Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)
TITLE: The WORD’S Conviction: A Gentleman; a Crush; and the Alpha and Omega-creative nonfiction
By Taryn Deets
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She had been stealing glances at his profile, deciding that she liked what she saw there. She even liked his cauliflower ear, as he’d explained to her that he’d earned it wrestling in High School and at the Naval Academy. His question startled her, not the usual question she’d been asked on a first date, and she wondered if this was a test or just idle curiosity.
She thought about how to answer and decided that she’d be honest, “Well, Christ is a great prophet and perhaps a teacher, but not a savior as some Christians believe.”
Even more than his question, his response startled her, “That’s wrong. Christ was a great teacher, but He is the Son of God and Savior to all who believe in Him.”
As they neared their destination, her thoughts drifted back to a particular Sunday evening eleven years prior, when she’d been sixteen. Her mother had just divorced her father and started attending Unity Church in an effort to “find” herself. There were no teens at Unity so when a friend invited her to go to Trinity Baptist, for Sunday night choir practice and youth group, she’d accepted for the fun of being with others her age.
At Trinity Baptist that evening, her friend had asked a similar question to the one she’d just been asked, “What do you believe about Christ?”
Her friend was familiar with the theology of Unity, so he wasn’t surprised by her answer, almost verbatim to the answer she’d just given to the young man. Her friend had then explained who Christ really was and prayed for her to understand this great mystery. However, her heart wasn’t ready to hear that truth yet, and she hadn’t thought much about Christ until this date with the young man.
They had reached the restaurant and Mark, her date, practically leaped out of the car to come around and open her door, before she could open it herself, as she was accustomed to doing.
“Wow,” she thought, “A gentleman!”
They walked into the restaurant and ordered some light appetizers. Sitting talking in the glow of the candle in between them, the girl realized that she might like to get to know Mark a little better, but his question had unsettled her. As she listened while he told her of his family, his life at the Naval Academy, and his upcoming move to Corpus Christi, Texas for flight school, she wondered if they would have another date. She had decided that she would really like that but realized, not from his words alone, that this might hinge on whether or not she shared his religious beliefs. The ride home was just as pleasant and like the gentlemen he had been all evening, he left her at her doorstop with much dignity and respect but without so much as a kiss goodnight. The next time he called, he invited her to go to his church on Sunday morning.
Heals clacking and her suitcase rolling behind her, she strode through the busy concourse in Atlanta’s Hartfield International Airport. Arriving at her departure gate, she briefed the other flight attendants on their itinerary for the day. They would have a four hour layover in Chicago before leaving for Los Angeles to spend twenty-four hours in the City of Angels. The flight to Chicago was uneventful and the crew headed to the lounge in O’Hare International Airport. Settling into a cozy chair, she opened the new Bible she’d bought and sipped her coffee, knowing that she would have plenty of time to read.
Many such days did she spend thus reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. At the end of that year, and just before Mark moved to Texas, she read the last chapter in Revelation. When she came to the gospels, she realized that what Mark had said on that first date was true: Christ was not just a teacher or a prophet; He was the Incarnate Son of God, her Savior, the Alpha and the Omega, Who was and is and is to come!
Twenty years later, married to Mark and raising six amazing children together, this now middle-aged woman chortles remembering those days. She is more grateful than she can say that Christ came to make himself known to her, through a crush on a young gentleman.
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