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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)

TITLE: Trial Period
By Lucile McKenzie


Man, itís cold. It is going to be really bitter tonight. Down into the teens, they said. Not a good night to sleep under a bridge. Well, thereís always the mission. A warm bed, hot meal, shower. Shelter from the bitter wind that cuts right through me. And no bottle for whatever warmth that might give. Just as well. Bottles arenít allowed at the mission anyway.

. Shall I go to the mission or not? Iíll have to listen to a sermon and they always want everyone to sing some stupid hymn. I donít like it. Feel like they are looking and talking right to me alone. Worst thing is, you donít get dinner until after chapel so if you want to eat, you have to first listen to all that religious nonsense.

Man, youíd think this alley would provide some shelter from the wind, but it feels like the artic here. That sky looks dark. What if it snows? Ethan froze to death last year in weather like this. Letís see, the first three nights at the mission are free, maybe I can doze through the sermon, get a little extra shut-eye. After that, it might warm up and I can leave. Here it is. Guess Iíll go on in. Ahh, that warm air feels good

That hot shower was great. Now to get through chapel, then I can eat. Oh, great! Iím too late to get a seat in the back of the room. Now Iíve ended up in the middle of the third row. Wonder which church is in charge tonight. Well, it donít matter; they are all alike.

ďGod loves you,Ē

Yeah, right, thatís why Iíve been homeless and on the streets for the last three years. If thatís Godís love, no thanks. Rats, here goes the singing. How can I sleep through that? ďWhen the Roll is Called up Yonder,Ē What nonsense. Wish I had my bottle. A long drink of wine would be just fine right bout now.

That was a great nights sleep. Maybe I can get out of here today. Wow! It did snow, about four inches and that wind is bitter. Looks like Iíll be here a few more days at least.

Well, here we go, another chapel waste of time.

ďMy Friends, God wants you to know Him. He is waiting for you to come to Him. Remember, He has not rejected you; it is you who are rejecting Him. Come to him and let Him change your life. Letís hear some testimonies from those who have come to Christ.Ē

ďMy life was nothing but living under a bridge and drinking cheap wine. Now, Iíve given my life to Christ, given up the bottle, and tomorrow I am going on a job interview.Ē

That does sound good, but I could never do it. I like that wine too much.

ďI spent four years in jail for attempted murder. When I got out I went right back to drinking and living a life of sin. Then, I came here, accepted Christ, and changed my life.
With His help, I have a job and the love of a wonderful woman. I was asked to come here tonight to tell you that if it happened to me, it can happen to you, too. No problem is too big for God. Just put your trust in Him. You canít lose!Ē

Oh yeah? I been losing for many a year now.

ďIt took me a long time to realize that the problems in my life were caused by me. I had to accept the result of my actions and quit blaming God for my mistakes. Once I did that, and called on him for help, He pulled me out of my sinful rut. I am a happy person today, praise God!Ē

That all does sound good. But I donít know about turning my life over to this Jesus. Iíd have to give up my freedom. There are so many changes, I donít knowÖWell, my three free nights here are up after tonight. The weather is still bad, so maybe Iíll sign up to work on the recycled newspaper truck. That will earn me a bed voucher as long as I keep working. Maybe Iíll just hang around, learn a bit more about life with this Jesus, and see what happens.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/21/09
Great POV, and you really nailed this person's attitude.

Since it was written as a continual stream of consciousness, it was a bit awkward when the narrator jumped from one time/place to the next. Perhaps a *** between 'scenes', or even a bit of action/description to tell where he has gone would east the transistions?

I like that you didn't wrap it up neatly, but nevertheless gave us hope.
Sunny Loomis 05/27/09
Well done. I like the hint of hope at the end.