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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)

TITLE: The Blue-eyed Soul Brother's Lost Soul
By Kristen Hester


Travis looked both ways down the dorm hallway. His roommate, Ben, was no where in sight. Travis shut the door and locked it. He’d been waiting on this chance since last Wednesday night. Satisfied that he was alone and would be for a while, Travis looked under Ben’s bed for the Bible Travis knew he kept there.

He felt a little guilty taking his friend’s Bible without asking, but he didn’t think he’d mind if he just looked at it. After all, Ben was the one who’d shown it to him, telling him he needed to “get saved”, whatever that meant.

Travis recalled what Ben had said that night. “Travis, if you died tonight, do you know where you’d spend eternity?”

The question seemed to come from nowhere and it took Travis by surprise. He looked at his roommate sitting on the edge of his bed with a Bible on his lap. Suddenly, Travis remembered the message on their answering machine reminding Ben of the evangelism conference on Wednesday night. It was Wednesday night and Ben had just returned from somewhere. A name tag was stuck to his polo shirt, which was tucked into his creased khaki pants. He just returned from an evangelism conference and now he’s going to practice what he learned on me.

Travis tried to hide his grin. “I’m hoping Heaven,” he answered, figuring there was a catch to the question. The topic might have made some uncomfortable, but Travis was enlightened enough to enjoy a philosophical discussion. Actually, he’d been wondering when his roommate would talk to him about his religion, since he’d already noticed Ben attended church every Sunday. Travis didn’t know many college students who went to church when their parents weren’t around to make them. He leaned back on his dorm bed and settled in for an interesting discussion.

Ben broke into a well prepared spiel about Heaven and Hell and sin and forgiveness. He wasn’t Billy Graham, but Travis was impressed with his knowledge. Ben invited Travis to say a “sinner’s prayer.” Travis admired his friend’s courage to talk about such private matters; but he wasn’t ready to say a prayer, especially one for sinners.

“Dude, thanks for sharing. I’ll think about what you told me,” Travis said, though he had no intention of actually doing it. He was just being polite. However, during the next few days Travis could think of little else.

What Travis really wanted was a chance to read he Bible alone, but it was challenging to find the time. Travis was attending college on a track scholarship and studying and track practice seemed to take up most of the hours in his day. He was thankful when he finally found time alone to look through Ben’s Bible. He read for over an hour, jotting down the things he wanted to discuss with Ben when he got the chance.

The next day when Travis returned to the dorm room after track practice, he was sweaty and smelly but glad to see Ben was there.

“How was track practice?”

“Hot.” Travis was contemplating how to bring up what was on his mind when Ben broke the silence.

“Are you the only white guy on the track team?”

“Just about.” In high school, Travis was the only caucasian on his championship relay team and had affectionately earned the nickname “blue-eyed soul brother” from his team mates. Now as a college athlete he was again a minority, but felt as comfortable with his friends that were a different color as those whose skin matched his. In fact, he hardly thought about it.

“Sorry, dude.”

Travis was puzzled. “What do you mean?”

“Well, being on the track team with all those—” Ben finished with a word that caused Travis to wince. “Man, you’re with them all the time...at practice, on the bus. You’re surrounded.”

Travis was shocked. “I thought you were a Christian.”

Now it was Ben’s turn to be puzzled. “I am.”

“You’re a racist.” Travis didn’t have any tolerance for racism.

“Not really.”

“Yea you are. What does your Bible say about that?”

Ben seemed to realize he’d made a mistake. “God will forgive me,.” was Ben’s weak response.

Travis put his earphones on and turned the volume up on his iPod. He didn’t have any questions for Ben about Christianity. He’s heard enough to know he wasn’t interested.


Author’s Note: This is dedicated to my husband, “the blue-eyed soul brother”, who accepted Christ two years later when someone whose “walk” matched their “talk” witnessed to him.

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Member Comments
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Verna Cole Mitchell 11/08/07
This story is such a good reminder that we're to live our Christian lives with the real love of God for everyone.
Pam Carlson-Hetland11/08/07
This is such an excellent story - it really hits home. I liked the "soul brother's" interest, it was there all just waiting for the right witness to come along. The other striking part is how quickly we Christians can mess up an opportunity. But as shown in the notes, God always has a back-up plan. So very well written, right amount of conversation. The character's personalities really came through in this piece. Great writing!
Lynda Schultz 11/08/07
Sad, but too often true. Well done.
LauraLee Shaw11/09/07
I like the structure you chose with this story. It was very effective, because in the beginning I was identifying with Ben--proud to associate myself with him. By the end, though, I wanted to separate myself from him, yet left with the looming question: Do I walk my talk?

Incredible job writing an everyday story with a twist of powerful conviction in the end.
william price11/12/07
Very good. A little slow to develope, but once your ministry line was unleashed it delivered a powerful punch. Extremely effective. God bless.
Oh yes, I really liked the title :)
Jan Ross11/12/07
Aha! Great way to convey to the reader how important it is to do more than talk the talk. Well done! :)
Betty Castleberry11/13/07
Yes! We have to be good examples. Thanks for this powerful reminder. Well done.
Beth LaBuff 11/13/07
This has a great message! It's well-written and I love your title!
Jan Ackerson 11/13/07
Yikes! You really "got" me with the twist--I was totally not expecting something like that! Excellent writing! Thanks for the author's note, that really seals it well.
Laury Hubrich 11/13/07
This is a very well-written story but also very sad. It only takes one person to taint the truth. I'm so glad your husband finally found someone he could relate to. I'm sure you're very glad, too:) Great story, very unexpected ending.
Patty Wysong11/13/07
Yup. Showing is better and stronger than telling!! This one packed a punch--and that's good. Hugs!
Dee Yoder 11/13/07
Great story, but so sad for the "first" Christian. Boy, we have to be sure we match the message of Jesus. I like the footnote, too.
Karen Wilber11/14/07
What a twist! Thanks for putting in the author's note at the end. Good, jolting reminder about actions matching words.
Peter Stone11/14/07
Great story, that twist took me by surprise. Really was not expecting the guy doing the witnessing to be racist. So important to practice what we preach.
Beckie Stewart11/14/07
This really struck a note for me. The last year our church has gone through an awful time with those claiming they love Jesus and are praying, and yet Jesus is impossible to see in them in their slanderous and cruel words and actions.
c clemons11/15/07
The title drew me in, the writing was a little stiff, the proper names were repeated to often. The content was good. The footnote was the highlight of the whole story, gave the message the punch it needed.
Sandra Corona11/17/07
Unfortunately, too many are like your husbands' roommate. They 'talk the talk' but their lives are not Christ-inspired.

A truthful, inspired story that is well-written!