Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cat and Dog (09/04/14)
By Donna Tijou
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Her last job was working in a mall clothing store and she hated it. She loved the clothes she could buy at discount, the colors and feel of the fabrics, but she hated the customers. Actually, she loved the customers, she just hated waiting on them. It was demeaning. She tried to treat the patrons as friends, but when they acted superior she wanted to throw the clothes at them. Instead she swallowed it with courtesy and a smile, but inside she was boiling. She would fantasize about taking a scarf from the rack and tying it, just a tad too tight, around their necks. But she didn’t. No of course she didn’t. Instead she quit her job.
Now Rene was being put to the test. She was living, temporarily, with her mother.
“Just for a few weeks.” she told her mom.
“Of course, sweetheart,” her mom said. “But no pets. You know how allergic I am to dogs and cats. You’re welcome to move into your old room. It’s empty and waiting for you to come back.”
But back wasn’t the direction Rene wanted to take. She had given her pets, also temporarily, to her friend, Caroline, to care for until she found a job and an apartment.
When Rene awoke that first morning in her childhood bedroom, she felt like she was back where she had started. She could deal with it, but not for long. It became her prime motivator to find a job quickly. At this point she would take anything, even going back into retail. She would suck up and apply at the mall again. She had plenty of experience. No one knew the real reason why she quit. She had told her boss she was leaving to write, that she had enough money saved to carry her for the next year so she could concentrate on writing. It was a lie. She had left because she couldn’t stand being subservient to her customers.
Rene placed her laptop on her desk, but before sending resumes, she actually wanted to write, as she said she would. She stared at it for a few minutes. What on earth would she write about? She was stumped. A few deep breaths got her fingers leading the way on the keyboard. She started writing about her experiences in retail. On that subject she had plenty to say! The words came - one after another. She filled one page, then a second. As she was writing it came to her that it was her pride that had gotten in the way of her job. She loved the work, but she didn’t like being a servant. Reaching for her bible, she realized she hadn’t opened it in ten years. It was right where she had left it. She looked up “servant” in her concordance. The verses spoke to her heart. Serving was part of good stewardship. Jesus served not only God, but those around Him. He even washed the apostles feet! She knew these verses from childhood, but had somehow forgotten them. Pride had gotten in the way.
Rene spent the rest of the afternoon praying, reading her bible and writing about her feelings and experiences. The next morning she got up and went back to her former place of employment and asked them to rehire her. She had been a good employee and they were pleased to have her back. The following week she had started working again.
Three months passed since Rene was evicted. Being gainfully employed raised her spirits - but that wasn’t the only thing. She was going to church again, she even joined the choir. She got an apartment and would be bringing Snookums and Pebbles home when she moved in. Her perspective was different now. She was back to reading her bible every day and had continued to pursue her writing. In her bible studies, she had learned a lot about the words “servant” and “stewardship,” but most especially, Rene had learned a lot about the word “pride.”
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, ..” (Mark 10:45)
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