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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: googled (04/10/14)

TITLE: It's Never Too Late
By William Howard


“It’s amazing!”

“What is?”

“This search engine. It’s a window to the world of knowledge. Everything I ever wanted to know is a few strokes and clicks away.” Paul was ecstatic at his new found tool. “Let’s say, I forgot a title of a song, which is natural for me, I type in a few lyrics, then boom, the song title comes up and anything else, like a zillion things, associated with those words. Sometimes another word can put me on another path and before you know it, I’m far away from what I was originally looking at.”

“You’re just finding all of this out now? Have you been living in a cave?”

“No, ha, funny. I just didn’t have the time. I even googled an old friend. In fact, you can put any one’s name in there and sometimes you can find out things about them that normally you would not have ever known.”

“Googled huh, what about the old friend.” Peter wasn’t that thrilled with Paul’s newfangled adventure, but tried to remain interested for his own curiosity as Paul usually didn't open up this much.

“Well, I found their address and phone number, then I found an article about his arrest.”

“Wow. Did you call him?”

“Why would I do that?” Paul looked dumbfounded. “How could I? From the article I read, he is still in jail.”

“I would think that a tool like this has more than just a passing fascination and would be used for some other benefit. What made you think of that person?”

“I don’t know. We were good friends when we were younger. We grew apart, like so many friends do, I guess.” Paul wanted to change the subject, but found it hard to stop talking about it. Peter wouldn’t let him either.

“Let me ask you something Paul. Do you think the Lord brought that person to your mind? Perhaps, even to reach out to him?”

“What? It’s been too long, he wouldn’t remember me anyway.”

“How do you know? He could be wondering about you too. You never know. You remembered him right? I think you should try and contact him.”

Paul was silent. He looked down and wouldn’t make eye contact with Peter. Peter got up and walked into the kitchen. He brought in a glass of water for each of them.

“Look Paul. I’m not telling you what to do. I just know these search engines could be meant for good and bring God glory. Yes, it has a lot of information, probably more than our brains can handle, but I firmly believe we can use it for good.”

“Alright, I’ll give it some thought…and prayer, yes I'll pray about it. I just feel threatened somehow of getting back into a persons life, that has….”

“Gone astray, big time.”

“Frankly, yes.”

“Well, bud, you have to be Jesus to him. You know that saying, “there I go, but for the grace of God’ or something like it. Let me know what you decide.”

Peter left and Paul sat back down. He put the laptop on the table and started more searching of the person’s name. It was hard to identify as it was a fairly common name. However, Paul was able to get the scoop of what happen to his old friend and finally, the address of the jail where he was held. He looked up on another website on how to write a letter to a person in prison. He opened a document and began forming a letter. He hesitated though, as now he thought it ridiculous to do. He began to pray and ponder, if it was me in prison would I want to hear from anyone? Paul thought about it and figured once he got passed the shame and got right with God, then sure, he wouldn’t mind hearing from someone on the outside, a friend. He began typing,

“Dear Friend,
I suppose this will come as a shock to you, as much as it does to me. I was thinking about you and I googled your name…”

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This article has been read 251 times
Member Comments
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C D Swanson 04/18/14
I really enjoyed this entry. It had a multitude of messages throughout. Nicely done.

God bless~
Larry Whittington04/20/14
Well written article. God may use it for convicting that person to use the internet for going into the jails and prisons for him.

Good ideas can come from unknown places and at unexpected times.

Keep listening to the Spirit that was given to you when you were baptized for the forgiveness of your sin. (Acts 2:38)
Linda Buskirk04/21/14
What started as light-hearted banter between friends turned into a very thought-provoking story and lesson. I enjoyed it, particularly the way you ended it with the start of a letter.

The next-to-last paragraph contains so many good thoughts. It might be a bit easier for a reader to grasp the impact of each of them if they were divided and developed separately. But I am no pro so please accept that as just a thought from someone who overall appreciated reading this!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/22/14
This is a great story. I think you have a delightful sense of humor and it shows throughout your story.

I noticed some tiny little things like the word alright. Technically, it's not all right to use it as one word, although it is gaining more popularity in British English. Anyone should be one word though. It can all get confusing which is why a good proofreader is a great idea.

For me personally, the beginning was a tad slow. I would have liked the conflict right in the beginning. You spent a bit too much time explaining googling. For example you could do something like this: Peter walked in to see Paul frowning as his fingers idly clicked on the keyboard. "Everything okay?"

"Huh?" Paul looked up to see his friend reading over his shoulder. "Oh I just discovered this nifty thing called search engines."

Peter jabbed him in the shoulder. "Ahh, is that what's wrong--you're just crawling out of the cave to join us in this century?"

I took some liberties and I think I mixed up the characters' personalities a bit, but I wanted to show you how you could still use your wonderful humor and show the conflict. Right away, the reader realizes Paul is upset about something. In the next few lines Peter could pull it out of Paul out about his friend. Notice also how I used body language to paint the picture for the reader. Later on you do a good job of balancing the narrative and dialog out, but in the beginning it's a little dialog heavy.

With that said, you have way more good things going here. I think it was brilliant how you brought up the subject of prison ministry without coming off as too preachy. You did a great job of making the reader think about old friends. I would guess almost everyone had a friend come to mind who they have lost touch with. The internet can be a great tool used to glorify God. Your message is a strong and clear one and something we ca all relate to. You nailed the topic for sure and did so in an interesting way. The ending can be one of the hardest parts of a story this short, but I think it was one of your strongest areas. I left the story with a warm feeling and even paused to pray for some old friends. You touched me with your words. Overall you did a wonderful job with this piece.
C D Swanson 04/24/14
Congrats! God bless~