Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Curiosity Killed the Cat (10/10/13)
TITLE: Things Are Not Always As They Seem
By Barbara Caldwell
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Rose Garden Avenue is a beautiful neighborhood in a suburban California town. It is known as one of the safest areas in the city because mostly middle class families reside there. It is a rare occasion to hear of crime in the area.
Most of the families have lived in the neighborhood for many years, so they all know each other well. After one of the houses became vacant, the Robinson’s and their three children moved in.
Ms. Brown, an older lady, wasn’t friendly at all. She never communicated with the neighbors, kept her door closed, and refused to answer it. Even when the neighbors weren’t aware, Ms. Brown snooped on them, continually peeking out the window, and watching everyone’s actions.
The Robinson family lived next door to Ms. Brown, but hey never saw her up close. She only came out of the house when she thought no one was looking. Mrs. Robinson attempted to visit Ms. Brown on several occasions, but she could never gain entrance into the home.
As time went on, Ms. Brown noticed all types of people coming in and out of the Robinson’s house, especially on Wednesday nights. Most people left with a small gold envelope in their hand. Ms. Brown became suspicious. She couldn’t stand this mystery any longer. She concluded that the gold envelopes must indicate that the family was selling drugs.
Finally, Ms. Brown decided to call the police department and complained about the suspicious activity of her next door neighbors. “I think they must be drug dealers, Officer. Every week they have these funny little envelopes clutched in their hands.”
After months of stake-outs, one Wednesday evening, the police knocked on the Robinson’s door with a search warrant in hand.
When Mr. Robinson came to the door, Ms. Brown heard several different voices drifting out through the neighbor’s door and into her open window. She watched the officers stare Mr. Robinson in the eye. “Mr. Robinson, we have a warrant to search your house. We have received three complaints about suspicious activity at this address.”
After the cops entered, Ms. Brown scurried outside so she could observe the situation that she had created. The officers shook their heads. Behind Mr. Robinson, his wife, children, and six others were sitting in the living room with Bibles in their laps. Mr. Robinson said, “Pardon the noise; we’re in the middle of our weekly Bible Study.”
One of the police officers said, “It appears that nothing is wrong here, but we still have to take a look around.”
Afterwards, the officer said, “We’re so sorry to inconvenience you in this way. I do have one more question though. We were told about some gold envelopes. That’s what started all this confusion. Please tell me what is in them.”
Mrs. Robinson smiled. “Sir, those envelopes contained New Testaments. We prefer putting them in envelopes so we can put our contact information on the front. That way if anyone has any questions, they can reach us.”
The police officer replied in a soft tone. “Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, again, we apologize. This situation shows how easy it is to misjudge someone. Of course we want the neighbors to be aware of what is going on in the neighborhood, but some people are just too curious for their own good. You all have a nice evening.”
Several days later, the whole neighborhood was talking about the police raid. Everyone learned the truth about the matter. The following week, five people came to Bible study. Even Ms. Brown ventured out. Later she shook Mrs. Robinson’s hand. “I’m so sorry about the mess I caused. Though, on the bright side, I don’t think I ever would have learned that Jesus loves an old snoop like me.”
Mrs. Robinson wiped tears from her eyes as she embraced her neighbor. “God works in many ways. He even can turn problems into blessings.”
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