Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)
TITLE: The Stranger
By Kathy Stevens
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“I feel as if I have exploded into a million little pieces, each irretrievable. My mind knows that I must catch the pieces or I will be lost forever, floating off into space. I have a sense of urgency to find myself before it is too late. Part of me says that I must save what I can of myself, the rest says to lie down and give up and die.
“I am trying to raise my hand, but it will not respond. It is as if I am trapped in my own body. The world passes by, but where am I? Where do I fit in? I know I must breathe. I will concentrate on taking another breath.
“Lady, lady, look at me -- reach out to me -- save me! I cannot save myself. Darkness penetrates the depths of my soul as if I have fallen into an endless ink well . . . I don’t think I can . . . .”
“Oh! Someone bumped into me! Who?”
“Mister . . . mister . . . .”
“Who is this? A rough, unshaven man is reaching out toward me with something in his hand – a paper. It looks like just another handout. “Who are you? Why are you bothering me? Can’t you see I’m dying?”
“Mister . . . can I talk to you a minute? I want to tell you about Jesus. You have a funny look in your eyes – the same one I used to have. I know how you feel. I want to tell you that there is someone who can heal all the pain and give you life.”
“What can you possibly know about me? I lost my job today. I was already desperately behind on my bills and had to declare bankruptcy. My wife called and told me that she is taking the kids and leaving me. My life is over. What is left -- he’s still talking . . . .”
“I never knew my dad, and my mom abandoned me in a service station when I was six. I went into the system and was raised, but nobody ever loved me. I was an empty shell with no soul. I drank and did drugs to try to fill the big empty spot that I carried. I tried everything to not hurt, but nothing ever worked – nothing, that is, until someone gave me one of these handouts. I didn’t believe it at first, but when there is nothing to lose, you’ll try anything.
“I tried Jesus. It was the best deal I ever made. He came to live inside of me and He filled every vacant, hurting part. He filled it with His love. I never even knew what that was like – it was more wonderful than I could ever explain. Now I want to tell everyone about Him.
“You need His love too, don’t you? I can see the big empty hole inside of you asking to be filled.”
“Love? Yes, I could use that – do you suppose that someone does love me? Would it replace all of this pain? This rugged looking man seems to have something I have never had. He has peace and is happy. He has the happiness I need so desperately. This Jesus -- is He real?”
“Here, mister, take this handout. It’ll tell you all about it. You will never be sorry – I promise.”
“I must raise my hand now – I think I can.”
Taking the handout, it reads, “Jesus Saves! Jesus heals! Accept Him now!” The words hit him like a ton of bricks – a load of bricks that apprehend him to the depths of his soul.
“What have I got to lose? Jesus I accept You – I need you – come and live in me now! What is this I feel? I . . . I sense a wonderful warm sensation coming over me. It is like a million balloons filled with love -- exploding throughout my whole body. I think it is life. Yes, it is, I want to live. I don’t know what my future is, but I know I want to live -- where is that man? I don’t see him anymore – where has he gone? I have to thank him for the life-giving handout. It saved me.”
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