Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
- TITLE: $25,000 Lesson
By Michelle Roufley
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It was big news in their little community. They had won $25,000 in the lottery. Everyone was suddenly interested in the quiet little Jacobs family. There were balloons, confetti, a limo ride, music playing, people laughing. It was surreal. Like a dream on a merry-go-round. It was such a happy and joyful time. Wasn’t it?
Shanda sat down to think where it all went. “Well let’s see,” she thought to herself as she started penning it all down on the yellow lined legal pad in front of her. First were taxes. That left them with $13,452.87. She and her husband Rick had struggled with whether they would give $2500 or $1,346 as a tithe.
“Considering that we’ve been well blessed,” Rick hedged “I feel that we should give $2,500.” Shanda readily agreed, so they did. They paid the balance on her car loan, because that was one bill they could totally get rid of, and lighten their financial load of monthly bills. They were so excited they could give to the ambulance. When Rick had his accident they were such a blessing. They not only provided the medical care he needed, but they visited him in the hospital afterward, and even brought some baking over for Shanda.
Then the door bell started ringing . They bought Girl Scout cookies, FFA fruit, Boy Scout popcorn, books, magazines, and.... The list was endless. Then that little boy down the road lost his battle with cancer, and his family was swamped with medical bills. Shanda splurged on a new Sunday outfit for church. She had never spent so much on clothes, and felt wonderful in her new, dress, shoes, and a handbag to match. Rick got a new hat, jeans, shirt, vest and boots. They felt so good the next Sunday going to church. For once they felt as if they were dressed for the occasion.
Everywhere they went people were talking about Rick and Shanda. At first it was delightful. Everyone was so happy for them. It was so much fun to be able to say yes to every child at the door, and see the smiling, appreciative faces.
The money dissipated like rain in the desert. Shanda didn’t have a lot of regrets about where the money went. It was a windfall after all, and she was happy to share it, but when the money ran out, so did their friends.
Pretty soon when the doorbell rang, Shanda would have to say, “Sorry I am not interested.” to the sad confused children, who were told if they solicited the Jacobs’ house, they would save some tread on their tennis shoes.
Then one day in the grocery store as Shanda reached for a box of cereal, she overheard Mrs. Max from the church talking in the next isle.
“I heard they’re broke. Man alive! What I wouldn’t do with twenty-five thousand dollars! They only gave $250 to the poor Bannock family. Well! I might’ve given them the whole thing if it were me! Then showing up for church like a couple of hoity -toities! I s’pose now they think they’re better’n everyone else.
Shanda left her cart in the isle and went home in tears.
Now she sat here at her kitchen table. She tried to think of the last time the phone rang, or the last time someone stopped by just visit with her. She couldn’t remember. She needed something to munch to help console her broken heart. She opened the cupboard to find the 30 boxes of remaining Girl Scout cookies. “OK,” she told herself, “a broken heart, my car paid off, and a ton of junk food.” The thought lightened her up, and she started to giggle.
“I think I will go see if Jane’s home. I haven’t been to see her in awhile.” Then it struck her. She was the one who had neglected her friendships. Sobbing, she bowed her head submissively, for a good long talk with Jesus. She asked forgiveness, and the courage to ask forgiveness from her friends.
Shanda washed her face and headed to Jane’s. She nervously rang the doorbell. She heard the knob rattle as it turned, and burst into tears as Jane opened her door and opened her arms.
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