Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
- TITLE: There's a Work To Be Done
By Jan Ross
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Unmoved, if not actually a bit annoyed, the congregation’s response was cold and uninvolved. With a small gift barely enough to cover his expenses that morning, the missionary left with the reminder of his call echoing deep in his soul:
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED
THERE’S A WORK TO BE DONE!”
It was a warm Saturday morning. The youth group was on their way to the inner city where they planned to feed and minister to the homeless. As they boarded the bus, there was a scuffle; someone dropped their ipod and it was accidentally crushed. Pastor Jamie tried to calm everyone down by promising to get things sorted out when they returned. Reminding them where and why they were going, he begged them to keep things in perspective.
A hot wind was blowing in the open field where several homeless gathered waiting for a meal. However, by the time they arrived, the teens were in rare form.
“What if someone tries to pick my pocket?”
“I can’t go out there! It’s hot and dirty and I’m going to a party this afternoon!”
“Those people look scary! I can’t do this!”
“Can’t we just leave the food and go?”
“Why don’t they just get jobs like normal people?”
Vacillating between aggravation and shame, Pastor Jamie unloaded the food and made his apologies to the lingering crowd. Feeling personally responsible, he drove off, repenting on behalf of his self-absorbed group.
Back at the church, the teens were told to stay seated. Choking back the lump in his throat, no longer hiding his tears, Pastor Jamie began to pour out his heart.
“Obviously I have failed to teach you by my example. Jesus said …
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU OR ME
THERE’S A WORK TO BE DONE!
Fresh daisies were the perfect centerpiece for Wilma’s table. Her great-grandmother’s china tea set was meticulously arrayed on the antique table. She stepped back with delight knowing her guests would be honored although she fought intimidation by the mere thought of them entering her modest home.
An invitation had been sent out to a few influential women in the community. Wilma knew this day could potentially change the destiny of many lives. Concerned that she would be able to clearly communicate what God had laid on her heart, she reviewed her speech over and over again while putting the final touches on her table. A final check … her house was picture perfect.
“Mrs. Richardson! Please … come in. Let me take your coat.”
Before long, the doorbell rang again.
“Mrs. Eichler … Mrs. Irwin, come in! And, there’s Mrs. Jameson right behind you! Please ladies, let me take your coats.”
After they had a chance to visit and enjoy the delicacies, Wilma began to share from her heart.
“I’m so honored each of you took time from your busy schedules to come today. As you may have heard, I recently returned from Kenya where I met with a precious missionary family. The living conditions of these devoted people are beyond what I could possibly describe to you. I have reason to believe this family is appointed by God to change the course of their people’s destiny. I also believe with all my heart that God has led me to ask your help with this specific project.”
“Wilma, just tell us what we can do. When we received your invitation, we met and determined that we want to help …”
Mrs. Irwin interrupted, “… and you’ll be pleased to know our husbands are in agreement and have already authorized us to do whatever we can to assist you.”
Wilma graciously shared her scrapbook filled with vivid pictures of hollow eyes, listless expressions, swollen bellies, diseased limbs, impoverished living conditions, all draped in abject hopelessness. Her guests were moved beyond description.
That evening, while reflecting on the miracle of God’s provision, Wilma remembered the words that were etched in her heart since her youth:
I WILL MAKE A WAY
THERE’S A WORK TO BE DONE!”
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