Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)
TITLE: A Time of Grace
By Suzanne Shepard
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Celia’s aging parents had lived a dedicated and religious life before their family. As a new Christian, she wasn’t convinced that their salvation was cemented in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Celia was genuinely concerned about their eternal destiny.
Having endured her mother’s harsh words of rejection years before, she timidly approached them with the Gospel one more time.
“Dad, Mom, I want to talk to you today about getting into Heaven. I know that you have spent our enter life teaching us to love God and to obey the Commandments, but I need to know if you understand what it actually takes to get into Heaven.”
After sharing the truth of the Gospel with them, Celia was once again confronted with her mother’s words of rejection.
“Well,” Mother said, “I believe that we are just fine and that you don’t have to worry about us. You can believe what you want, but I am not changing my mind. And from now on, I’d appreciate it if you would just keep your Bible and your ‘Jesus’ talk to yourself. And I don’t want you talking to your brothers and sisters about it either.”
As she gathered the bowl of warm water and towel to wash their feet, Celia respectfully acknowledged her Mother’s wishes and symbolically wiped the dust off her shoes as she followed Christ’s example of washing her parent’s feet.
Before she got up to go, Celia glanced up to read the expressions on each of their faces. Her mother sat with arms crossed, lips pursed in obvious defiance. Her father sat quiet and wordless beside her, wiping away silent tears from his eyes.
“I love you Mom and Dad.” Celia said as she walked quietly to the door.
Time passed and Celia never forgot the tender heart that she witnessed in her fathers eyes that night. She had made a promise to not bring the subject of Jesus up in their home ever again, so when her father’s health began to fail, Celia cried out to God for help. She needed an opportunity to share the love of Jesus one more time with her Dad before it was too late.
“Celia,” Mother called, “Your father had some problems with his heart… he’s in the hospital. If you want to go visit him, he is in Room 112.”
“Thanks, Mom. I will go visit him tomorrow morning.”
In her heart Celia was rejoicing. “Jesus, you are so awesome. Thank you for getting my Daddy out of the house, to a place where I can speak to him freely about you. Only one thing, Lord, when I go to see him, I need you to do something with Mom… you know I cannot talk to Daddy with her in the room.”
Filled with joy and a spirit of expectation, she approached Room 112 with caution. Peering inside, Celia saw only her father laying quietly in his bed.
“Hi Daddy, where’s Mom?”
“Oh she stepped out for just a few minutes, she should be back soon.”
Thrilled that God had given her this wonderful time of grace, Celia talked quickly to her father about the love that Jesus held for him. She shared the Gospel in short-form and asked her Daddy if he’d like to pray and ask Jesus into his heart.
He smiled and nodded his head “Yes.”
All the angels in Heaven rejoiced at his confession of faith. Then Celia asked if there was anything else he needed.
“I’ve had this terrible headache that won’t go away… the doctors don’t know what is causing it.”
“Jesus can fix that too, Daddy. I will anoint your head with oil and we’ll ask Jesus to take it away.”
“Well there you are!” Mother said as she stepped into the room. “I had a couple errands to run before the day got late.”
“That’s okay, Mom. Daddy and I were just talking….”
“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God… that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.” Ezra 9:8 (KJV)
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