Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write a Coming OF AGE short story (11/20/14)
- TITLE: Blinded
By Anne Warden
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The evening was going from bad to worse. It was only Friday and Megan was stuck here until Monday. She was desperate to get out of this house. But if her dad returned from Chicago and found she’d been home alone, he’d tan her hide. She was trapped.
She’d first sensed something was strange when her new friend had scampered onto the porch where she stroked a long silver object attached to the door jamb. Sarah had called it a ‘mezz–’something. Later Mr. Benjamin called from downstairs, “Hurry, girls. It’s almost time to light the Sabbath candles.” That had sparked an argument and now a vehement darkness crackled between the two seventeen-year-olds, their enmity still gnawing.
The argument swirled in Megan’s brain. “Sarah, the Sabbath isn’t until Sunday.”
“Some people go to church that day, but by God’s timing, Sabbath is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.”
“Where did you hear that?”
“It’s in the Bible. It’s even one of the Ten Commandments. My people have kept Sabbath starting on Friday evening for thousands of years.”
“Your people?” Megan began to panic. “Just who are your people?”
“The Jews.” Sarah was irritatingly calm with her answer.
“Jews? You told me you were a Christian. You even make a show in Campus Life meetings of reading the Bible and praying. But you lied to all of us.”
“I didn’t lie. My whole family have accepted Jesus as our Messiah. We are Christians.”
“You can’t be a Christian,” Megan hissed. “You’re a stinking Jew! A Christ-killing Jew!” She’d run out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Right into Sarah’s dad. His look had been indulgent as he silently led her to the table.
That made her even angrier. Who does he think he is? And what’s this stupid prayer his wife is praying?
“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe . . .”
No Christian prays like that. Liars. All of them.
“. . . who has commanded us to keep the Sabbath holy. We now offer our time back to You as a day of rest and peace, to draw closer to You. Thank You for this wonderful day. Amen.”
Well, Christians do pray like that last part.
Mr. Benjamin lifted an embroidered cloth off a nearby plate to reveal a loaf of bread, shaped like a braid. He tore a small piece off and raised his eyes heavenward, “Blessed are You, Lord our God . . .”
Here we go again.
“. . . who brings forth bread from the earth.”
Then the food was passed around. It all smelled delicious, but Megan had no appetite. She glanced across the table. Sarah’s eyes were down, her mouth a straight line.
Mr. Benjamin spoke. “Megan, we hear you’re born again.”
“Where do you attend church?”
“The Community Church on Lincoln Avenue.”
“Are you ever amazed at the many different churches, yet understand we all love and obey the same Jesus?”
Megan’s face grew hot. She didn’t know what to say.
The man didn’t wait for her answer. “I am. But what amazes me more is that all my family - formerly blinded Jews - now know Jesus as our savior. You see, Satan blinds the eyes of many people about lots of things. Yes, some of the Jews – Jesus’ own people – helped crucify Him. My savior. Your savior, Megan.”
She looked up, but couldn’t hold his gaze.
“I am very ashamed of that deed done by my people, in their arrogant blindness. But I’m also ashamed of the part the Roman Gentiles played.”
Megan’s dad had always called Jews ‘Christ-killers’, but never once had he said that about the Romans. Yet it was true, wasn’t it? The Romans had played perhaps even a greater part in Jesus’ crucifixion. That made Gentiles as much to blame as Jews. The thought stunned her.
When Megan’s eyes met Mr. Benjamin’s, the kindness she saw there was her undoing. Tears swam across her vision.
He put down his fork and placed his hand gently over hers. “We are all sometimes blinded by Satan.”
Megan nodded. “We are, aren’t we?”
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