Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GAMBLE (04/14/16)
TITLE: Venture Without Risk
By Cherry Bieber
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“How did this get started in your life?” a kind voice from the past echoed.
He stammered, “I…I’m not…I don’t know,” while rubbing his eyes hard with his thick fists. He wondered why they always asked that question. He stared emotionless across the room before speaking again, this time with the chill of the calm preceding a storm. “Because life is just a gamble anyway, isn’t it? Everything is a gamble. Getting out of bed, eating, going to work, getting married, having a family, robbing a store…it’s all just gambling any way you look at it, so this is just more of the same. Just a venture with risk.” His voice drifted into a weak, hoarse whisper and then he was suddenly angry again and shouted, “I DON’T KNOW WHY!!” He wrung his hands then stretched them out before clenching them tight and pounding the table. Soon the room was teaming with familiar uniforms. He didn’t bother resisting as they grabbed him and led him back to confinement where he would be given an injection. He lost track of how many times he had been committed and released.
He awakened suddenly to sharp pain in his back brought on by his cramped position on the hard, cold floor of the bathroom. Relieved to see it was still dark outside, he struggled to stand without success. He finally crawled to the bed where he stayed until noon the following day. A sliver of sunlight slipped through a torn, dirty shade streaking boldly across his eyes, which he did not open, though he was quite awake. A tear slid from the corner of one eye and then the other. Behind closed lids he saw his mother and father, then his wife and children. They were weeping and pleading. Unable to bear it, he bolted upright onto the edge of the bed. Consumed with despair he succumbed to deep sobs that shook his tense, aching form.
“I want to help you, but you must work with me.” The kind voice from the past spoke again. He placed his hands tight over his ears to stop the sound, but the voice was in his head. There was no escape. “You have traded everything of value in your life to gamble. I’m offering you something…some One…with whom there is no gamble. I’m asking you to consider Him, give Him a chance.”
“It’s too late. It’s over. I have lost everyone and everything. There is nothing now. Just leave me alone. I have destroyed my own family’s Love for me, so what makes you think this Jesus would give me the time of day?” He found himself speaking aloud to the voice in his head.
“As long as there is breath there is hope. Let me help you.” The kind man scribbled something on a scrap of paper handing it to him as he stood to leave. “Here is my number. Call me.”
He began to fumble through his pockets frantically until his fingers grasped what he feared he had lost and slowly pulled it from his pocket. Though crumpled and torn, he was able to read the number clearly. He pulled the phone onto his lap and lifted the receiver with a fiercely trembling hand. “He says there is no gamble, but even if there is, it’s a gamble I’ve never taken.” he muttered to himself as he dialed the number.
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