Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cat and Dog (09/04/14)
TITLE: Friendly Enemies~
By C D Swanson
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JoAnn and Deborah stood with arms crossed in silence.
Pastor continued in a low yet strong voice, "We have to meet this deadline in order to keep this church open. There are issues pending that call for a cohesive alliance, and standing there arguing like recalcitrant children clearly isn’t the answer."
"She's the one that’s going against the grain, not me!" JoAnn threw her purse across the long mahogany table, "I'm sick of being the lackey in this equation. She treats me like a second class citizen."
Deborah threw her hands up and spoke directly to Pastor "See? Do you see what I’m up against? Do you see it now?"
"Okay...okay. Please, let's call a truce. The two of you listen up. We all want what's best for the community, which ultimately translates to keeping this church up and running. We have so many families depending on us here in this poor side of town."
"I'm not the one who always starts--"
"Oh Deborah knock it off...you always start. And you call yourself a Christian? Ha! There's a joke in itself."
Pastor Eric searched his heart and prayed for an answer and help. The two of them fought as if they were natural enemies. They were both so important to the mission...he couldn't decide on one over the other. He needed God's help and input. The two ladies were clearly on a non-Christian path, both showing signs of fleshy behavior...and not walking in the spirit.
"Ladies, we have the board of directors coming soon, we have to provide an outline of our needs...and both of you have to be a part of this. There are children in need of homes. We have the plans for building the housing complex, and Praise God for His grace, we now have the funds. We also have the missionaries waiting for the okay to head to Africa. Do you fully understand what's riding on this?"
Deborah and JoAnn sat in silence with heads down; the only sound was the incessant clicking of JoAnn's pen.
"Ladies, please...can we come to an understanding? We haven't much time."
Pastor placed his hands over his face and prayed, "Please Lord, give us a sign. Let these two ladies see that they can get along for the purpose of goodness, let them see they’re not enemies, but children of an almighty and sovereign God. Please give them a change of heart to carry on in a Christian manner...I ask for Your help and guidance, in Jesus name I pray. Amen."
Suddenly,they heard whimpering and mewing sounds. The three of them looked around quickly. Deborah stood and rapidly walked to the entrance and opened the door. There, on the top step, was a small brown dog, dirty and matted, with ribs prominently displayed. Alongside the dog, a tiger cat stood equally filthy, and scrawny. The dog licked the cat as she mewed.
Deborah cried out, "Oh my heavens!" She knelt down and began to pet them both ever so gently.
"Oh my goodness...Where did they come from? Oh the poor little guys. Let's bring them inside. Hurry, it's so cold out there! And, look at how thin they are." JoAnn’s soothing voice resonated concern.
Pastor Eric watched and smiled broadly...there was the common thread of compassion and humility. God's light was shining and He would get the victory as always. He always knew what to do and how to answer the cries of His children.
"Deborah, do you think you could help me wash them? And, maybe get some food into them too?"
JoAnn nodded then emphatically answered, "Yes."
"It makes me feel ashamed that these two beautiful animals are such obvious friends, and appear to be traveling companions under the most dire of circumstances, as evidenced by their skeletal bodies..."
JoAnn finished for Deborah, "And that we've been fighting all along makes me cringe. God knows we've been on the same side, and yet we let our silly flesh get in the way of progress. Amazing how it took two animals to bring us to our senses. And, it would be a cat and dog. God has a great sense of humor doesn't He?" They both laughed in unison.
Pastor Eric knew that God had answered his prayers. He smiled broadly greeting the board members one-by-one as they walked into the conference room.
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