Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Chillax (04/03/14)
- TITLE: To Forgive Is Divine
By Matt Guddat
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Ray, the school principal, was like a miniature doll before the towering frame of the man who opposed him. Most would have cowered at his glare and determination, yet Ray gazed with wide eyes from behind his desk. “Sure,” he said in surprising contrast, “these kids care little about anything.” His tone was firm but warm.
“I am a man of charity,” continued Greg, almost unaware Ray had spoken, “but this accident was anything but that! I watched it unfold…”
The accident Greg referred to occurred outside school grounds the day before. Older students had stolen a car from the teacher’s parking lot and driven it into innocent bystanders adjacent to the school gates.
“… who would willingly do this? It’s dangerous and cruel.”
He was right. Three people now lay injured in hospital beds. Though recovery was expected, all three were shaken up. Greg was supervising as children moved across the road, a duty all the teachers rotated each week. As youth piled through school gates a car screeched round the corner and ploughed into Emily, knocking her unconscious. Greg watched as his daughter fell to the ground and rushed to scoop her in his arms.
Ray interjected “Greg I understand your frustration and as I said, I am sorry about Emily.” He remained cool, calm and collected as he flicked through a journal on his desk. This irritated Greg who was about to transition from simmer to boil.
“You don’t care? You sit smug and unaffected. You chill…”
“Greg, calm down.” Rays voice carried strong enough to quiet Greg. He rose from his leather swivel chair and turned to the window behind him. Looking through the glass toward the street he continued, “I am not smug, nor unaffected. I am deeply affected. It troubles me to see you this upset and know it was your daughter that was hurt.”
Greg, aware he was not thinking strait, relaxed his shoulders but did not yet release a sigh.
“It is not that I feel untroubled by circumstances, it is that I choose to remain relaxed. I cannot change what has been done. I wish things were different but they are not.”
The room seemed to choke Greg as he wrestled with raw emotions. Still he had no words. “How can you remain so relaxed? The offenders escaped. Vanished. Left behind a wave of destruction.” Greg felt hopelessness stand beside him.
As Ray sank into his chair the door creaked open and a young lady slipped her head in.
“I have a message from the hospital.”
“Your wife is fine and you can visit her now.”
Ray cast his eyes to the ground as the receptionist clicked the door shut.
Greg shifted is balance. “I… I never realised. Is she okay?”
Ray gave a deep sigh, smiled and let out what sounded like a hushed laugh, “She is fine. Minor injuries. Just like Emily.” Before Greg could respond Ray continued, “I understand your anger, it’s okay. It’s natural, but just don’t let it rob you of forgiveness.”
A pause rested in the new atmosphere. “Well thanks for your time. I’ll be off now. You wanna ride to the hospital?”
“No thanks. You go ahead and I’ll be behind you.”
As Greg left the room Ray leant over his desk and read his journal entry.
And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. Exodus 33:14
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