Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)
TITLE: It’s Just Chuck
By Jim Newton
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In childrenâ€™s Sunday school, Chuck would ask questions. â€śwho is Jesus? Why canâ€™t we see him? The usual questions. The answers were always shallow or faith based. Understanding faith and all that it brings takes maturity.
Chuck traveled through grade school and high school with that firm but untested belief in the Christian God. His understanding of God expanded not one inch from toddler to high school graduate. God was for Sunday school, church, and times of great stress. Otherwise, that immortal spirit was out of sight and out of mind.
Chuck was drafted into the army during the Vietnam War period. His war adventure turned him into one God-hating man. The horrible inhumanity of man versus man gave rise to an anger that exploded outward. Chuckâ€™s friends did not quite know what to make of it. Though his friends had ceased to believe in God, they went about their new found non-belief in a lackadaisical manner. But Chuckâ€¦went about his non belief like a man possessed.
Chuck soon found himself teamed up with another non believer, Jerry. They set about the ultimate God-smashing mission, destroying the credibility of the Bible, Godâ€™s bastion outside of heaven; as if greater intellects than theirs had not tried. But, the sails were set, and they sailed away into Godâ€™s holy fortress.
After days of twisting the words out of recognizable shape, Chuck looked up from the Bible after reading the Sermon on the Mount, â€śThis book is all about loveâ€¦Godâ€™s loveâ€¦his command to love one another. Jerry, the whole theme of this book is love, Godâ€™s love. How can we fight this. I was wrong. There is a God, and he is pure love. I know now that hate destroys and love builds.â€ť
Jerry looked up saying, â€śNope, canâ€™t see that. Itâ€™s all myth.â€ť
Their friendship, built upon their hate of God, ended that night.
Chuck was back in Godâ€™s house, a new Book begun. The seed of true faith had been planted.
Years passed by with tough lessons of life laced with glimpses of a growing faith. Life brought an angel for a wife and children and their children. God was growing a family as well as faith. New life books were written in those years of growth.
There came a time of great physical struggle. Recovering from his seventh surgery, he was in great pain and anguish. His life was nearing the end. His legs may never support him again. Depression and fear swept over him like dirt on a coffin. He looked up toward the heavens and cried out, â€śFather, surely, I am finished, my life over. Yet, you have forgotten to call me to serve. Father, I am at your mercy.â€ť
As if standing in front of him, a voice said to him in an authoritative, yet loving, tone, â€śGet up from there! You are not dead. Am I not the God of the living? I have work for you. It is time to write.â€ť The great hidden talent of Chuck, writing, still brilliant, was being called to service.
As to Abraham, as to Sarah, as to Moses and so many others, the Lord calls those thinking their selves too old to serve. Chuck stood up from the chair, proceeded to the computer, and began to write. The words flowed instantly, never did they cease. God filled his mind and his fingers with mighty words for his glory. The brilliance of Chuckâ€™s faith shone from every word, every page, every bookâ€¦
Chuck had begun life with the innocent belief in God of the child, followed by the books of his life. Near the end, when he thought he had never served and all was finished, his faith brought great glory and service to the Lord. Clearly, Christianity is the set of bookends for Chuckâ€™s life that display and bring together the books of his life for viewing in Godâ€™s light.
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