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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Chillax (04/03/14)

TITLE: Plucking Thorns
By Linda Gage


Though not the usual meeting place they both walked into the café at the arranged time, greeting each other with a handshake. Mike calmly sat down, but Jeff nervously, plopped in his chair and wiped his brow. His heart was pounding out of chest.

“Thanks, for meeting with me again, man.” Jeff’s voice cracked. “Been feeling all torn up inside. Know what I mean?”

“Tell me about it.” Mike scanned a menu.

“Even though I thought of you as a Jesus freak, you’ve always been cool to me, dude.”

He smiled, “If ‘Jesus freak’ means loving the Lord, that’s me!”

“See, ya don’t get all bent out of shape.” Jeff breathed deeply and tapped his menu on the table. “Everything’s just too heavy now.”

“Like what?”

His words came fast, as if not wanting to be understood. “I know I said that Jesus prayer with you last month, but I’m not feeling it now! My life is spinning out of control!”

“How so?” Mike sipped his coffee.

“My broad thinks I’m crazy. The boss told me there are rules about preaching on the clock. I could get fired! I lost a bunch of facebook friends.”

“I see.” Mike was not rattled.

The waitress came and took Mike’s order. Jeff was too anxious to eat.

“Don’t ya get it, man?” Jeff grabbed Mike’s arm. “My life has flippin’ gone mad! Look at me here.” He gestured to the café. “When I’d much rather be at that bar, having a beer! But NO, I’m here drinking stale black coffee.”

Mike gently responded, “Look, God has awakened you.” Then he tapped Jeff’s chest and added matter-of-factly, “God’s Holy Spirit is in you and helping you fulfill your purpose to tell others about Jesus!”

Jeff retreated. “Woah, Man! I don’t wanna be some ‘Jesus freak.’ I just wanna NOT go to hell, ya know, go to heaven.”

“You will get to heaven someday. But, here and now, it’s a walk with Christ.” Mike sounded like a preacher. Something Jeff never liked and really never saw in Mike before.

“Dude, you never said anything about walking with anyone anywhere! I need my job! I don’t want to lose my lady. It feels too complicated.”

“It’s a new way to live and a lifelong journey!” Enthusiasm burst from Mike. “You’ve already started it!”

He sighed, “Man, I guess when I said that prayer I never thought of the days between now and when I get there. . . to heaven, that is.”

“The Holy Spirit is in you right now changing your heart and your mind. That’s the turmoil that you feel.”

“Dude, that’s serious sh. . .” He stopped himself and mumbled, “stuff.”

Mike laughed. “Sure is.”

Jeff started to panic again. “But, I’m due for a raise. And My lady?! Everything was cool until…”

Mike pulled something from his briefcase. “Jeff, I brought you this.” He handed him the Bible. “This is God’s guide for us while we live here, until we get to heaven.”

The sounds of forks clanking on plates and other conversations arose, but their silence was thick. Jeff did not bargain for this.

“A Bible, really?” he thought.

The internal confusion had Jeff on the edge of tears. He hid his face then stuttered, “I just don’t know what to do?”

Mike leaned toward Jeff and patted his hand in a most man to man tender way then exclaimed, “Chillax, Dude!”

Something struck a chord. Then Jeff had to chuckle because he’d never heard his new ‘religious’ businessman friend talk like that.

Jeff lifted his head high, “I hear ya, Dude.”

Yes, he heard it. He heard it deep down in his soul.

“It’s one step at a time WITH Jesus.” Then Mike added, “And we can meet anytime, drink stale black coffee and talk.”

Jeff raised a clenched hand for a manly fist pump. Mike responded.

Then they held hands, bowed their heads and prayed together.

The clanking of the forks against plates and other conversations arose in that noisy café. But Jeff only heard Mike’s words to the Lord. And his heart calmed.

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This article has been read 137 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 04/11/14
Excellent! Great job with this entry, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had an authentic tone to it as well.

Good message, and good writing.

God bless~
Brenda Rice 04/14/14
I enjoyed the male point of view in your story. It is written well and interesting.

Thanks for sharing.
Tracy Nunes 04/16/14
So true. Too often people go into it thinking about what they want to be saved from, not thinking that "Repent!" came before the "believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Your story will help me to remember that when I witness, even though it's easier on me to give the "soft version," people need to hear the true version. Great writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/14
Congratulations on ranking 6th in your level. The highest rankings can be found in the message boards.