Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)
TITLE: Life After A Shake-Up
By Ken Ebright
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"Mr. Chambers, you sent for me?"
Her boss sat motionless in his chair.
"Mr. Chambers, are you okay?"
Mr. Chambers slowly turned around and looked off in the distance.
"Mr. Chambers, is there something wrong?"
He cleared his throat. "Because the company is going through a shake-up, we're forced to implement a staff reduction. Unfortunately, that includes your position." He swallowed hard. "Thanks for your 48 years of service."
Ruth started to cry. "How can you do this to me?"
Mr. Chambers pulled a tissue out of a box and brought it over to her. "Ruth, it wasn't my decision. It came from corporate. I've decided to leave the company because they're making bad decisions."
"They're getting rid of a lot of good people which will eventually hurt the company. Because I have a lot of experience in management, it shouldn't be to hard for me to find another job. In the long-term I'll be okay, but right now, with a lot of debt, I've have been living paycheck to paycheck."
The next day, Ruth drove over to Mr. Chambers house, and knocked on his door. "Ruth, what are you doing here?"
Ruth's face glowed. "Surprise!"
Mr. Chambers jaw dropped as he held open the door. "Come in, what's in the bags?"
She sat the sacks on the kitchen counter. "Groceries."
Mr. Chambers peered into them. "Ruth, I don’t know what to say."
Ruth handed him a box of noodles and patted him on the back. "We've been friends for over 20 years, and you
have financial issues. A friend in need is a friend indeed."
He rolled his eyes as he put the box in a cabinet. "Why? You' re unemployed too."
She handed him a carton of eggs. "I just became a born-again Christian. I wanted to show you that Jesus loves you. Do you know Jesus?"
Tearing up, he put the eggs into the refrigerator. "I've been a Christian all of my life and have been in jams like this before. The Lord always provides and gets me out of jams."
Ruth stood with her back against the counter and peered into his eyes. "We're going to have to trust Jesus."
A week later Mr. Chambers called. "Hello."
"Ruth, this is Mr. Chambers. I just found a new job and start Monday. How's your job search going?"
"I found a job through a temp agency. They may bring me on full-time."
"Congratulations on your new job. I wanted to let you know that I've started a ministry at my church to help people who are unemployed. Would you be interested in leading a women's group? God can take something bad and turn it into good for his glory."
Ruth paused for a second. "I don't know… I’ll have to pray about it.”
"You do that, if the Lord says yes, give me a call."
"Yes I will."
"Ruth, keep in touch."
Ruth picked up her Bible. "I will Mr. Chambers."
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