Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)
TITLE: God's Tears
By Susan Klein
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Tears stung Carol’s eyes as dark clouds of doubt rolled in. She hadn’t intended to check up on her son. She had just run to the store. When she saw his car parked at the movie rental store she was stunned. The almost vacant strip mall was set back from the street on a rarely traveled corner and had become a teenage hangout. Lots of kids rented videos and then sat in their cars. Just last month the police had taken several teens into the station after finding them smoking and drinking there. Steven had been one. She remembered the call clearly. “Your son is in police custody for loitering. He isn’t being charged at this time since he wasn’t drinking, but you’ll have to come to the station to pick him up.” It had been a long trip to the station that night and an even longer trip back home in silence. Neither had known what to say and after Carol told Steven not to sit in that parking lot with those kids again she assumed the matter was over. Now she knew it wasn’t.
It hadn’t been easy to raise Steven alone after his father died when he was only three. He wasn’t always obedient but Carol still tried to teach him right from wrong. They went to church regularly and Steven knew God. He wasn’t a disrespectful child. He was just strong-willed. He obeyed most of her rules, but any that didn’t make sense to him he disregarded. She’d been able to live with that until now. The rules he was disregarding now could ruin his future. The stakes were higher than when he was a boy.
Under the dark shadows of those clouds of doubt Carol whispered a quick prayer, “Oh God, keep Steven safe tonight and help him learn to obey before it’s too late.” “It was only a glimpse,” she reminded herself. “I didn’t see the whole picture.”
Carol needed to relax. She grabbed a wine cooler from the fridge, just to help calm her nerves, and sat down to watch some tv. Sitcoms always made her laugh. She needed to laugh. Her parents would be shocked if they watched these shows, but that just didn’t make sense. After all, what harm could they do. Carol was an adult in charge of her own life without someone else’s rules anyway.
As the second show started the phone rang. “Greg,” she said smiling, “I was just thinking about you.” Although they had been dating exclusively now for three years, neither wanted the commitment of marriage and Carol had resisted living together while Steven was young. At one time she believed it was wrong to live with a man outside of marriage but that rule just didn’t make sense to her anymore. Everyone lived together. She had friends who did and they were happy instead of lonely like her. Prominent business people in the community lived together. Everyone on those sitcoms did and they were happy too. She had been thinking about it a long time. She needed companionship. Steven was already 17 and would be leaving for college soon. He never stayed home anyway. Why wait any longer. She was going to ask Greg tonight.
It was just after 11:00pm when she and Greg finalized his moving plans. Carol hung up feeling funny. She should be happy. Her life was finally going to get better. Sure, her parents wouldn’t have agreed, but they had died years ago and couldn’t see her life anymore to share their disapproval. She was doing what made sense. What difference did it make anyway in the long run. This decision had nothing to do with her future since there was no commitment. She attributed her uneasiness to the clouds of doubts about Steven’s activities tonight. She reminded herself again, “It was only a glimpse. I’m only his mom, I can’t see everything he does.”
From his full heavenly view, God looked down at his child, Carol. A light rain began to fall.
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