Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
TITLE: The Unlikely Missionary
By Joyce Simoneaux
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Thomas had been born with Down Syndrome and took after his deceased daddy in size and looks. He was known in their town as the “Gentle Giant.” He stood quietly by his mother as she greeted Mr. Somers.
“Hello, Mr. Somers. It sure is a pretty day today.” Mrs. Williams seemed a bit nervous.
“Yes, it is,” replied Mr. Somers. “Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Well, yes, sir. I was wondering if you could use some help here in your store.”
His answer came a little slower than Mrs. Williams had hoped, but it was what she expected to hear.
“I can’t say that I do,” he answered looking away.
Just then a customer entered giving him a welcome distraction from the uncomfortable conversation. He climbed down from the ladder and went to help the customer find a book. After the customer left, he found Thomas on the ladder placing the books on the shelf.
“I’ll get that,” he said.
“Dats otay, Missa Sumas. I dot it.” Thomas placed the last book on the shelf and climbed down.
Mr. Somers climbed back up the ladder. To his surprise, he found each book placed exactly where they belonged.
“I know my son isn’t like other boys,” said Mrs. Williams, “but he’s got a gift for books.”
“Okay,” he said giving in, “I’ll give him a try, but if he doesn’t work out, I’ll let him go. The pay is minimum wage.”
“Yessir, I will like dat,” said Thomas with the smile of an innocent child.
“Oh, thank you, Mr. Somers! God bless you!” Mrs. Williams expressed her heartfelt gratitude.
“You can start now. You see that stack of books over there? Go ahead and put those back on the shelf for me. You think you can handle that?” His gruffness didn’t seem to affect Thomas. He just nodded as he walked to the table full of books and started organizing them.
“I’ll be back for him at closing,” said Mrs. Williams as she prayed a silent prayer and left.
Mr. Somers went to work on his bookkeeping where he could keep an eye on Thomas. Throughout the remainder of the day, Thomas worked diligently as customers came and went. When he finished shelving all the books, he picked up a feather duster and started dusting the books and shelves.
Just before closing, Mr. Somers asked Thomas to come over and sit down on the stool by him. “Thomas, you did a fine job today.”
“Tank you,” was Thomas’ simple reply.
“How did you know exactly what to do today?” Mr. Somers’ curiosity had gotten the better of him.
“The Lorwd showed me,” said Thomas.
“Who?” asked Mr. Somers.
“Jeezuz,” said Thomas, adjusting the glasses on his nose.
“Never mind. That’s enough for today. I’ll see you back here at 9 o’clock in the morning.” Mr. Somers was not going to continue this conversation.
“You don’t beweeve me. It’s otay, Missa Sumas. Jeezuz said He uses da foowish to confown da wise.” Thomas’ expression never changed as he responded to Mr. Somers obvious doubt in the existence of Jesus.
He was speechless as he sat staring at Thomas. He was raised in church and knew the Bible, but after his family was killed in a fire, he became bitter and turned his back on God or any thought of His existence. Now, here he sat, listening to a handicapped, young man quoting the very scripture his father used to explain a situation just before he died.
“Missa Sumas?” Thomas looked Mr. Somers straight in the eyes. “Jeezuz say you momma and daddy is happy wid Him. Jeezuz say He wuv you, Missa Sumas. He hurd you cwy last night and said I should come to work for you so you don’t be sad no more.”
Mr. Somers tried desperately to wrap his mind around how Thomas could know all these things. Last night was the anniversary of the fire. Feeling something wet on his face brought him back to reality.
“Don’t cwy Missa Sumas. He say evewyting is made new today.”
Mr. Somers’ heart of stone melted that day as God used this unlikely missionary to change his life.
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