Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FRESH START (01/05/17)
TITLE: The Next Best Thing
By Ken Grant
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"Got to keep going. It's a long way, but I can make it."
He had done so much damage over the years. He had thrown away too many relationships that had once meant so much to him. Over and over again he had chosen addiction over those who truly cared for him. His body bore the scars of all those nights sleeping out in the elements of the seemingly idyllic city along the ocean that he had called home for so many years. He didn't believe that returning to the place that had broken him was a particularly good idea, but right now his options were few. Finally, as his legs were nearly at their end, he reached his destination; a large, old building set apart by a white cross.
"Is there a service tonight?"
His words are desperate. He is at his end. Those things that he had once rejected now were the only things that mattered.
"Not tonight, but return on Friday."
A mere day and a half, but for him an eternity. He has a possibility, but other options quickly loom on the horizon. To his left is a return to what he has known for so many years. Yes, it is bondage, but it also feels safe. To his right is hope, but also unknown. Fear overtakes him like a shroud and he begins to shake.
"I can do this."
Four simple words, but they are a beginning of a better way of life. He makes the choice for hope and begins to walk toward the ocean. Each step he feels as though he is leaving his old life behind, but for what he doesn't know. Amazingly he spies a familiar face; a true friend.
"Where have you been?"
A simple question, but one loaded with the many changes that are coursing through him. He thinks of many responses, but settles for the simplest.
"Need a place to stay?"
It is a questions born out of experience. The face of understanding and kindness overwhelms him. His entire body bolts upright with joy.
"Yes, thank you so much."
Two nights later he enters the church once again. He feels more presentable, but that is not his focus as he sits down carefully in the back. The pastor begins to tell the parable of the prodigal son. As the man listens, he ponders the miracle of a God who runs to receive the sinner back into his arms. He is that prodigal and now, he is home.
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