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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)

TITLE: Home Away from Home (i)
By Al Boyce
01/13/06


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I was leaving the Las Vegas Airport in a rental car when I saw him. Disheveled, limping, he plopped a backpack on the median at a highway intersection, opened a zipper and pulled out a sign.

As I drew closer, he unfolded the cardbord and I could read it:

"Why lie?" the sign read. "I want beer."

No stranger to the homeless, I was still struck by the honesty of the sign ... and touched by the reality of this man's plight.

That lone sign touched off a series of ideas, starting with, "How should I respond to that as a Christian?"

The wheels churned in my mind (and on my rental car). Long after I had lost this opportunity, I arrived at a solution: I could have stopped at a store and purchased a beer, then delivered it to this man with a Bible and a note that said: "This beer is from God my friend. Enjoy it. And when it is gone, and you are still thirsty, read this book and find the water of life."

I wasn't able to follow through on the idea, but the image of that man stayed with me. Some days later, I wondered what kind of sign I should be flying.

"But you aren't homeless," some might protest.

Think again. I and all my Christian brothers and sisters are in temporary shelters (however modest or grandiose) awaiting our places in the Lord's mansion.

"But you have a job," you might protest. "That man has chosen to sit on that corner instead of working."

Sure, most Christians have jobs. But we are built for MISSIONS. How many of us say we are too busy with our jobs when God taps us on the shoulder with His calling for our lives?

Like homeless trying to prey on the pity of others, we fly signs all the world can read that say we are:

"Overwhelmed"

"Overworked"

"Too busy"

"Depressed"

"Unloved"

"Tired"

"Angry"

Maybe we should be flying signs that say, "Why lie? I just want my car, my house, my country club membership."

Refreshingly honest? Perhaps.

And maybe a little too close to home.


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This article has been read 1338 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr01/20/06
This is great! Excellent points. I'm not so sure about buying the beer - lol. Give him the money, the Bible, the message, and he'll buy it himself. Well done:)
Linda Watson Owen01/21/06
Your succinct and powerful pieces are always thought provoking and spirit nudging, Al! What a gift you have! Thank you again so much!
Shannon Redmon01/23/06
How did I miss this jewel the first time! Powerful and true!
janet rubin01/23/06
Congrats and Amen. I'm all for honesty. Very good entry!
Maxx .01/23/06
Simple, straightforward, to the point, crystal clear, precise communication ... who could ask for anything more? Congrats!
Sally Hanan01/23/06
This was great. I think I'm going to start stopping to pray with them before the lights turn.
Debbie OConnor01/23/06
This was just awesome, Al! I loved it. Congratulations!
B Brenton01/23/06
What a refreshing and wonderful thought Al.
And I laughed too.
It's always good to see an article that makes you laugh.
Guess that's why you're in the editors choice!
Marilyn Schnepp 01/24/06
Congratulations to the Judges for seeing a Masterpiece here! Such a short, sincere and sensitive story with Truth as the Main Feature! Great job! Excellent write and Enjoyable Read! Thanks!
Jan Ackerson 03/29/07
I really, really appreciate your candid voice, and this refreshing piece.
Joanne Sher 03/29/07
Such an honest, compelling piece. Definitely gave me much food for thought (wish you'd enter the challenge more often!)
Julie Arduini03/29/07
What a compelling read. Makes me think long after I'm done with the computer. Solid piece of work. Great job!
Sara Harricharan 04/02/07
You packed quite a bit of emotion into such a 'small' piece. Short, but meaningful-and glaringly correct. Nice job.