Terry Chambers was walking down the hall towards her Sunday school room when she overheard a conversation that stopped her in her tracks. Myrtle Cummings and Bertha Boyd were in a side room talking about a new member of the church. Tabitha Taylor had recently found hope, love, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Terry was proud to have been a part of helping Tabitha to come to know her Savior.
“She was a prostitute and on drugs to boot! I don't think this is the place for her. Our church has never had parishioners like her before!” Myrtle was saying with disgust.
“Absolutely not! She should go to one of those churches on the south side of town. They have churches over there geared more to her kind.” Bertha agreed.
“I've never associated with those kind of people before, and I am not about to start now. I don't know what Terry was thinking bringing her into our congregation. She's around them all day, everyday. If she wants to save their souls, that's fine, but guide them to another church!” Myrtle declared.
Tabitha had become a member of Goodwill Baptist Church three weeks earlier after giving a powerful testimony to Christ about how He saved her from certain death had she continued down the path she was taking. She received a standing ovation from most of those in attendance that Sunday morning.
Terry was a social worker who counseled the homeless. She helped them find jobs, homes, and even Christ on occasions. Most chose to go to churches in the poorer part of town once they surrendered their lives to Jesus, but Tabitha was a young woman who grew up in the suburbs. She ran away from an abusive home as a teenager, and Terry found her lost and alone on the streets several months ago.
Now Terry seethed with anger at the words she was hearing from Myrtle and Bertha. As a Christian with a good heart and the patience of Job, few things flared her temper like a holier-than-thou bigot. Each time she heard a so called Christian condemning another, she lit up like a Christmas tree.
She sailed into the room with her Bible in her hand and dropped it on the table. Myrtle and Bertha jumped. Terry spoke with barely concealed anger in her voice.“Ladies, are either of your familiar with the story of Jesus and the prostitute?” Perhaps you might like to reread Luke 7:50!
Myrtle and Bertha turned crimson at having been overheard talking about Terry's friend. They both looked flabbergasted for a minute as to how to answer.
“Terry, we have a right to voice our opinion, and you shouldn't have been eavesdropping!” Bertha recovered first.
“Bertha, if I am not mistaken, your very own son was arrested four times for possession of marijuana. A judge, who just happened to be a friend of yours, let him off each time.” Terry said evenly.
“How dare you bring that up! Lance has since repented, and is a fine up-standing member of the community now.”
“Exactly, Bertha, he came to Christ, didn't he? And Myrtle, wasn't your daughter just a wee bit with child when she married?”
“Terry, h-how could you? That happened years ago, and Beth is a Christian woman now!” Myrtle sputtered, with tears in her eyes.
“That's right, Myrtle. Jesus gave both Beth and Lance a chance at redemption, and they both found everlasting faith and love through their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Now, give this young woman a second chance as well!”
With that, Terry picked up her Bible and continued on to her class. When she walked in, she saw the room was full of smiling people and realized that she, Bertha, and Myrtle had been overheard by them all, including Tabitha. Terry smiled at Tabitha and winked. The rest of the people in the classroom starting clapping.
Myrtle and Bertha didn't show up for Sunday school that day, nor the following Sunday. In fact, they both found another church to attend together. One with more of their kind of people.
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