Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)
TITLE: Max's Mission
By Melanie Kerr
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Maxwell Clunes. That’s my name. It’s not my real name. It’s just my pretend name, for the duration of the mission. What can I tell you about Max? I work in a supermarket filling shelves. It doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? I am not married. That’s a shame. It would have been nice to have had a pretend wife, and a pretend baby and a pretend pet dog.
My mission is to infiltrate Sun Street Trinity Church and “ascertain the quality of the spiritual connection”. That means the management want to know if it’s a real church or not. On the outside it looks real. It’s got a notice board, a snazzy poster and a big cardboard cut-out thermometer – that’s something to do with raising funds for the repair of the church organ. Trinity has a sizable congregation and they support a missionary couple in Cambodia.
I get to go to church on Sunday and to a house-group mid-week meeting. I have been issued with a Bible, and I have been trained to sing hymns and choruses. I have to admit that I like “Amazing Grace”. I think it’s theologically sound and has a lovely tune.
You are going to love this gadget! You peel off the bit of paper from the back and then you stick it onto something – a wall maybe, or underneath the pew you’re sitting on. See the digital display? This is so cool. Depending on the quality of the spiritual connection it turns a certain colour. See, if I switch it on now, and wait a bit…brilliant white! If it was to show brilliant white at Trinity that would prove that it is a real church. You only get brilliant white if there is a strong connection. You don’t get many brilliant whites. Yellows, reds and oranges – they are not bad. Blues, greens and purples are a bit dodgy. The shades you don’t want to see are the greys and the blacks. There are quite a few grey churches out there. Even the ones with musical directors and ministry teams! Just because it looks like a church, and acts like a church, doesn’t mean it is a church!
I have this form to fill in too! I have to see if anyone talks to me. That box there is for the number of conversations I have. We did a bit of role play about conversations. It’s very complicated. Do you realise that just because people are talking to one another it doesn’t mean that they are really talking to one another? Just because they ask you how you are it doesn’t mean that they really want to know. It’s all in the eyes. You have to watch what their eyes are saying, not what their mouths are doing!
That box is for the number of handshakes I get. You’re not looking for a high number here. I’ve seen the statistics on this one. The handshake is sometimes a substitute for real fellowship according to our experts. Hugs are only slightly better. They get recorded in this box here.
You get to tick this box here if you get invited to someone’s home for lunch! I don’t normally eat physical food, but I have done the simulation. I know all about knives and forks and what to do with a napkin. I have to hope it’s not a Chinese couple that invites me as I wouldn’t know what to do with chopsticks.
Aside from all of that, you know what I am really looking forward to? I just want to see if I can see heaven from earth. As I stand, or sit, shoulder to shoulder with a human being, in Trinity Church, will I be able to see heaven?
I have been taught that worship on earth is supposed to be just like it is in heaven! Trouble is churches don’t seem to realise that! It’s all a bit of an act sometimes. They play at being church, but underneath the pretence it’s not real.
I should know what real looks like! After all I am angel.
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