but had never put her faith and hope in
God . All her good deeds were done in the flesh, in her own strength. She never once gave glory
to God for all the abilities he had given her. All he wanted was her faithful acknowledgement, but
he never got it.
God sees good and bad through his spiritual eyes, not our natual eyes. We only begin to see
things as he does when we faithfully accept him”.
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