Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Barbeque/Cookout (09/06/12)
TITLE: It’s…a Jesus Thing
By Marie Hearty
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As summer was reaching its end, Vicky and a few of her neighbours decided that the best way to say farewell to the scorching heat, would be to organize a barbeque for the people who lived on their street.
“I will do the cooking,” Vicky’s husband hollered. Dave loved to barbeque, and there was no way he would miss out on a chance to show off his cooking skills to the community.
“Mmm… I love ‘The Dave Burger,” Deirdre said. “I will pitch in and make a garden salad and my special cheesecake.” Deidre had been Vicky’s next door neighbour for the past five years.
The day of the barbeque had finally arrived and Vicky was stoked. She expected that approximately twenty-five people would come and go throughout the day, but was prepared if more showed up. The more the merrier.
“I hope that guy in the end house doesn’t come,” Dave said.
“I agree. I think he is a drug addict and we DON’T want those types here.” She could not take any chances, especially with her daughter around.
“Or those homeless people who hang out at the corner,” Dave said, as he brought out more buns. “No one would come if they were here, and we don’t want that.”
“Oh dear,” Deidre said softly, as she set the condiments on the table. After becoming a Christian a month ago, Deidre had changed quite a bit, and Vicky knew that she didn’t approve of their way of thinking.
As noon approached it got busy, and Vicky couldn’t believe the amount of people on her front lawn. They were all talking amongst themselves while enjoying Dave’s burgers, and the many other kinds of food some of the neighbours had brought.
Dave ran over and elbowed Vicky in the ribs, “Look who’s here.”
Turning, Vicky’s heart fell. It was the guy from the end house. “Just tell him the barbeque is over and then hopefully he’ll leave.” No way did she want him wrecking the barbeque she had worked so hard on. He looked sad, but too bad; it was not his reputation that was on the line.
As the man began to walk away, Deidre approached him and said something that made him smile. Now what! Vicky thought to herself. Instead of leaving, he stood there while Deidre went and got him a burger and some salad. Vicky couldn’t understand why Deirdre would go near him, but she was even more surprised as they both started laughing like a couple of hyenas.
It couldn’t have been more than ten minutes later when five homeless guys started to walk up the lawn. People turned and frowned in disgust, while a couple of the helpers motioned for Vicky to get rid of them and fast. Yet before Vicky could take a step, Deidre walked up to the men with a huge smile on her face, and led them to the side where the drug addict was standing. Making several trips to the table, she proceeded to get them each a plate of food, then sat down on the grass with them.
The man who lived across the street ran over to Vicky and asked if she wanted him to tell them to leave. She wanted to say yes, but they all seemed to be having a great time talking to Deidre, and she didn’t want to make a scene. But because of all the laughter, people started to take notice of the little group, and a few went over to see what was going on. Vicky just shook her head as she glanced at her husband. Her reputation would be ruined now, and she wouldn’t be able to look people in the eye for a long time.
By five thirty, practically everyone had left. Some people had shown their displeasure of having to stand beside addicts and homeless people, yet many complimented Vicky on accepting them and allowing them to be a part of the community. But she wasn’t convinced she did the right thing.
“How could you talk to those men, Deidre? They could be dangerous,” Vicky said.
“They are not dangerous,” Deidre sighed. “They are just struggling right now… some bad things happened to them in their lives. All they want is to be treated like everyone else.”
Deidre smiled, “It’s… a Jesus thing.”
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