Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)
TITLE: Cracks in The Coating
By Sherry Hoffcastel
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Bill tiptoed in behind her. “Rough day, hon?”
“You could say that.” She tucked her hair behind her ears and filled a glass with her favorite iced tea.
“Wanna talk about it?”
“I just have one question. What gives people the right to judge me? Do I have a sign on my forehead that says, ‘Open Target’?”
“That was two questions, actually.”
Krista glared at her husband.
“Sorry. What happened?”
“I got the most scathing email today. I’ve never been so insulted!”
“What did it say?”
“You know how hard I’ve been working on John and Allie’s home restoration project, right?”
“Yes, of course. You’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately. I was actually starting to worry about you. I’m sure John and Allie are thankful for all that you’re doing.”
“I’m sure they are too but that’s not what this is about. I have poured my heart and soul into making sure they get what they need. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose everything you own in a fire…”
“Apparently this woman whom I have never even met really disapproves of my website.”
“What did she say?”
“She told me that I have no right to take advantage of the church this way and that I should be ashamed of myself. She said it’s people like me that make the church look bad. She actually accused me of running a scam!”
“Bill, she was vicious! I know I listed a lot of items but I had no idea how it would look to everyone else. Of course nobody needs a baby grand piano but Allie is a musician! I was only trying to help them recover what they lost!”
“You know what I think? It sounds like this woman was looking for a holiday.”
Krista raised her eyebrows. “A holiday? What are you talking about?”
“It’s a term we use in construction. In order to protect a building from water damage we apply a thick coating to seal out moisture. When the coating is applied incorrectly or too quickly, that’s called a holiday.”
“Why is it called a holiday?”
“As you know, a holiday means ‘time off, or a break from work’. In construction a holiday reveals a break in the coating, allowing significant damage to occur.”
“How do you fix it?”
“Many times you don’t even know it’s there. In fact, most holidays are found by accident. Because you don’t know how much the damage has spread, the only course of action is to re-coat the entire area. A holiday is a bad thing. It shows lack of integrity and hard work.”
“So she felt like she had the right to call my integrity into question. Great.” Krista rolled her eyes. “Now what am I supposed to do?”
“Well, the first thing you need to do is forgive her. Like you said, she doesn’t know you and she’s clearly unaware of how much you’ve blessed that family.”
“I agree. I’ve been in prayer all day asking God to make me willing to make the choice to forgive her.”
Bill smiled. “The second thing you need to do is remember.”
“As Christians we are constantly under a microscope. There will always be someone looking over our shoulder for that crack in our coating. The crack could be anything-a curse word, a white lie, a few too many items listed on a website. Once the crack is discovered, our testimony is weakened and our voice becomes muffled. For some reason we seem very adept at finding fault with each other. I suppose if you’re always looking for someone else’s holiday you won’t have time to deal with your own.”
“Sort of reminds me of that verse in Matthew about the speck. ‘Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye when you ignore the plank in your own eye?’”
“That’s about it.” Bill said.
“Well, thanks for the construction lesson.” She kissed Bill’s cheek and walked away.
“Where are you going?”
“I need to get started on my re-coat. I might be a while.” As she picked up her Bible, Krista winked and padded softly to her bedroom.
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