Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)
TITLE: In That Hour
By Sandra Petersen
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There it was. The scraping sound of a stone on wood. One of my students wished to speak with me.
I paused before answering. “Who is it?”
Before I could respond, the door crashed open.
“What is the meaning of this?” I sputtered, though I knew with a sinking heart what was happening.
Samuel hovered behind two police officers, peering at me.
“Is this the one they call ‘The Teacher?’”
Samuel nodded. His downcast eyes told me of his Judas-guilt.
“You did your part. Now go home,” the taller officer rasped. “Don’t get involved with the forbidden teachings again. We’ll be watching.”
A muffled sob escaped Samuel’s lips as he scurried away.
“The Lord forgives you, Samuel,” I shouted after him. The short burly officer cuffed me with his open palm.
One officer twisted my arms behind me and tightened handcuffs around my wrists. The other removed a black hood from his pants pocket and jammed it over my head.
They half-dragged me into the street. I heard a door open and I was shoved into a compartment of some kind.
In the darkness, a child whimpered. “Momma, are we going to die?”
An engine started.
“Hush, Carrie. Be brave. The Lord will strengthen us.”
With increasing sorrow, I recognized the voices of Samuel’s wife and child.
“Lord, forgive him. He did not know what he was doing,” I whispered. Samuel was a recent convert to the Lord. I had been helping him memorize entire books of the Bible.
We rode in silence for a few minutes. Then the door opened and I was yanked out onto the pavement. My fellow passengers screamed as they were removed from the vehicle.
“Take them to the holding cells. This one goes to my office.”
My shoulder bumped against a door frame and walls as I was shoved toward the room. My escort gave me a final push and I fell to my knees.
“Remove the hood.”
I gasped for fresh air as my eyes adjusted to the bright light of the office. The chief of police stood before me with crossed arms.
“So you’re ‘The Teacher.’” He smirked and spat in my face.
Silently I prayed for the words that the Scriptures promised the Holy Spirit would provide. The chief responded to a knock at the door.
A uniformed man entered and saluted.
“Did you find anything?”
The officer shook his head. “Not a single book or page.”
As his underling left the office, the chief peered at me through half-slit eyes. “Where do you keep the forbidden writings?”
I shook my head. The man paced as he awaited an answer.
The Holy Spirit began to give me words to say. “I don’t own any of the forbidden writings.”
“Then tell me how you were able to teach the man called Samuel. How do you know the cursed words?”
I paused and reflected on the years before God’s Holy Word was censored. The Lord had warned me to hide His Word in my heart. At the time, I thought it was for my personal edification. Little did I realize that the day would come when I would be trusted as a teacher.
I muttered my response. “I have a photographic memory. I memorized the entire Bible when I was still able.”
He frowned. “Well, then, how do we keep you from teaching others. If we release you, you will spread the lies of this God you profess. Maybe if we cut out your tongue. . .”
I closed my eyes and sought the Lord.
“No,” he breathed. “You would find a way to communicate.”
I glanced at him as he continued to pace. His brow was furrowed in concentration. My life depended upon this man’s command and yet I was not afraid. Several students had memorized vast portions of Scripture under my tutelage. They would teach the others upon my absence or death. The Word would continue as long as people had memories.
He stopped before me. “You know the power of life and death I possess over you, but you do not fear me. Why? Why would someone allow his life to be taken from him for the sake of an idea? I must have you explain.”
Reprieve. I thanked God for the opportunity as I began to teach the good news, knowing my Lord would give him the answer.
Mark 13:11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)
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