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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)

TITLE: Living the Gay Life
By Kristopher Cox


“Wait, stop!” yelled Jeremy while running frantically towards the on route bus, but was greeted with a hot blast of black diesel exhaust in the face. Coughing and panting, Jeremy frisked his oversized coat and baggy pants until he found his cigarettes. He quickly lit one up and inhaled deeply, turning nearly half the cigarette into ash. Exhaling, he exclaimed “Thank God, I can breathe again.”

His gladness soon gave way to agitation as he realized that he would miss his Freshman English class, again. “Well, there’s always next semester,” he said while sitting down to rest on a nearby bench. “If Jason hadn’t called me about his stuff he left at my apartment, I would’ve caught the bus and got to see Lukas in class,” he thought. “We could’ve had a study session tonight. Lukas could’ve studied English and I could’ve studied his perfect doll like face with his dirty blond hair. Oh, he’s so sweet and nice, too. He’s nothing like Jason or Todd. Oh, I wish I could forget Todd. When will I ever get my break and find that perfect guy, the one who’ll always love me no matter what?”

As he exhaled another puff of smoke in frustration, he turned his head toward the shops behind him and saw the most perfect young man walking towards him. The guy looked close to the same age as Jeremy, but had a smile of innocence that made him appear much younger. There was just a special glow about this guy that Jeremy couldn’t figure out but gladly wanted to try. Smiling, Jeremy thought, “Well, maybe my break has finally come as my little angel has arrived just in time.”

“Hey, I heard you yelling at the bus and noticed you’d missed it. Did you need a ride somewhere?”

Jeremy was overwhelmed, thinking, “Cute and nice, Wow!” Not sure how to react Jeremy finally spoke, “Um…sure…if you want…Uh…thank you.”

“Sweet…well, my friend with the car will be back in a few minutes. I’m guessing with the backpack that you’re heading to class, right?”

“Yeah…Uh…yeah, Freshman English I. Got to love it.” Jeremy hadn’t been this nervous ever, thinking, “What are you saying, you moron?”

“Well, good. The college is on our way.” The stranger paused, “Oh, I’m Zack by the way.”

“I’m, Jeremy. Glad to meet you.”

“Same here. Hey, you want to grab a cappuccino while we wait. There’s a new Christian coffee shop just a few stores down.”

Jeremy’s heart just broke once again. “Oh…um…I can’t go in there.”

Puzzled, Zack asked, “Why?”

“Well…you see…um…I’m gay.”

Zack just looked at him and said, “So?” Picking up on Jeremy’s apprehension, Zack continued, “Hey, don’t worry about it. You’re with me. I won’t let anybody mess with you.”

As they walked into the store, the coffee aroma welcomed them relieving some of Jeremy’s tension. Unfortunately, that did not last long as Jeremy could feel the stares of those who recognized him from college.

One guy got up from his table and walked towards them. Jeremy recognized him from the basketball team. “Hey, guys. This is a Christian establishment,” the basketball player said, “and we don’t allow queers in here.”

Jeremy started to back up towards the door when Zack grabbed his arm firmly and declared, “Alright, do whatever you want with him. But since I brought him, I pick who gets to beat the gay out of him.”

Realizing that there was no way out, Jeremy just froze there thinking, “What’s he doing? The hypocritical creep set me up! I’m a moron to think that I could trust a Christian.”

“Here’s how it’s going to go. The only ones who can harm him…are those who are without sin - perfect and blameless.” After some contemplation, the crowd sat back down, one by one. “God loves all of us despite any sins we may commit. None of us deserve His love, but He gives it away freely to all who ask for it believing in the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Jeremy was overloaded with diverse emotions and tried to separate them but with each word he processed, one feeling kept gaining power – love – true and untainted. This was the type of true love that he had looked for in each failed relationship. Finally, Jeremy found the break that he was looking for – it was in the bleeding heart of the perfect man, The One that would always love him…no matter what.

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This article has been read 662 times
Member Comments
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Sharon Singley02/13/06
very interesting story. I do know that as Christians we sometimes treat the sinner as if he/she is 'sin' itself; we need to be reminded that the Lord does not view it like that.
James Clem 02/14/06
Written as a modern parable!
Anita Neuman02/14/06
A modern version of this story is a great idea! And you've done a good job at tackling a very sensitive issue. I would suggest tightening it up by skipping some of Jeremy's musings at the beginning and delving more into the scene at the coffee shop.
Leslie Lamb02/15/06
I have to disagree with the comment above...you had to have those musings. You had to because in those initial musings the Holy Spirit reminded me of my horror and disgust of homosexuality, and that was a very important moment because from there He led me to the ending of the story where I am reminded again of the unabashed, ever-restoring love of God. There is no "horrible sin" there is only "sin" and all deeply stain the soul. Thank you for a moment of meditation and enlightment with my Restorer.
Jan Kamp02/16/06
I agree that the musings are a good setup for the rest of the story, but also that the coffee shop scene needs to be expanded. Unfortunately, here, you are limited to 750 words! Go for it, because we all need to remember that our "little" daily sins hurt our Lord just as badly as those lifestyle sins, and we all need to repent and be forgiven. A different title might be a better lead-in also, rather than laying out the plot up front.
Maxx .02/16/06
I was right there with this piece the whole way, right up until they wlaked into the coffee shop. I just couldn't relate to the reception. It didn't ring real. Maybe it's because I was raised and lived in multi-cultural California but it felt forced. Getting past that, however, the rest of the piece was great. And the resolution was perfect. It srove home an excellent lesson that was made real for today.
Chris Clement02/17/06
I agree that this story felt a bit contrived. The parallels to the biblical story of Jesus defending the adulteress was obvious, but incomplete. In the bible, after Jesus challenged the would-be stone throwers, he also challenged the adulteress to "leave her life of sin". I would liked to have seen this important point made here as well in some way.

On the positive side, I think you did a great job of showing how we can all be ambassadors for Christ.
Lynda Lee Schab 02/18/06
I also thought this piece was written very well. But I did feel that the message that came through was because God loves you, it doesn't matter that you're living life in sin. I know that wasn't your intention but I also feel, as the review above, that there should have been some admonition of the gay lifestyle. As Christians, we are commanded to love every person/sinner but are told to take a stand for what's right. But your story flowed well. These "Christian" boys were so wrong for casting stones & deserved to be put in their place.
You took on a tough subject and overall, I think the writing itself was excellent.
Marie Gabbard02/18/06
Wonderful story. I'm sure that if you could have kept writing, the coffee shop portion would have been more indepth.

Even though I would have liked to have seen Jeremy repent of his life style and go on to understand where true love come from, I have noticed that some Christians are so repulsed with this particular sin, that they feel justified in being ugly to a homosexual and as Christians we are called to hate the sin, but love the sinner, which is the only way we can influence them for Christ.
Debbie Sickler02/28/06
I think you let your readers into your character's thoughts just enough to let us see inside his heart, without crossing the line into offensiveness. The idea was great and I think you did imply that he would later be turning his heart over to God, which would result in a change in lifestyle. He had found the love he was searching for. Why would he continue searching in empty relationships?