Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)
TITLE: Remember the Cross
By Venice Kichura
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“But enough of my woes…God’s always faithful….So glad you came over for tea, Sheila. I’ve missed you since you’ve started going to that new store-front church across town…. Oh..…I don’t think I’ve shared my Easter gift from Mother. ” She rattled on, holding up her new crucifix. “It’s a family heirloom, belonged to my great-grandmother…”
“Katie,” Sheila interrupted her. Her intense brown eyes grew large and serious as she focused on her friend and not her crucifix. “I’ve been trying to explain how we don’t have to ‘just get by.’ Our Father God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and he wants us to prosper and be in good health. We’re King’s Kids!”
”See….It’s all in this little booklet, You Can Have What You Say….Here…Take it. Read for yourself.”
Katie just muttered an automatic “no thanks”, adding, “Hey, remember me? I sat next to you in confirmation class some twenty years ago. I know God loves to bless us, but we’re still to seek His will…..You know, take up our cross and follow Him. Those ‘health ‘n wealth boys’ you listen to on your so-called Christian television stations need to remember the cross in their ‘prosperity’ message.”
“You just don’t get it,” Sheila broke in, again, pointing to the crucifix. I don’t mean to offend, Katie, but Jesus came down off that cross and arose! And, he also died for our healing and prosperity….besides our sins.”
Katie looked away but Sheila continued,”There’s a new healing evangelist ministering at my new church tonight. Why don’t you join me?”
“But, Sheila, it’s Good Friday. Surely your new church holds services tonight?”
“There you go, again, Katie….Too much on the blood and gore, the dark side….Jesus arose! Look…I’ve gotta go…You’re still my best friend…I’m praying’ you ‘see the light’. We don’t have to settle for anything but God’s best. Sure you don’t want to join me?”
But her best friend just sighed.
“KER ….CHEW!!!”Katie let out a king-size sneeze so intense her kitten jumped backwards.
“Receive you healing!” Sheila exclaimed, immediately laying hands on her nose, praying.
Katie just grabbed a tissue, smiling politely, as Sheila hugged her goodbye and left.
. Why are religious people so blinded to the truth? Sheila wondered, driving away. Praise God, I know the truth.
. She felt good about how she’d prayed for old Mrs. Wheeler last week. While everyone else had accepted she was dying of lung cancer, Sheila insisted she was healed by the stripes of Jesus. She’d laid hands on her, anointed her with oil, believing for a miracle, commanding the cancer to leave in Jesus’ name.
Too busy to stop home for dinner, she turned into a fast-food drive-thru, admiring the flashy fire-engine red convertible in front of her.
”I should believe God for a car like that,” she sighed, listening to her old ‘94 clunker clatter and shake. “After all, I’m a King’s Kid…Can have what I say.”
Her cell phone went off as she picked up her order to drive away.
“Sheila?” The voice on the other end stammered through tears. “This is Bill Wheeler, Dottie Wheeler’s son…I just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done for my mom and let you know she went home to be with Jesus today…She was just plain tired… gave up the fight.”
“Oh…Oh no! I’m so sorry!” Sheila cried, perplexed because she’d prayed for his mother, believing for her healing.
“Just before she died, she ‘spoke’ volumes with her gnarly fingers, performing a simple jester she’s done all her life,” the young man continued, through broken sobs. “She hadn’t spoken or eaten for days, but with her frail, trembling fingers, she made the sign of the cross, her raspy voice whispering, ‘I’m coming…. comin’… home.’ Then she smiled and closed her eyes…dying the same day our Lord died…”
“I loved your mom,” Sheila said, choking on her tears. “I am so sorry.”
She hung up, haunted with questions…Why wasn’t Mrs. Wheeler healed? She knew she’d prayed in faith, believing….
She’s healed now, …
Trembling, she turned her clunker around and drove by her old church. She stopped and meditated on the three 10-foot wooden crosses planted out front. Deep within her spirit, she wept and, again, heard the same, still small voice…
It’s a cheap Easter without Good Friday. Remember the cross.
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