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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: The Envelope
By David Story


Pastor Michael Scott slipped into his office on a Sunday morning between services. He immediately locked the door from the inside and walked over to his desk.

He sat in his chair and tried to relax but relaxation wouldn’t come. Finally, he folded his arms on the top of his desk and rested his head.

Tears began to well up inside as he sat alone. He was tired. Exhausted. He lifted his eyes toward heaven and whispered a prayer.

“I don’t think I can go on,” was all he said.

A plain white envelope slid under the door.

He stared at it.

He couldn’t remember hearing any sounds outside the door when the envelope appeared. He walked over to it and bent down to pick it up. It was of regular size, white, with no writing on it. He turned it over and over as he contemplated what he’d find on the inside.

Still. He didn’t open it.

He carried it over to his desk and sat back down.

He opened the envelope to find one piece of folded paper inside. He slowly unfolded it. There were two headings at the top of the page with single columns under each one. The first heading had the word Name, and the second heading was the word Date.

Mike looked at the first name listed.

Susan McDaniel.

The name sounded familiar.

He looked at the date on the column next to her name.

August 12, 1978.

He remembered. She was the daughter of one of the members at a church he used to pastor.

He looked at the second name.

John Seaver.

Mike could see John’s face in his mind’s eye. He looked at the date next to John’s name.

November 17, 1978.

He tried to tie in the significance of the dates with the two names but failed to do so. His eyes continued down the page of names. They were all from his past. Some he remembered well, others just barely.

He stopped for a moment and thought about what he was looking at. He wondered where the envelope came from. He wondered who might have slipped it under the door.

He folded the paper and started to put it back in the envelope when he suddenly felt another piece of paper under it. This one too had names and dates on it. He stared in disbelief. They also were people he recognized, some more than others, but all recognizable.

Then there was a third page behind the second. And then a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth.

Page after page appeared, all with names and dates of people from Mike’s past.

Overwhelmed, he set the stack of papers down on his desk and leaned back in his chair.

“What does this all mean, Lord?” he asked aloud. “What does this all mean?”

His eyes landed on the envelope still resting on his desk. Mike noticed that something was different, that something had changed. The envelope was bordered with the colors of purple and gold. A ribbon was tied around the top right corner of the envelope.

He reached over and picked it up and when he did, a sweet aroma filled the air. He put the envelope to his nostrils and closed his eyes. With a deep satisfying breath he suddenly found himself in a far away place. A wonderful place filled with joy and happiness, grace and mercy. Love.

He opened his eyes and found himself back in his office, the envelope still in his hands. He breathed in the scent one last time and then slowly placed it on his desk next to the pages of names and dates.

He watched as words began to appear on the front of the envelope. He leaned over and stared as the words came into view.

Mike Scott

Servant for the Kingdom

And he began to understand.

And he began to cry.

And he decided the he could indeed…go on.

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This article has been read 790 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 03/19/09
A lot of us could use an envelope under the door when we pass through these dark moments. Well done and a great lesson.
Ruth Hayes03/19/09
If you are ever the recipient of a divine envelope with the names of individuals you have touched, my name would be there with today's date. Thanks for the encouragement to keep on keeping on.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/20/09
I liked very much the creative idea in your story and was reminded that God takes notice of any "cup of water in His name."
Joanne Sher 03/21/09
Such a tender, beautiful story with a wonderful blessing of hope. I have definitely been blessed.
Mona Purvis03/24/09
This story shows how tired and used up so many of our pastors are. Often with very little appreciation shown. I read it and then stopped to pray for my pastor. Thank you so much for this.
You kept my interest with your writing.
Jan Ackerson 03/24/09
What a wonderful story idea, and what a wonderful story! I loved the suspense and the superb kicker.
Sheri Gordon03/24/09
Wouldn't it be nice to have one of these reminders? Good writing, and great message.
Bryan Ridenour03/24/09
I love the fact that God sends us encouragement when we need it most. Well written! Nice job!
Teresa Lee Rainey03/24/09
Our pastors certainly often need encouraged. I felt for your mc and related him easily to pastors I've known. Very interesting take on this weeks topic.
Gerald Shuler 03/24/09
Your daughter's clue is incredibly inspired. I had it in mind as I read each word of you touching story. You are both to be commended... may your own lives be sealed with the same kiss as was this envelope.
Karlene Jacobsen03/24/09
So often I find myself in the same place as this man. You have touched my heart with a beautiful reminder of who I am, "servant of the Kingdom." Thank you.
Carol Slider 03/24/09
I remember a song we used to sing in church when I was a child: "Will there be any stars in my crown?" The "stars" referred, of course, to people we had led to Christ. How wonderful to be given a glimpse of that ahead of time, just when the encouragement was needed! Well done.
Sharon Kane03/25/09
A very uplifting story for tired servants. So often the problems fill our vision and eclipse the fruit which should lead us to be thankful and joyful. Thank you for helping restore the balance.