Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)
TITLE: Max's Mission
By Melanie Kerr
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Maxwell Clunes. Thatís my name. Itís not my real name. Itís just my pretend name, for the duration of the mission. What can I tell you about Max? I work in a supermarket filling shelves. It doesnít sound very exciting, does it? I am not married. Thatís a shame. It would have been nice to have had a pretend wife, and a pretend baby and a pretend pet dog.
My mission is to infiltrate Sun Street Trinity Church and ďascertain the quality of the spiritual connectionĒ. That means the management want to know if itís a real church or not. On the outside it looks real. Itís got a notice board, a snazzy poster and a big cardboard cut-out thermometer Ė thatís something to do with raising funds for the repair of the church organ. Trinity has a sizable congregation and they support a missionary couple in Cambodia.
I get to go to church on Sunday and to a house-group mid-week meeting. I have been issued with a Bible, and I have been trained to sing hymns and choruses. I have to admit that I like ďAmazing GraceĒ. I think itís theologically sound and has a lovely tune.
You are going to love this gadget! You peel off the bit of paper from the back and then you stick it onto something Ė a wall maybe, or underneath the pew youíre sitting on. See the digital display? This is so cool. Depending on the quality of the spiritual connection it turns a certain colour. See, if I switch it on now, and wait a bitÖbrilliant white! If it was to show brilliant white at Trinity that would prove that it is a real church. You only get brilliant white if there is a strong connection. You donít get many brilliant whites. Yellows, reds and oranges Ė they are not bad. Blues, greens and purples are a bit dodgy. The shades you donít want to see are the greys and the blacks. There are quite a few grey churches out there. Even the ones with musical directors and ministry teams! Just because it looks like a church, and acts like a church, doesnít mean it is a church!
I have this form to fill in too! I have to see if anyone talks to me. That box there is for the number of conversations I have. We did a bit of role play about conversations. Itís very complicated. Do you realise that just because people are talking to one another it doesnít mean that they are really talking to one another? Just because they ask you how you are it doesnít mean that they really want to know. Itís all in the eyes. You have to watch what their eyes are saying, not what their mouths are doing!
That box is for the number of handshakes I get. Youíre not looking for a high number here. Iíve seen the statistics on this one. The handshake is sometimes a substitute for real fellowship according to our experts. Hugs are only slightly better. They get recorded in this box here.
You get to tick this box here if you get invited to someoneís home for lunch! I donít normally eat physical food, but I have done the simulation. I know all about knives and forks and what to do with a napkin. I have to hope itís not a Chinese couple that invites me as I wouldnít know what to do with chopsticks.
Aside from all of that, you know what I am really looking forward to? I just want to see if I can see heaven from earth. As I stand, or sit, shoulder to shoulder with a human being, in Trinity Church, will I be able to see heaven?
I have been taught that worship on earth is supposed to be just like it is in heaven! Trouble is churches donít seem to realise that! Itís all a bit of an act sometimes. They play at being church, but underneath the pretence itís not real.
I should know what real looks like! After all I am angel.
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