Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Think (09/02/10)
TITLE: Angel's Plea
By Nancy Bucca
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With incredible compassion he straightens a crippled woman’s back. With mind-blowing insight He greatly multiplies the snack. With ingenious timing He raises a four-day-old cadaver from the dead. Many rejoice to see such amazing miracles while other individuals, full of unbelievable fury, scramble to destroy the evidence. 1 Think!
Inside the Hospital of Callous Ignorance He spies a man with a withered hand and makes it whole. Upon seeing this, many professional “shrinks” with shriveled hearts and poisoned minds plot to nip his career in the bud. 2 Think!
With a little mud, a little spit, and a perfect knowledge of the Father’s will he heals a man born blind. Un-insightful “holy” guys respond by ejecting the seeing man from God’s house. 3 Think!
With fervent passion he throws himself into the study of obedience, sweating great drops of blood for those who know not what they do. He lets himself be mocked, spit on, beaten, whipped, and tortured to death in order to save the world from its expert stupidity. Three days later, the ones who had him murdered pay good money to silence the growing cloud of witnesses testifying to his resurrection. 4 Think!
What numbskulls would try to cover up the very truth that could set them free? With what old soldiers’ tales do they still contrive to hide Christ from His body of believers? Think!
Angel had been doing a lot of thinking lately. “Isn’t Jesus the same yesterday, today and forever?” she reasoned. “Can’t we expect him to do the same miracles in our time that he did for the early church?” 5
“Wha . . .?” Her drooping grandpa suddenly sat up. He gulped a snore. “Sorry, sweetie. I must have dozed off. What were you saying?”
She took a deep breath. “We were talking about the fact that one of the signs that follow those who believe in Jesus is that they’ll lay hands on the sick and see them recover. Well, I’d like to do that for Katie - if you’ll give me a chance, that is. I know that if I pray for her, she’ll get better.” 6
Pawpaw gave Angel’s head a pat. God bless this little cherub, sitting there with her head in the clouds, willing to do anything to help her ailing cousin who had recently taken a turn for the worse. She meant well, but according to the doctors Katie didn’t have long to live. And Pawpaw didn’t want to risk a visit because - well, he couldn’t bear to watch her die.
He felt his eyes fill with tears as the feelings he had kept buried for so long came bursting to the surface. Voice trembling, he forced the words, “Angel, I know the scriptures like the back of my hand. And in my opinion, this is one thorn in the flesh we’d best not try to pull. Understand?”
But Angel wasn’t giving up. “Did God tell you that?” she asked, “or did you come up with it on your own? Think, Pawpaw. Who told you Jesus doesn’t want to heal her?” She pushed back a sweaty curl from her brow, exhausted from the bitter struggle to rouse her grandpa’s sleepy cranium.
“Why I never said. . .,” Pawpaw began. Then the impact of her statement hit him. Why didn’t he believe? Had a careful examination of scripture convinced him that God was no longer in the miracle business, or had he allowed some “lying soldier” of religious tradition to dictate his beliefs? When was the last time he had pondered the fascinating truths contained within the pages of the world’s most thought-provoking book? Probably longer ago than he cared to admit. Much longer, actually. 7
He dipped a hand into his pocket, removed the keys, and threw them in Angel’s lap. “Start up the truck. It’s time you and I went for a little spin over to the hospital.”
1 Luke 13:10-17; John 6:5-64, 8:31-59, 11:1-53, & 12:10-11
2 Mark 3:1-6
3 John 9:1-41; Matthew 15:14
4 John 3:16; Hebrews 5:5-9; Matthew 28:1-10 & 11-15; Hebrews 12:1
5 Hebrews 13:8
6 Mark 16:17-18; John 14:12
7 I Corinthians 2:4-5
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