Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Right and Left (07/31/14)
- TITLE: Did I See A Ghost?
By Phillip Cimei
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“Oh, dear Jesus!” screamed Peter dropping his coffee cup.
“Honey, what are your doing up this time of night?” asked his wife Jill.
With a deep inhale, he took both hands and wiped the sweat from his face. His heart was racing like a thoroughbred at the finish line; he let out a sigh of relief. Taking a dishcloth, he blotted up the spilled coffee from his lap--he had hoped it was coffee and he hadn't wet all over himself.
“I am either going crazy, or I have been seeing a ghost, Jill.”
Jill raised her eyebrows and said, “Give me a break. Let's go to bed.”
Peter wasn't going to sleep until he could answer the question, are there really ghosts? All week long he had been passing by Hickory Street Chapel and seeing a vulnerable, frail old woman kneeling at the three crosses on the front lawn. Oblivious to the elements, stinging sleet ricocheted off her quivering body, snow enshrouded her as she pleaded to God, and freezing rain mingled with her showers of soulful tears. Each day he would attempt to stop to ask her if she was alright. Each day as he would turn to lock his car, check for oncoming traffic or blink, she would disappear. He had to find out. Maybe he could ask the pastor of the church. “Yes!” he yelled out.
“What...huh...oh pleeeease go to sleep!” pleaded Jill.
The next day Peter came across the same situation. She was there and then she disappeared. He anxiously walked up to the front door of the chapel. As he grabbed the handle, a cold chill came over him. Eyes bulging, his head wrenched around; as it did, the door creaked open.
“Can I help you,” came the voice of Pastor John.
“Oh, yeah...aaa...oh... feeew!”
“Why so jumpy?”
“Well, I'll tell ya. That's why I'm here.” Peter began telling the pastor what he had been seeing.
“One time Jesus' disciples saw what they thought were ghosts. God works in mysterious ways,” said Pastor John.
“Yeah, but this is spooky.”
“Well, there is a little story behind that little old lady you think you are seeing,” said Pastor John.
“Mary Evans was one of the most devoted members of this chapel some fifty years ago. She had two sons. As they grew up, the older one became hardened to her instruction about Jesus. The younger one was a follower. One day they robbed a bank, were convicted and went to prison. While in prison, the older son killed an inmate and was sentenced to die. Mary, disenchanted, came here and started praying at the crosses out front.”
“Why did she go to the cross on the right and on the left?”
“She grieved for those heartbroken mothers that would have to watch their sons suffer punishment for their sins. And like the thief who scorned Jesus, these sons would die with unbelief choking their heart. After she went to the right cross, she would go to the left cross and pray for those sons that looked upon the face of Jesus and believed. Finally, she would go to the middle cross and praise the name of Jesus for His unselfish act of sacrifice for her sons and the sons of grieving mothers.
Her exposure to the elements took its toll. She caught pneumonia and died. But not before her youngest son, just released from prison, came to her bedside. With a remorseful, aching heart he said, 'Momma...momma...I'm so sorry.'
He lowered his head and the last words she heard were, 'God be merciful to me a sinner.'”
Peter's face told it all.
“You have two sons don't you?” asked Rev. John
“How did you know?” Peter bowed his head and started weeping. He turned and without a word went out front. First to the right cross, then to the left cross. Just as he started praying at the middle one, he felt a presence. He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. He turned around and....
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