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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)

TITLE: It’s Just Chuck
By Jim Newton


Chuck Siskind was an average child. Born to a family of modest but sufficient means, he made average grades in school. He was on the tall side, slender in build, with curly blond hair. Chuck was not athletic, nor was he particularly studious as mentioned earlier. In a crowd, he did not stand out. Never was he chosen first for sports or academic teams; actually, he was most often and embarrassingly chosen last. You know – the variety of person God assigns his most important tasks. However, God did gift him with a talent that would remain hidden till needed.

In children’s Sunday school, Chuck would ask questions. “who is Jesus? Why can’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. Chuck’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 Chuck…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, God’s bastion outside of heaven; as if greater intellects than theirs had not tried. But, the sails were set, and they sailed away into God’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, “This book is all about love…God’s love…his command to love one another. Jerry, the whole theme of this book is love, God’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.”

Jerry looked up saying, “Nope, can’t see that. It’s all myth.”

Their friendship, built upon their hate of God, ended that night.

Chuck was back in God’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, “Father, surely, I am finished, my life over. Yet, you have forgotten to call me to serve. Father, I am at your mercy.”

As if standing in front of him, a voice said to him in an authoritative, yet loving, tone, “Get 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.” 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 Chuck’s faith shone from every word, every page, every book…

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 Chuck’s life that display and bring together the books of his life for viewing in God’s light.

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This article has been read 262 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/06/14
Wow! This was truly powerful in content, and delivery. I was pulled in and riveted from the first word to the last.

Thank you for this moving piece.

God bless~
Larry Whittington02/09/14
This is a good story of making use of God's gifts. A person may not see his gift until late in life but it is then that it needs to be put to use.

This should be required reading for us all so we would not put off or be afraid of the gift God gives us.
Toni Hammer02/11/14
This made me think fondly of my mother whom, after being diagnosed with cancer, almost gave up. She chose to fight though and has now been in remission for 4 years. She too, has a gift for the written word and is currently working on her third book. Thank you for the reminder that we are never too old to serve.

Only editing comment is I believe you're missing a quote mark in the following: In children’s Sunday school, Chuck would ask questions. “who is Jesus? Why can’t we see him? The usual questions. The answers were always shallow or faith based. Understanding faith and all that it brings takes maturity.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/12/14
This is an interesting piece. I like how you worked at making sure the reader knew Chuck was just a regular guy. After all aren't we all just average? Yet God still has great plans for us. Though the topic wasn't immersed totally throughout the story, you still did write on topic. In the middle I could see the two men be like bookends supporting each other in their disdain of God. When Chuck changed, the other man no longer had support and it made me think about what happened to him. When a story makes me stop and think like that, it's a good thing. For me it's a sure sign of the Holy Spirit using your words and stories to touch others. You touched me today and I'm grateful for it.