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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)

TITLE: Into the Fire
By Steven Beres


I was thirteen at the time, and privileged to spend a couple of weeks that summer with my favorite aunt and uncle. He was every boy's ideal hero, by day and engineer who worked on the rocket engines that would lift us into space, and by night a builder of custom hot rods. He was also a devout Christian and my mentor in matters of God.

To say I idolized him would be to miss the point; if he had known I would have received a gentle lecture on the One to whom I owed my devotion, Our Lord, Jesus. He was kind and gentle and quick to smile, self-effacing and a perfect example of a man living for Christ.

One weekend night I was allowed to stay up late as my uncle fitted the hood to his latest custom creation. Blessed by God with a brilliant mind and hands that could build anything his brain designed, I watched in awe as he patiently fitted, adjusted and refitted the hood, looking for the perfection he demanded of himself. An hour of this work brought me the shock of my life.

With a cry of rage, my uncle suddenly ripped the hood from the car with his bare hands and within a minute reduced it to a crumpled ball of metal with a two-pound sledgehammer! I was stunned and couldn't move, or even breathe. He stood over the mangled metal like a mighty Vulcan with his hammer. Then it slipped from his fingers as wracking sobs shook his body. He fell to his knees crying and beseeching God to forgive his sin and gradually his anger, almost palpable in the garage, slipped away, and he again became the uncle I knew. He stood and hugged me, asking my forgiveness, too.

I learned more about anger and God in that few minutes than a hundred lectures could have taught. I learned that we are all human and no one of us is perfect and despite our best efforts we will sin! But I also learned that as quick as we are to sin, God is that quick to forgive a contrite heart.

That happened forty-five years ago, but it is as fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday. Especially when I must ask God for my own forgiveness. After all, I had the perfect example.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 01/31/05
You offer a great lesson in God's mercy toward human weakness. I will say there were a few sentences I had to re-read - it took me a minute to make sense of them (but maybe it's just me on a Monday morning).
Thanks for posting.
Blessings, Lynda
Deborah Anderson01/31/05
Good job. Packed a punch in few words. God bless you.
Linda Germain 02/02/05
"After all, I had the perfect example" is the perfect ending to a very appropriate story! One or two teensy stumbling places (typos?) did not distract from a powerful story that kept my attention. Certainly fits the theme.
Joanne Malley02/03/05
A nice article full of truth. Enjoyed! Joanne
Deborah Porter 02/07/05
Steven, Congratulations on receiving a Highly Commended Award for the Level 3 Champion Challenge, together with your excellent 8th Place win for the Editors' Choice. We had a huge field of entries for this particular topic - the biggest ever - so to place in the top 8 is really a great credit to you. Well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Co-ordinator)
Karen Deikun05/26/05
Was just reading through some of the past entries and reread this one. I remember how it touched me at the time. It was a terrific article. The rereading evoked the same sense of admiration for this man. What a great story!