Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)
TITLE: Impediments Removed
By Gary Sims
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Dorian Van Guardian, the Chief Cleric of Fumicville, was standing before an emergency assembly of the Board of Assertion. The meeting had been called when Blister Cirrus, the village weather scout, had ascertained that an unseasonably cold blast of winter was headed their way.
"Dorian?" The speaker was Lilly Nebulous tentatively raising her voice through the growing din of the Assembly Hall. The hall quieted to hear Lilly's question. "I wonder why we have to do anything. We are not the ones who have chosen to live outside? I think this storm is their problem?"
The Assembly erupted into an outburst of yeas and nays as everyone tried to offer an opinion simultaneously.
"Quiet. Everyone, please be quiet." Dorian raised his large hands high above his head as he used his tremendous size to impress peace and quiet into the crowd. "Why these people have chosen to live here in Fumicville without means to purchase a home is not the point of discussion. The issue is how are we going to help them over the next few days when the storm arrives? We cannot leave them without shelter."
Dorian looked around the room. This was going to be a real test of his leadership skills. "This issue over music styles for the Celebrations as really split the village apart," thought Dorian to himself. "Will I ever get them to work together?" Just then a hand was raised. "Amy? Do you have a suggestion?"
Amy Singsalot was new to the Board. Her position had been created a few months earlier when Dorian pushed through an agenda item to broaden the board's representation by including leaders from the Praise Celebration. It had been a hotly contested issue and vote.
"Yes, Chief Cleric. I would like to open the doors to the Salubrious Celebration Hall and allow the Outsiders to find shelter from the storm within its hallowed halls. We could provide them with hot meals and showers. I think we have enough room for 250 to 300 people."
"NEVER!" shouted angry voice from the rear of the room. Everyone turned to see Joseph Farragut standing with his face bright red. "Celebration halls are sacred. They are only to be used for Celebration Services."
"Well Sire Farragut. What a nice compliment." Amy had moved to the front of the room and was looking back into a sea of faces that turned in response to her voice. "I thought you have said that our "little gathering" with all of its praise music and dancing could never be a true and proper Celebration. Have you changed your mind about the Praise Celebration services? Are they now so sacred that we can't use our little building for other purposes?"
A hum of tentative laughter escaped the lips of many in the room as Joseph Farragut suddenly found himself sputtering in the midst of a more complex issue than he had planned.
"Well I, for one, agree with Amy." A stunned silence fell across the room as Esther Harangues slowly rose to stand beside her well-known adversary. "These are people in need. Fumicville has always been the first village on the Peninsula to reach out and help those in need."
Surprised by the sudden turn of events Dorian leapt to the opportunity before him. "Esther, are you saying that you agree we should open the doors to Salubrious Celebration Hall as a shelter for the Outsiders?"
"Of course that is what I am saying. And we should open every other Hall in the village until all of the Outsiders are safe and warm from the storm. I personally will open the doors to Harangues Music Hall and will welcome each person who arrives with a cup my famous Harangues hot chocolate. You know it is a special recipe from my great-grandmother Hermione Harangues?"
Dorian was flabbergasted. "Uh, well, yes I knew butů"
"Are we going sit around here and jabber all night or are we going to get to work? Come on Amy. We have a lot to do. There are some old cots stored in the basement of Salubrious that I think will come in handy." Chattering away and pulling Amy with her, Esther moved quickly from the meeting room.
Dorian stood in shock and then turned to the rest of the delegates who stood equally stunned. "I guess the meeting is adjourned. We better all get to work."
Inspired by Luke 13:10-17