Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Minute(s) (as in time) (03/03/11)
TITLE: Trivial Things
By Melanie Kerr
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Grace, the receptionist at the Complaints Department of the Kingdom of God, had offered Kirsten tea and the use of a rest room to repair the immediate damage to her appearance. The refusal was monosyllabic.
“The Boss is on His way.”
A mixture of triumph and shame stirred inside. Triumph that the Boss was leaving the wedding to see her – leaving His Son’s wedding. Shame? For that very same reason – that the Boss was leaving His Son’s wedding to see her.
Kirsten stamped on the shame and stirred up her sense of grievance.
“He should have been on time!” The comment wasn’t directed at anyone in particular, but Grace responded anyway.
“Having worked here for a while now I have come to realize that being on time…well, the Son is always on time…His time… and His time isn’t always our time. He arrives when He plans to arrive…not always when we want Him to.”
“That’s all very well,” Kirsten snorted, “But if He has been on time that whole oil thing would never have happened.”
“Oil thing?” The oil thing was common knowledge. The Boss was careful to keep everyone in the loop, explaining the truth, not as He perceived it, but as it was.
Kirsten was one of half a dozen bridesmaids who had been locked out of the wedding feast. She had the dress and the makeup all flawlessly in place, but had neglected the practical things like the oil for the lamps.
“So I forgot to fill the oil lamp! Big deal! Those self righteous prigs wouldn’t share the oil they had. What was I supposed to do? Without the oil I couldn’t light His way to the bride. We went to buy some oil. We were away barely a few minutes. And then He chose to come. He was hours late… and we were minutes late, after waiting hours, and we were locked out. How fair is that? I broke a nail banging on the door.” Kirsten thrust the damaged fingernail into the Grace’s face.
Kirsten could clearly see the injury done to her but seemed to be blind to her own responsibility in the event. As a bridesmaid her responsibility extended beyond looking pretty in pink.
“So we are talking about fairness, are we?”
The Boss had arrived quietly at the reception desk. He was dressed for the wedding in a glorious golden robe that shimmered.
“Let me tell you about fairness. Do you know why my Son was late for His wedding?”
Kirsten found it impossible to maintain her anger with the Boss standing so near.
“He was out on the highways and the byways inviting people to come. You see, invitations had been sent out ages ago. Then the excuses flooded in. There was a field to look at…and a pair of oxen to test drive. Something as important as my Son’s wedding…and they had something else that urgently needed to be done instead. Not urgent at all – just trivial things. The feast had been prepared and there was a wedding to celebrate so we opened up the invitation to the lost and the least and the leftovers of society. That’s why He was late.”
The Boss shook his head sadly.
“People look at trivial things and give them an importance they don’t deserve…”
Like the acres of soft pink satin and gossamer lace…trivial, thought Kirsten. The hair carefully arranged, the pale pink satin shoes and the makeup…all trivial.
“The things that really matter…these are the things that people neglect.”
“I’m truly sorry, Kirsten…” She didn’t need to look at the Boss’ face to see that he was indeed sorry. He never said anything that wasn’t true.
The locked door had never really been down to a matter of minutes. It has always been about the one thing that mattered. The one thing she neglected to do.
She handed over her lamp to the Boss.
“It’s no use to me anymore, is it?”
Dressed in acres of soft pink satin and gossamer lace she left the building.
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