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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: The Same Two Words
By Kellie Henningsen
08/24/11


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Two words. That’s it? Could she not conjure up a little more? My weekly moms’ group turned therapy sessions had stalemated. While I poured out my soul, I always received the same advice in return. Two measly words.

This week was no different. Wendy popped a couple almonds in her mouth and sat back to listen to my latest diatribe on church hunting. When I finished, she gave me her weekly wisdom, “Trust God.” Ugh. She made it sound simple but for me, the answer was a bit more muddled. Trudging my offspring to one church after another was growing old.

The first church we tried screamed wealth on the outside and the inside continued the look beautifully. Flat screen TV’s lined the foyer, plush carpeting covered the floors, and fancy furniture decorated the rooms. And there were people. Lots and lots of people. Too many people to be exact. After a few months of being lost in the crowd, we had to move on.

I gave Wendy my update and she simply smiled and said, “Trust God.” I thought it only wise to remind her my husband was laid up due to a back injury leaving me on my own with this task. But it didn’t matter; she munched her almonds and held to her advice.

The next week I filed my three children into the next church on the list. The music leader looked like he just fell out of a dumpster, the screens in front of the sanctuary were two stories high, and there were little ladies waving banners to the rhythm of the music. The usher seated us in the very front where we nervously assessed the situation. When people started dancing in the aisles, my son leaned forward and nodded his head ever so subtly. Another church bit the dust.

Next moms’ club, Wendy held her ground. “Trust God. It’s going to be alright.” The almonds close at hand.

Realizing not attending church was not an option; I pressed forward. Next on the list was a church located in a hotel. The ear plugs handed out on the way in sent the first red flag waving. Music blared like a rock concert, strobe lighting streamed over the crowd, and the pastor came out in beat up jeans. The sermon hit me right where it mattered though and I thought I could overlook a few flags. However, too many soon flew and I had to check yet another church off the list.

I flopped in a chair and looked at Wendy, tears in my eyes. “Will we ever find a new home?” I lamented.

She passed the almonds and said…you guessed it, “Trust God.”

Exhausted from our travels, I decided to take a week off from toting my kids around. After all, my youngest now asked where the welcome bags were at each new church and my cupboard was burgeoning with a new stack of mugs.

The following week, the search continued. The outcome proved dismal. The almonds were eaten and the same comment made.

A new acquaintance suggested the next church. This must be it! The timing was perfect. Surely God was moving. I showed up, filed my children in, and prepared to be blessed. The service dragged well into the second hour while the pastor mopped his brow with paper towels supplied by his wife. The longer he preached, the more towels she passed. I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it and my kids weren’t sure if they were either. We dashed out of yet another house of worship.

“Wendy, it’s been seven months. I’m tired. My kids are tired. I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”

“Trust God,” she said. “Almond?” I snatched the bag and chucked the remainder in my mouth. Chewing uncomfortably, I stormed out of the room.

Next on the list was a little church in a far off town. Knowing options were quickly fading, we set out once again. When we stepped inside, a sense of peace made its unexpected appearance creeping up through my feet. When the music started, it crept higher. And when the pastor preached, I knew I was home.

The next week armed with a bag of almonds, I walked up to Wendy and tossed them on the table.

“Thanks!” she reached for the bag with a curious expression on her face.

“No, thank you.”


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This article has been read 653 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Penhorwood 08/25/11
I've been in that "church hunting" mode before and it is not fun. You did well telling the tale and I saw the subtle humor and exasperation in the almond mom.
Colin Swann08/26/11
This is a well written story - thoroughly enjoyable. It's so important when we have to move church: to trust God!
Sarah Elisabeth 08/26/11
I was one of those kids! lol, loved the reoccurring themes of Trust God and the almonds. Great characterizations, masterfully done.
Laury Hubrich 08/26/11
You did a nice job recounting many people's search for a church home. :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/27/11
Really well done adventure of finding the right church!
Noel Mitaxa 08/29/11
From a pastoral standpoint, it's good to see what visitors are thinking. I love the humour that's hiding in the wisdom here; and the picture of the pastor's wife dispensing the absorption reminded me of that old hymn "Towel me the old old story." Well-written.
CD Swanson 08/30/11
I was going through a similar experience last year! I said the same thing to my husband when the Praise and Worship team came out "Peace and when our Pastor spoke I knew we were home." Amen.

Great story depicting the fervent search for God's word, and His house of worship. God Bless~
Linda Goergen08/31/11
A well written, entertaining read of the frustration of seeking a church home. I think this stirred feelings that many of us have felt when making that search ourselves. Great visuals, Great job!
Benjamin Graber09/01/11
Congratulations on first place! This was very well written, and an excellent reminder to trust in God.
Jennifer Suchey09/01/11
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Nice story. I liked the ending the best. I think I like Wendy and her almonds. ;)
Lillian Rhoades 09/01/11
There's humor here, but mixed with a bit of pathos. Finding a church in a "far off town" is a commentary of our times. Thank you for highlighting a serious topic in a humorous way. Well written, easy reading. Congratulations!
Glynis Becker 09/01/11
Fantastic! Well-deserved win!
Sarah Elisabeth 09/02/11
Super congrats, Kellie!
CD Swanson 09/02/11
Congratulations and God Bless you~
Jami Staples09/08/11
Oooo girl - what a fantastic rendition of my life's story in church hunting! Thank you for articulating a sad, albeit common, phenomenon in The Corporate Church. Your writing is excellent. The imagery is perfect and the almonds...absolutely MAKES the story! I have friends like that...annoyingly accurate. Thank you Jesus I have friends like that! Well done and congratulations, Kellie!