When I saw the special vehicle pull up in front of the house across the street I called Millie to get over here fast. She’s my pal who lives next door. I told her I was pretty sure the Goody family was about to win a gazillion dollars, a car, a house, or maybe several tons of gold. She still had the phone to her ear when she burst in the back door.
“What’s happening now, Syl?”
I was trying to comb my hair and put on a dab of make-up in case the cameras should be aimed in my direction.
“It’s the prize wagon, Mill. You know…that sweepstakes delivery thing we see on commercials. Look at the balloons and all the suits.”
I grabbed Millie’s arm and dragged her outside with me. Others on the street had gathered to watch the excitement. One of the officials carried an armload of flowers, one held at least ten balloons; one had legal looking papers in his hand. Someone rang the bell…twice. People kept shushing each other in surprise party fashion.
The door opened, but only a little way. I found it strange that Mr. Goody didn’t seem a bit fazed by the growing crowd.
“Yes?” He inquired, with all the solemn comportment of an English butler.
The head suit stepped forward.
“Mr. Albert Goody?”
“Sir, we are here to make you one outstandingly rich man. You are the grand prize winner of $50,000,000. That’s million spelled with a double L in the middle.”
That was the signal for loud marching-band music to boom from the speakers on top of the big SUV.
Mr. Goody opened the door wider and we could see his quiet little wife standing by his side. The amazing thing is, they didn’t seem to grasp the situation at all. In fact, I never saw two more passive, uninterested faces. The spokesperson said something into his cell phone and the blasting celebratory song ceased.
Millie and I had wiggled our way to the front of the spectators like nosy inch worms. We didn’t want to miss one iota of this dazzling spectacle. If someone screamed or fainted or had a heart attack, we wanted to have first dibs on the re-telling of it. I positioned my camera right along with all the ones from the daily newspaper and the local television station.
The bearer of glad tidings seemed flustered when the Goodys didn’t so much as blink at their impending fortune, or at the masses who trampled their perky geraniums.
“Uh…Mr. Goody, do you understand what’s going on, Sir? We’re here to make your fondest dreams come true, to give you more money than you can imagine, to ensure your well-being for the rest of your lives.”
Albert looked down at his missus and said, quite conversationally, “That must be the contest entry our grandson got out of the mailbox and said he sent in for us.”
She just shook her bewildered head ever so slightly as if to dismiss the whole thing.
By then, a hush had fallen over the expectant assembly. Something wasn’t tracking exactly right here. The recipient of this stunning prize seemed impervious to incredible wealth landing on his front porch. What he said next caused a gasp that was probably heard round the world.
“No, thank you.”
As he prepared to close the door, and the conversation, the sweepstakes messenger raised his hand to stop the abrupt dismissal. His face was crimson and his lips quivery.
Mr. Goody spoke slowly, as if politely dismissing a school kid selling cookies door-to-door.
“I’m sure you are all nice, well-meaning people. We’re very sorry, but Mrs. Goody and I have our small pensions and a serviceable old automobile. We clip coupons and shop on bargain days. Why do we need any more than that?”
Mr. Contest-Man tried to protest. “But…but…”
By then the door had shut. A murmuring disbelief swooshed through the crowd. The perplexed prize crew climbed back in the shiny vehicle. I could see lots of head shaking and hand waving.
Later, relaxing in my porch swing and rehashing the unbelievable events, Millie lamented, once more, “Why in this world would ANYONE turn down a never-have-to worry-again, awesome and secure future when it’s offered to them on a silver platter, and at no cost?”
Hmmm…seems like I had heard Pastor Paul say that exact thing last week about something else exceptional. Hopefully, I’d remember... later.
2 Corinthians 9:12-15 (NKJV)
For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
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