Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
TITLE: Leading by Example
By Ken Grant
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Navigating the series of paths and corridors that led to the appropriate apartment, Enrique thought about the people who lived here. Most were low income, living from paycheck to paycheck, and not a few lived unsure of their legal status. It was difficult to call people to a life of following Jesus when their own lives were so unsettled. Enrique did not know the husband's story, but he was prepared for anything. The life of a pastor was a challenge in the best of circumstances and looking about him Enrique knew that these were not the best of circumstances. He approached the apartment door, rapped on it with the metal knocker, and waited patiently.
"Pastor, I'm so glad you came."
Yolanda appeared frazzled as she opened the door; clearly putting on her best face.
"Glad I could come."
Yolanda stepped aside to allow Enrique inside. She walked toward a room in the back and he followed. Knocking on the closed door, she called, "Guillermo, the pastor's here."
There was an awkward silence. Yolanda was clearly trying to keep up appearances, but she was just as clearly losing that battle.
A scratchy voice called from within as Yolanda turned the knob and opened the door. She looked weary and frustrated.
"I'll leave you two to get acquainted."
As Yolanda walked off, Enrique stepped into what was colloquially referred to as a man-cave and given the surroundings it was quite a nice one.
"Have a seat pastor. I'll be right with you."
Yolanda's husband sat on a couch with a game controller in hand and using a headset to communicate with his fellow game-players as a video game shown on a very large screen. It was an impressive set-up. Enrique took a seat in a chair and waited as the game played out. Finally the game ended and Yolanda's husband removed the headset and turned off the game.
"Hey, pastor. I'm Guillermo."
"Glad to meet you. Call me Enrique."
"Okay, Enrique. What can I do for you?"
This was the moment that Enrique hated, but he had made a commitment and he would have to see it through.
"Yolanda asked me to visit. She would like you to join her at church."
"I understand. I'm a Christian, Enrique and I'm sure you have a nice church. My wife and kids seem to love it, but I'm just too busy. Sundays are my day of rest; that's biblical you know."
Enrique smiled within. People always had time for everything but church and they always had scripture to back it up.
"It's important to set an example for your children. Otherwise they won't value church."
"They seem to be doing just fine. My job is to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and clothes on their backs. I think I'm doing okay."
"So what's the problem?"
"Your children will do what you do; not what you say."
"We're fine, pastor. I appreciate you coming, but we're okay. I'm sure you have more important problems to deal with."
"Well, thanks for taking the time."
"No problem. I am a Christian and I do appreciate what you are doing for my family."
Enrique took his leave, closing the door carefully behind him.
"Any luck, pastor?"
"I think your husband is happy the way he is."
"Well, you did your best. Thanks for coming."
"See you at church, Yolanda."
Enrique headed back to his truck. He hoped the children would follow the example of their mother, but he wasn't sure. Only time would tell.
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