Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: googled (04/10/14)
- TITLE: Front row John Doe
By Phillip Cimei
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The service came to a close with a spirited invitation; members filed down to the front and even stopped to invite the still visitor to repent and know Jesus. Like a statue he didn't move, reject their offer with a smile, or even acknowledge their effort. Eventually, they all went to the back to mingle and hug each other. The ladies all started whispering about what to do with the man on the front seat. The men all agreed that they would visit with him and search out about who he was. They marched up front, circled him like Indians on a war path swarming a wagon and attempted to arouse him.
“Hey mister are you all right?, said preacher Jack resting his hand on the man's shoulder and shaking him a little.
The man didn't move. Jack turned his hand backwards and lightly tapped his face.
“Are you asleep? Wake up! He noticed his cheeks were red and placed his hand on his forehead. Jack turned to his brethren and said, “He is burning up. Jeb go get the buckboard ready; we need to get him to Doc Stephen.”
In 1874 there wasn't 911 or an urgent care around the corner. Loading up a sick person onto a bone rattling wagon and traveling 20 miles over rocks, ruts and through mud holes to get somewhere was the normal way of life.
They unloaded the man and carried him into the doctor's home, laid him on a couch and told the doctor about the circumstances that led them to his home.
“Doc, we don't know anything about this man. We have never seen him before; none of the members know him, “ said Preacher Jack. “He has this satchel here, but there isn't anything in it except this old bible and some clothes.” Preacher Jack held up the old bible and flipped through the tattered pages. “There isn't any name in it except on the front cover. It says, James baptized 11 June 1855.”
“That tells you a little about him. And I can tell you some other things. He is a devote Christian, a hard worker, and a lover of the Lord.”
“ How can you tell all of that doc?, said Preacher Jack. “How do you know so much about him?”
“Well Jack, you see his knees. His pants are nearly warn through. That's a pray'n man. Unbeknownst to you, I pray a lot over you sick folk. My pants get some warn; so, I know he prays a lot.”
“What else do you know?
“See these thick spectacles. He reads a lot.. You saw his bible. He has read it until the pages are all warn through. Those calluses on his hands says he works hard. The bible says if don't work you don't eat; he is well fed.”
“Well Doc, you would make a great detective. It still doesn't tell us who he is.”
Doc took the man's temperature, listened to his rattling chest and knew right off that he had pneumonia.
“He is very sick, gentlemen. You can leave him here, go back to your homes and get on your knees and pray for his recovery. And yes gentlemen, I'll pray for him too.”
“ Thanks!”, they all said in unison.
“Jack, you better go down to town and send off some telegraphs to the local towns to see if they might know who this gentleman is. Only God knows who he is.” said Doc.
“Doc, wouldn't it be nice if someone invented a machine that could tell us all we needed to know about someone. Maybe where they lived, worked and something about their family life?”
“Maybe someday Jack; maybe someday. The only one right now that can is God. It's probably better that way.”
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