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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)

TITLE: A Leap of Faith
By Clyde Blakely
01/27/10


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Two men lay another on a mat outside the temple gate called Beautiful. “We’ll pick you up this evening.”

“Shalom and God bless you!” Forty years I’ve lain on a mat begging alms. I don’t remember wearing one out but how many have I soiled beyond cleaning?

“Alms, alms for the poor.” Reaching up to those entering. Invisible. They know I’m here yet most continue on as if I don’t exist.

“Alms, alms for the poor.” Hearing a coin fall beside him he looks up to give thanks but no one appears to have been the giver.

So few give with a cheerful heart. I remember one though: a widow who could only give a mite or two, but her gifts were more precious to me than much gold. I was not invisible to her. Bending down she’d look with love into my eyes and smile while slipping her gift into my palm, gently folding it into her calloused hands. The last time I saw her she was leaving the temple with the most radiant smile. She stopped and kissed me. Someone kissed me! She said, “Good-bye.” I miss her, I wonder where she is now.

“Alms, alms for the poor.”

Ah, the rich man comes with his companions. Good, alone he gives nothing. Be careful to look grateful when he gives his coin with his chest fully puffed.

“Here. May you use this wisely and not be wasteful.” A coin’s flipped through the air as the man stands tall and straight glancing towards his friends.

“Thank you so much, master, I promise to use your generous gift wisely.” I hope he doesn’t trip with his nose so high in the air but I am grateful.

“Alms, alms for the poor.”

One gets to know people’s heart lying here, day after day, year after year, as they enter the temple.

“Alms, alms for the poor.”

Oh, my dear friend approaches. I remember the day Jesus saw him by the pool of Siloam and asked him what he wanted. No one would help him in when the angel troubled the waters. I was lying right here when he came to the temple running and leaping. If only I could…leap!

“Shalom,” sitting beside the beggar.

“Shalom. It’s good to see you again.”

“You look troubled, my friend.”

“We’ve talked before, many times, yet my heart tells me Jesus didn’t heal me because it’s unclean.”

“You know as well as I do Jesus saw my unclean heart too. How many others still lay by that pool and the infirm beg at the temple gates? He alone knows why He healed some and not all.”

“I know, it just that…”

“I understand how you feel but I don’t have the answer. I do know God loves you and has a purpose in His divine plan. I’ve seen how you’ve enriched others’ lives through your love of God. Remember how you used to lay here all night or crawl for shelter in the rain before your friends started taking care of you? They’ve blessed you and you’ve blessed them. You are a blessing to me, too.” Pensive, he bows his head and turns away, “At times, I feel guilty for having been picked out to be healed…”

The beggar hugs his friend, tears mingle, thoughts swirl.

Rising and nodding to the beggar, “You are a true friend and thank you. I’ll talk to you again.”

“May God continue to make you a blessing.”

Pondering the conversation as he habitually says, “Alms, alms for the poor.”

He recognizes two men approaching, A couple of Jesus’ disciples. He often passed by, looked at me and said, “Give him his desire.” The disciples would look at the one who carried the money bag. As if that bag contained what I desired! He did give, but more and more sparingly. I heard he killed himself the night Jesus was arrested. Was he a thief?

Perhaps Jesus left some treasure these are willing to share.


“Alms, alms for the poor.”

The disciples stop, looking fast upon the beggar, one says, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give to thee: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk,” he takes the beggar’s hand.

“Huh?”

*****

Disciple’s quote from Acts 3:6 (KJV)


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This article has been read 412 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer 01/30/10
I like how you have woven several stories together. You brought the Bible to life with this story. Strong story-telling.
David F. Palmieri Sr. 01/30/10
How many of us would respond with, "Huh?" if the Lord healed us. He is able and willing if we had the faith to believe...Great story...many biblical issues included in such a short story. Keep on reading the Word and writing about it...we all need to be constantly reminded...
Noel Mitaxa 02/01/10
Good, natural flow that energises much of the life of the bible narrative/ It also captures the perplexity that must have gripped many who saw Jesus' ministry unfold. However I feel that jumping back to KJV terms reduced the impact that a modern translation - or a paraphrase like 'The Message' may have provided.
Adetokunbo Oluwasanjo02/01/10
Gosh! That was a perfect ending! I loved it! It's a beautiful revelation of how real biblical characters were and how true the walk of faith can be for us today too! Really good,THREE THUMBS UP!!!
Beth LaBuff 02/02/10
My favorite part of this: The rich man only gave when his friends were watching. Perfect characterization. Very nice work on this.