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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)

TITLE: God of the Bookends
By Gerald Shuler


Jason liked his job as a mental health orderly for Metro Medical Center. In just the few months since being hired he had already made “friends” with most of the patients in his ward. Of course, the friendship was just part of his job, but the patients didn't know his feelings were so shallow. He was a caregiver... that was all. Except for, maybe, Kenny... and even then Jason wasn't sure it was friendship. He was more like the strange uncle that everyone warns you to stay away from. But you just can't.

His real name was Kenanyah, but nobody used his Jewish name. He was just Kenny. Kenny didn't talk much. He usually only responded to questions. When he did speak, though, it was nearly always something that caught your attention. Born Jewish, he converted to Christianity as a young man and now, in his old age, he had become a fanatic about religion. Jason had no problem with fanatics. It wasn't his job to change them, just to take care of their needs. But it was fun asking him questions because you never knew what answer might be prompted. Like when Jason asked Kenny how long he thought it took God to create everything.

“How do you want me to measure God's work...” Kenny said, holding his hands up, as though measuring a small fish. “through man's limited measure...” He smiled broadly, flinging his hands as far apart as they would go. “or God's timeless eternity?”

It was those answers that kept Jason asking questions. Maybe that was why Kenny seemed so special to him. The poor old man was totally fervent in his beliefs but he was so... so... strange. So Jason had decided to give Kenny more attention than his job actually required. It was his personal goal to at least try to understand this religious fanatic. With such a man as this, though, where should he begin his trek of understanding? His memory snapped to one of the first things Kenny had said that caught Jason's attention. He hadn't even asked the question. It was one of the other patients who had asked Kenny what God he worshiped.

“I worship the one and only God...the God of the Bookends.”

The patient took that as an answer and walked away, smiling. But Jason had been thinking about that answer ever since overhearing it. That would be the place where understanding Kenny might begin.

“Kenny, do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“You just did.” Kenny's eyes twinkled. “Whether I minded or not. But you can ask another if you like.”

“Thank you.” Jason wasn't sure how to begin, so he just started.“Kenny, I overheard you tell someone that you worship the God of the Bookends. The Bible doesn't mention God in that way. I know you consider yourself to be a Christian.”

“Those are questions? They leave no question marks in my mind. Please, ask something that leaves the question mark.”

“Okay, how can you describe God in such unbiblical terms as 'God of the Bookends?”

“Simple. That is how I see Him. He is the God of Jesus. Jesus is why I am a Christian. So I worship the God of the Bookends.” Kenny started to turn away, content that he had completely answered the question, but Jason touched his shoulder lightly.

“Kenny, that doesn't make any sense to me.” He said it in a way he hoped didn't sound offensive because he was honestly hoping for a more coherent explanation.

“Look at the wall over there.” Kenny pointed to the library shelves on the east side of the room. The shelves were arranged alphabetically by category, each category separated by bookends. “I do not worship those things you call bookends. I worship the God of my Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Bookend I worship.”

“What?” Jason almost choked. “Where do you get that?”

“I get it from how Jesus described Himself. He is the one who said 'I am the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.' Just like the bookends in the library that separates all the different categories, Jesus is the beginning, the end of History... the beginning and end of Science, Nature, Self Help... the beginning and end of, well, every category of our lives.” Kenny smiled the biggest smile Jason had ever seen. “Sounds like bookends to me.”

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This article has been read 64 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen02/08/14
Interesting and captivating read. Jesus is indeed the alpha & omega and I like the image of Him being bookends to my life! Well done!
Gracie Compere02/10/14
Great story and I loved the ending! Well done. :)
Nancy Bucca 02/12/14
Great work! I love the simple gospel explanation here, told using the symbol of bookends. It begins and ends wonderfully.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/13/14
Congratulations on ranking 33 overall!