Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)
TITLE: Do You See What I See?
By Fern Brown
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Angela burst through the door, sobbing as if there were no tomorrow. Her sky blue eyes were bloodshot and swollen. With dishtowel in hand, Marissa hurried from the kitchen, in time to see Angela punching the decorative sofa pillow. She detected a serious problem.
"Angela, what in the world is wrong with you?" Marissa, plopping down beside her, placed both hands gently on her shoulders.
"You told me ... Charlie ... is a wonderful... Christian man... who would never ... hurt ... a... flea." she sobbed.
"Indeed he is, Angela. What happened?”
"I thought he was wonderful too, until now." Angela spat out the words through clenched teeth. "I drove forty miles from my house to surprise him at work, but I got the shock of my life. You and I think we're great judges of character, but this time we were way off base."
"Why are you so upset?" Marissa's voice was soothing, trying to calm her friend’s anxiety.
"Marissa, you told me Charlie has had his share of hurts. Well, you know the saying, 'hurting people hurt people'. He's been toying with me. Why did he have to choose me to be the one to pay back for all his heartaches?"
"Stop blubbering and tell me what you’re talking about.” Marissa commanded her, realizing sternness was necessary.
"I went to the landscaping company where he works. I saw him, with my own two eyes, kiss another girl and wave good-bye to her as she drove off. That's what happened! I'm hurt and furious. And totally confused," Angela wailed.
"Have you met his family, yet?" Marissa prayed for discernment. She perceived Angela’s grief, but needed insight to broach the topic with one so distraught.
"He asked me to meet his family this weekend. He wants to consider marriage before long. Now this...," her voice faded into a whimpering groan.
"Has he ever given you any reason to think he would be two-timing you? You spend a lot of time on the phone and going out with him. Do you really believe he has time to chase after someone else, too? And he told you he loves you."
"I think he is the MOST wonderful man I ever met. No! None of this sounds like the man I've grown to love."
"Did he see you drive off, Angela?"
"Yes, he did. He acted like he didn't even know me. He didn't wave or call me back or anything."
"Let me get a cold, wet washcloth. Freshen yourself up and we'll go see him. I told you I tried to gain his attention in the past and he let me down gently, so I know he wouldn’t hurt you. Especially if he said he wants to marry you."
Angela's distress was bitter as they drove to see Charlie. "What will I say to him? I care for him and I trusted him. Now he's made a complete fool of me."
“Just don’t make a bigger fool of yourself! Keep your head screwed on and you’ll get a clearer revelation than you already had.”
Angela cried out in anguish, "See for yourself, Marissa. He's over there in the gazebo with that same girl and they’re holding hands." She reached to open the door, but Marissa pushed the automatic lock before Angela could get out. "Why did you do that," she asked.
"Just be patient. You’ll comprehend things differently in about thirty seconds."
Angela began ranting about the discovery she witnessed. “I could just wring his neck and make chicken soup out of him,” she declared with no hint of mercy. Marissa coaxed her to quiet down and control herself.
There was a light peck on Angela's window. She glanced out to see Charlie's smiling face. She looked back to the gazebo to see Charlie holding hands with another woman. Back and forth, her eyes shifted.
Slowly, she opened the now unlocked car door and climbed out.
Charlie, oblivious to her discomfort, said, "I could have sworn I saw you earlier, but you sped off in a cloud of dust. I thought it must have been someone else. Hey, since you're here, let's take a little walk. I'll introduce you to my twin brother and his wife. He’s the manager of the nursery. Did I ever mention that to you?”
I Kings 3:9a Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad:
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