Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: The Blue-eyed Soul Brother's Lost Soul
By Kristen Hester
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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.
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.
“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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