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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: There's a Preacher in Every Robber
By Amy Michelle Wiley


“Git yer hands in the air!”

It’s odd how the moments in life I should be most scared and paralyzed, are the moments I notice the most minute of details, like how the robber’s hands tremble even more than the lady sitting next to me, and how his eyes have a desperate, cornered look.

“You don’t belong here, son.” It’s the oldest trick in the book, but I play it with confidence. “This isn’t the line of work for you.”

He sneers and thrusts his bag in front of me. “Put yer wallet in here or I’ll show ya what kinda work I do best.” He waves his gun and the other folks in the train gasp. Perhaps I’m the only one who sees the terror he tries so hard to hide.

I wonder at the secrets that lie in his past. “What drove you to feel you need to find power this way, lad?”

“What are you, some kinda preacher?” He makes the mistake of looking into my eyes. I catch them and hold them.

“I’m not a preacher. You will be someday, though.”

“Are you crazy!” His voice rises. He struggles to look away. “Look at me! Jest look! I ain’t no preacher.” As though to prove his point, he stomps across the aisle and shoves a man against the wall, demanding his watch. I notice he’s picked a pale, bespeckled gentleman.

“You ever heard of a man named Saul?”

He glances at me, seemingly involuntarily. He doesn’t speak, just thrusts his bag at the next person.

I take it as an invitation to tell the story. “He was a bad man. Worse than you. He didn’t just steal things--he stole people. Killed them. Even woman and children.”

He makes the mistake of letting me catch his eye, again.

“But God had plans for him, just like He’s got for you. God called to him, a voice from heaven. Know what He said?”

“I don’t care!” The young robber’s voice comes too fast, his eyes wide. I can hear him breathing even from where I sit.

“Why do you persecute Me?”

The boy jumps.

“That’s what God said. ‘Cause everything we do, we do unto God. But God had forgiveness even for Saul. Even for you, son. The worst we can do is forgiven through the death of Jesus, God’s son.”

“Just leave me alone.” He drops the bag. Maybe he even threw it.

“I reckon God won’t do that. He loves you too much.”

“Just stop. I won’t take this. I’m leavin’ here!” He doesn’t look at us. Doesn’t look as he rushes out the train door, almost missing the steps in his rush.

“You can leave.” My voice doesn’t reach him, I know. But I speak anyway. “But He’ll find you. He’s got plans for you, boy. You’ll be a great pastor someday. I just know it.”

Acts 9:4b

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 12/09/06
Wow - what a unique perspective! Such words of wisdom - and such a fascinating reaction. I love the interaction between your two main characers.
Sharon Singley12/10/06
Great example of how a timely word well spoken can make the difference...a wonderful reminder of how we are to act in the Name of Christ.
Cheri Hardaway 12/11/06
I agree with the comments of the others. Very nice job, engaging. Blessings, Cheri
Debbie OConnor12/11/06
This is great. Intense, action-packed, detailed...I love the speaker's calm in the midst of the robbery and the robber's response. The speaker's ability to see past what was into what could be was beautiful.
Sandra Petersen 12/11/06
I'd love to read the sequel to the would-be robber's story but somehow I know you're going be a little busy to write it.

This was great, from the dialogue (especially) to the things you selected to 'show' us the young robber's fear. I kept thinking somehow your MC was going to turn out to be an angel incognito. Suspenseful, kept me reading.
Betty Castleberry12/11/06
I think this is a good example of how we often run from God, although for most of us, it might not be this cut and dry. I like the action. Good job with this easy read.
Stephen Paynter12/11/06
A really fresh take on Pastor!!! And a fun read. I couldn't help feeling the story was a little bit too good to be true ... not that you didn't describe the robber's response realistically. Perhaps if we'd gained more insight into what had driven him to such a pass, or what made him susceptable to such a bold approach ... then again, that wasn't really possible from the point of view of which the story was written. Hmmm, what am I trying to say? I know ... great job!!! :-) (Sorry about rambling)
Donna Powers 12/11/06
I'd love to know more about the man who spoke to the robber, but I loved the story anyway. I know that boy was convicted beyond comfort and I am sure the Lord had His hand on him. Thanks for sharing this.
Catrina Bradley 12/13/06
I didn't find the setting confusing, but did think the outcome maybe a little too good to be true. I was waiting for this brave man to get shot. But the power and way of the Lord is unknowable, and with Him all things are possible. Very well written, enjoyable read, and left me wanting to know more, and to be more like your MC.