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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

TITLE: Prime Seating
By Sally Hanan


The woman sat on the chair that had our friendís coat on it. Someone told her it was taken. She didnít move.

We had gone to the church two hours in advance so we could get prime seating, and this woman was helping herself to our sacrifice. My husband and his friend were up near the stage to worship, and they stayed there with others who began to sit on the floor all around them.

And then that woman shouted to her friend on the floor to come and take the seat beside herómy husband's.

I leaned over and told her the seats were taken. She snapped at me that her friend had a very bad back and she needed the seat. Her friend sat beside her. End of conversation.

How dare she!
We got here so early for those seats.
What am I going to say to my husband and his friend when they come back to sit hereóthat Iím weak and unable to keep a few seats?
OK, so her friend has a bad back, but does she?
If she has just asked me if she could use the seat for her friend, I probably would have said yes, but she took it as if she had a right to it.

I stewed for a while.

My husband never came back to his seat, and my anger lessened. I prayed for peace, I forgave her, I asked God to fill me with love for her.

At the end of the meeting, the speaker told us to turn to the person closest to us and pray for them. Wanting to conciliate, I turned to face her and ask her what she needed. She told me of her husbandís unemployment, of his car breaking down and of having no money to fix it, of her own job loss months ago and the hope of work soon, of having problems with her car that day, of her fear of losing everything. Tears avalanched down her cheeks with no signs of stopping.

I prayed for favor, for provision, for peace, for work; and with each word, the hardness I had allowed to build up against her washed away.

ďThank you so much.Ē Her face seemed softer, lighter. We both smiled.

And the Holy Spirit gave me a pat on the back because I was so righteous. . . .

No he didnít! But I'm pretty sure he smiled, too. :)

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This article has been read 655 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Phelps01/14/10
Loved the ending! The beginning left me with a few questions about the church and what was happening, but it wasn't necessary fto the story for me to know. I'm not sure about the application to topic, but great story, nonetheless.
Mona Purvis01/14/10
Made me want to read all of it as I thought about how many times something like that happened to me as my husband was the guest speaker and I tried to sit without taking "someone's seat".
Maybe, a little light on topic. But, well-written.

Dee Yoder 01/17/10
You really nailed the emotions we often have in church--not very good ones, sometimes! The ending shows what God can do with our carnal natures.
Catrina Bradley 01/18/10
Ouch. A great lesson on "judge not". The bit of humor at the end lightens the serious mood. Well done.
Colin Swann01/19/10
Lovely story of reconciliation after ill feeling. It happens all the time really - true to life and a well written piece.

Noel Mitaxa 01/19/10
I like how you've honestly described your steps through a "guilt"-edged blessing from God.
George Parler 01/26/10
Sometimes we think we can quote the book in front of us when in reality we never took the time to open the cover. When the whole story is realized I've found the taste of my foot in my mouth to be quite bitter. Good job of bringing it real. Kudos :-)