Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SOCIAL (04/07/16)
TITLE: A Special Connection
By Chris Goglin
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I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Sitting in the back pew, Susan didn’t feel like part of any family. She clutched her Bible in a shield-like manner as she left the sanctuary. She steered her way through circles of chitchat, and impatient kids in the hallway. This was her first visit to a new church without her husband, and it was harder than she thought.
I guess I should get in line to meet the pastor. I wish Steve was here.
"Oh, I'm sorry," exclaimed Karen, accidentally bumping into Susan. "Come on Anna, Joey; it's not nice to push."
"It's OK," said Susan with a fake smile, finding herself at the end of the line.
It’s getting too congested in here. My legs feel like rubber; I just have to leave!
It had been six months since Susan’s husband died. Her family had all gone home after the funeral, and she knew she had to rebuild her life. But how? She and her husband, Steve, had moved to Arizona only 3 months before he died unexpectedly. She took a giant leap of faith in this impromptu visit. Susan wasn’t ready. At the moment, she just wanted to disappear into the woodwork.
Suddenly another impatient member dashed in front of Susan. The elderly lady disregarded her presence which made her feel even less welcomed.
OK, this must be a sign. I’m out of here.
Susan sheepishly grinned as she slipped past the pastor and through the glass doors. She began walking toward her car in the back of the parking lot.
At least no one will see me crying back there.
Letting out a huge breath, Susan opened her car door, and slid into the driver's seat.
“I'm glad that is over. This doesn’t seem to be the church for me.”
She turned the ignition key, but the engine sputtered to a halt.
"What!" glancing at the gas gauge. "I've got plenty of gas, what's wrong? Oh come on. Not now!"
After several tries, Susan slumped over the wheel. "I can’t believe this is happening."
I cannot go back into that crowd!
Susan sat and waited. She closed her eyes, prayed, and tried to take a calming breath.
“Dear Lord, you know this is hard for me, why did you make it even worse?
I am struggling to do the things Steve did since he died, he always drove to church, and took care of the car.”
Susan watched as each family dashed to their car, and drove out of the parking lot. Fifteen minutes had gone by. Swallowing hard, she opened the car door, and tried to act normal. Fidgeting with her dress, she attempted the grueling walk back to the church.
Why is this so hard? I miss my husband so much; he would know what to do!
As her eyes welled up with tears, Susan stepped up on the sidewalk toward the church entrance when the pastor miraculously appeared at the side door.
"Oh, Hello! I’m Pastor Williams,” giving Susan a strong handshake, “Is something wrong? You look a little frazzled.”
“Well, I’ve had better days. My car died in your parking lot, and don’t know quite what to do.”
He must have seen Susan shaking, and gently touched her shoulder. "Don't worry, we will get that car running in a jiffy!"
After he attached jumper cables to her engine, the car started immediately.
"Thanks, I feel much better now."
"No problem. Hey, I know we have just met, but my wife and I are going to Cracker Barrel for lunch. It’s down the street, would you like to join us?
Nodding, with eyes glowing from his acceptance. "I would love to!"
"We will follow you over to make sure your car makes it."
“Thanks, meet you there!” Susan quickly got behind the wheel again, but this time feeling grateful, confident, and connected to others once again.
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with Gods people and also members of His household." (Ephesians 2:19, NIV)
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