Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hacker or Virus (computer) (12/15/11)
TITLE: "VIRUS ALERT!"
By Fiona Stevenson
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Bobby John reached for the mouse....
“Ah – TISH –oo!”
His mother rushed a tissue box to the computer console. He grabbed a handful of tissues not quite in time to stem a second titanic sneeze. Holding a wad of tissues to his face, he reached for the mouse again and clicked: “Attempt to repair this file.”
Panzee ran to her bookshelf for her well-thumbed “Medic Alert,” friend through fifteen years of bringing up a family on her own. He husband had departed this life while Bobby John was a toddler. The older children were off her hands but Bobby John was more worry than all of them together.
Riffling through the pages she sought information to augment her panicked memory. ‘There is no cure for the common cold.’ The words repeated themselves while she searched – ah, here we are. Her eyes scattered the words, picking up phrases. ‘An acute infectious virus condition.’ ‘Treat the symptoms ...’
She was interrupted by yet another gigantic sneeze followed by a string of imprecations and “Mother!”
Cringing, Panzee replaced the book and returned to her son. She knew what she wanted to do – she wanted to place her hands on her son’s head, rebuke the virus in Jesus’ name, and thank God for his healing. But Bobby John did not believe in God. He would not allow her to use her mumbo-jumbo on him.
“Well, don’t just stand there, Mother. Can’t you DO something?”
Panzee looked at the screen. The words enlarged in her sight with shocking clarity. “The file has been deleted because it could not be repaired.” (No! No, Lord, not Bobby!) Verses from the Epistle to the Romans followed those on the screen through her mind-screen: “For all have sinned ...” and “The wages of sin is death ...”
She took a deep breath as she looked into Bobby John’s watering eyes and ignored the twisted mouth.
“No, son, I can do nothing more. I have loved you, provided for you and prayed for you, but you have rejected my love and my prayers just as you have rejected my God. The Scripture says that the Spirit of God will not always strive with man. It also says that the wages of sin is death. Look at your screen.”
She turned and walked away. Her mother-heart mourned.
Bobby John slammed out of the house.
* * *
The night was windy. Panzee waited up, soaking herself in coffee and the Scripture. Frequently she reminded herself that God has all things in His control; that she had many times made her position clear to Bobby John; and that her function now was to wait and trust. Frequently she pushed aside the “What if’s?” and the pictures of her son in one of a hundred tragic circumstances, reminding herself that these were the machinations of the Evil One, designed to destroy her trust and her peace.
Thunder growled, followed by flashing lightning. She thought of Bobby John’s computer, and wondered if he had turned it off. In storm conditions he preferred to disconnect it from the electrical system. She hurried to make sure it was safely dealt with.
Bobby John had simply abandoned the computer in his rage. His mother cleared the program and shut it down. While doing this she was reminded of a problem Bobby John had encountered some two or three weeks back. His computer had been hacked: files were lost and one or two programs refused to function. It was an expensive repair. She wondered if the current virus was perhaps a legacy of the hacker.
Returning to her chair, her coffee and her Bible she was again reminded of how closely allied were the plans of a hacker and the plans of the Evil One. In both cases their aim seemed to be the same: to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Once more she prayed for her son, surrendering her mind to the mind of Christ; her love to the greater love of the Risen Lord.
She heard the door open and rose from her knees. She was strengthened, ready to continue loving, caring, praying, and living her witness to the presence of her God and Savior.
“Mum?” Bobby John’s voice was hesitant. “I’m sorry, Mum. Will you forgive me? Please?”
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