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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)

TITLE: The Brotherhood Of The Traveling Chair
By Rod Loche


The Brotherhood of the Traveling Chair

The date is about 66 A.D. Paul sits in his damp dark cell. Many of his friends have deserted him and he knows his execution is close at hand. He is virtually alone. Only Luke is with him now. Depression and doubt are pressing in all sides. As the short bald man struggles against the darkness to write a letter to Timothy, he notices an old rickety stool in the corner. The chair wasn’t there before. When Paul limps over and sits down something happens. Suddenly he feels hope entering his tired broken body. Something is urging him to write words of comfort and faith rather than disappointment and despair. He writes “Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and correctly explains the word of truth.” Paul goes on to complete his uplifting letter. Soon after, the servant of God is led away by Roman Guards toward his execution, but he does not walk in fear. He strides as one who has served his purpose to the best of his ability, and is now looking forward to kneeling at the throne of his creator and hearing the words “well done my good and faithful servant.”
In the year of our Lord 1675 John Wells returned to his humble residence after working the fields from sun-up to sundown. The heat was causing the blood that had been oozing from the welts on his back to stick to his shirt, even though they were days old. He thought about his children. Where were they? What kind of master had they been sent off to? What type of nightmare were they being subjected to? He tried desperately to fight off the hunger that has racked his body for hours. The portion of bread and water he was given at noon were severely insufficient. As he peered around the roomful of people sharing the meager housing he has been assigned, he noticed an empty stool in the corner that wasn’t there before. There were strange markings carved into it. He walked toward the stool, half stumbling from exhaustion. When he sits down something happens; calmness sits beside him. It soothes his hunger and brings peace to his weary soul. There is a small portion of bread available but he surprises even himself when he passes on his sparse portions so that the children may have a bit more. Until the day of his death the extraordinary stool provides a personal peace for this lowly Mississippi slave that is beyond comprehension.
By the year 2006 Kevin Langley had become far more accustomed to pain and hopelessness than any 16 year old should be. Today he was being sent to his 5th foster home. As he walked down the hall of his new temporary home, Kevin noticed a photo of an airplane on the wall. His mind goes back to a day when he held aspirations of being a pilot, a time when he still dreamed, a time when he didn’t know any better. Today his dreams were no longer to achieve and accomplish, but only to survive. As he enters his bedroom he can feel the glare of three strangers sizing him up. His new roommates are clearly no kinder than the last ones. He tosses his small bag on the top bunk and notices a stool in the corner. When Kevin takes a seat something happens. He cracks a smile (something he hasn’t done for months it seems). He glances out the window and catches sight of a plane speeding by. Those childhood feelings engulf him once again. For whatever reason; he suddenly believes that no matter what the circumstances, whether he is ever adopted or not, whether he is sent to 5 more foster homes or not, he was put here to do far more than just survive. He was put here to soar.
None of the beneficiaries of the unusual power of the chair knew where it originated. They didn’t know that the strange markings were the Hebrew initials of the seats creator. They didn’t know that it was crafted in the little town of Nazareth. They didn’t know that the peculiar stool was one of the first creations of a young Jewish carpenter who would move on to fulfill a far greater calling. For these three men, all they truly needed to know was that they had not been forgotten.

2 Tim 2:15

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This article has been read 678 times
Member Comments
Member Date
david grant06/08/06
The traveling chair is an interesting object to carry your message through. But it works. Let everyone look up to the scripture. Let no one give it away. Searching and finding fits the story too.
Great job!
Dolores Stohler06/08/06
A very creative approach to the subject. I enjoyed your story. Two thoughts though--you need to watch your verb tenses, they don't always fit. Also, it would be easier to read if you put a line break between paragraphs.
George Parler 06/10/06
Nice approach. As already mentioned spacing between paragraphs would make an easier read. Good job!
Keith Wallis06/10/06
Really enjoyed reading this. The ending is totally unexpected.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/10/06
Difficult read for a reader with no spacing, but an interesting read nontheless. Nicely done, and I will have to look up the scriptures on that stool...as suggested. Nice job of writing.
Helen Paynter06/12/06
Very interesting story. Small technical note - at times you do more 'telling' than 'showing'. You have found a very inventive take on the theme, Well done.
Virginia Gorg06/13/06
What a great story! The chair made by the hands of the Master. I think this is excellent!
Rachel Rudd 06/14/06
Your take on this topic is great. I agree that more showing would have made it come alive more. Your story plot is wonderful, though.