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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)

TITLE: Chintzy Cups And Golden Goblets
By Marilyn Schnepp
02/22/06


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Except for the faint droning of the air conditioner, the office was quiet. The boss was "doing lunch" at a political fund raiser downtown, and Marjetta was enjoying a rare hour of peaceful solitude.

Taking a bite of her soggy tuna fish sandwich, Marjetta couldn't HELP but smile at the irony of it all. Here she was, munching on a tuna sandwich and drinking coffee out of a chintzy paper cup, when only six blocks away her boss was sitting down at a "Thousand-Dollar-A-Plate luncheon, drinking (whatever it is they drink at those extravagant Fund Raisers) out of a genuine 24K gold goblet!

The goblet thing, of course, was just a figment of her imagination; but, "What a waste!", she thought to herself, "Thousands and thousands of dollars poured into the coffers of both political parties every year, and for what? Nothing more than to help finance their campaigns and their never-ending hunger for power! I wonder if they're aware of people being hungry? Not for power, but for food?"

Leaning back in her chair, Marjetta thought about the words written in the fly leaf of her mother's Bible....

"I WAS HUNGRY:
you funded a humanistic association,
and discussed my hunger.
Thank you.

I WAS IN PRISON:
you sneaked quietly to the chapel,
in your suburban neighborhood,
and prayed for my liberation.

I WAS NAKED:
you wondered wasn't that perhaps immoral?

I WAS ILL:
you went on your knees
and praised God for your health!

I WAS HOMELESS:
you preached to me-
about God's loving care.

I WAS LONESOME:
you left me alone...
to go and pray for me.

You seem so holy, so close to God,
I thought you could, or would HELP me;
But I am still hungry and lonesome,
....and I'm freezing."

At the bottom, her mother had written. "Whatsoever ye do for the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matt.25:40"

Suddenly she heard footsteps in the hallway! Sitting upright now, she began to wipe the crumbs off the desk when her boss walked in, bowed from the waist, and with a flourish of grandiosity, placed a large plastic container in front of her saying, "For you, Madame!"

"Why Mr.Markham," she smiled," how did you ever get......"

"Hey", he said, interrupting her, "When a taxpayer forks out a thousand buckeroos for lunch, he's entitled to a 'doggy bag' for his secretary, wouldn't you agree?" With that, he chuckled, said "Enjoy, my dear", then disappeared into his office and closed the door behind him.

"Wow!", Marjetta said to herself, "How can I ENJOY a meal that was hosted by greedy people for even greedier purposes! What a dilemma! What can I do?"

A familiar voice seemed to echo in her ears..."No problem, child, just take it to the Lord in prayer", something only her mother would've said!

Marjetta bowed her head, "Lord, Please Help Me! I need to find a way to dispose of this food without hurting Mr.Markham's feelings; it's the principle, Lord, I'm sure you understand. Isn't there someway, somehow or somebody You can....." once again she was interrupted, but this time by Sammy,the newsboy.

"Here's Sir Markham's paper!" Sammy joked, as he dropped the paper on her desk. "I'm running late today as my mom ain't feeling so good, and I had to run by and check on her; then comes this big traffic-jam downtown, cuz of them Big Wheels in their long fancy cars; sorry 'bout that, but see ya tomorrow, Miss Jetta!"

"Wait! Sammy, Wait!", Marjetta said as Sammy opened the door to leave, "I have something for your mother...so she won't have to cook supper tonight!"

The smile on Sammy's face said it all.....and Marjetta softly whispered her "Thank You's" to heaven.

* * *


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This article has been read 1048 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tim Manzer 02/27/06
I enjoyed the writing very much, wow-what passion-thanks for thughtful writing.
Tim
david grant02/28/06
Well done, with a good message.
Lynda Schultz 03/01/06
Well said. Something even we who don't sit down to thousand-dollar-a-plate meals should remember. Good job.
Pat Guy 03/01/06
Good messages from beginning to end and weaved together so well. Good job on this!
Jan Ackerson 03/03/06
A great way to make your point and to entertain us at the same time. The irony of the middle section is expecially good and beautifully written.
Cassie Memmer03/03/06
This is a wonderful story. I think it shows society's problem extrememly well. A problem fueled by lukewarm Christians and hearts 'waxing cold.' Thanks for being bold enough to say it like it is. May it bring conviction to us all to 'do' rather than just see and feel sympathy. Great writing!
Suzanne R03/05/06
Great title and concept.

I agree with your main idea, but I would add that when people really truly pray, perhaps then they do also get involved in other ways. In any case, I totally agree, assuming that you mean the rich are going through the motions of prayer only.

Just my 2c worth ... from someone who works with a 'humanitarian association'!

I loved the contrast between the paper cups and the wine goblets!