Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: IT'S CHILD'S PLAY (06/06/19)
- TITLE: Hope for Humanity
By Holly Westefeld
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"No, Kari, I was focused on the GPS. I gather you want to check it out for Rachel?"
"Yes. It is called "Hope Academy," which sounds a bit pretentious for a pre-school, but I'm wondering if it is a Christian program. If so, maybe it will be affordable, at least by California standards. Hopefully, no pun intended, it would help us connect with other families in the area while we are looking for a church, or maybe even help us find one. You might check for reviews..."
"I'll do that." Kari tapped the name in to her phone. "I'm impressed! 4.8 stars, with over 300 reviews. I'll give them a call Monday to see if we need an appointment for a tour."
"Good morning. We have an appointment to tour the school."
"Oh, you must be Kari. I'm Skye. We spoke on the phone. I'll let Hope know you're here."
"Thank you." Kari gave Rob a sideways look. He raised an eyebrow in return, while Rachel bounced up and down on her toes.
A smiling young woman in jeans and a save-the-whales T-shirt approached. "Good morning. I am Hope. Welcome to my academy."
"Hi. I'm Kari. This is my husband Rob, and our daughter Rachel."
Hope shook each of their hands, asking when she got to Rachel, "What do you like to be called? I am called Hope."
Rachel looked puzzled. "Rachel."
"Okay, Rachel, would you like to see our play and learning rooms here?"
Rachel nodded, and Hope led them down the hall to the first room. "This is our living creatures room, where our friends learn how to care for many kinds of their fellow creatures. It also helps many of them deal with stress."
Rachel walked over to a large fish tank. "Mama, Daddy, look at all the pretty fishies."
"They are colorful, aren't they honey," Rob answered as he scratched a poodle's ears, while Kari scooped up a tabby cat.
"Rachel, are you ready to see our next room?"
Rachel looked over her shoulder at the fish, but followed Hope.
"The creature room may foster careers as veterinarians or wildlife conservation, this room has activities related to a number of other careers. The set Dakota is playing with teaches basic robotics. Skyler is carefully watering the plants.
Rob nudged Kari, pointing at a row of plants with a distinctive leaf pattern. "What are those?"
Hope beamed. "Those are our cannabis plants. That is an expanding career field, of course."
Kari took Rachel's hand and walked toward the door. Before they could turn toward the office, though, Hope directed them toward the next room. "This is our identity exploration room. Do you like to play dress-up, Rachel?"
"Yes! I like to dress up like a princess!"
"That's nice, but here you could try being a prince, or even a king."
"That's for boys."
Hope shot a disapproving look at Kari and Rob. "Anyone can be anything they hope to be. Our hope for humanity is that we can live in harmony with nature, and be free to explore who we truly are, not confined to ancient customs and stereotypes."
This time Rob took Rachel's hand. "Thank you for your time, but I think we have seen enough."
As they walked back toward the office, Hope queried, "I gather that you are not open to allowing Rachel to explore all possible options and identities for life?"
Rob responded, "The Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 10:23 that "Everything is permissible"— but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"— but not everything is constructive." Hope for humanity is only truly found in Jesus Christ, where we experience freedom from being held captive by sin. Sin is not child's play."
Hope's perpetual smile became even more pinched. "How quaint. Well, I hope that someday Rachel will have the opportunity to escape the misogyny and bigotry you are imposing."
Kari parried, "And we hope that someday you will come to know the Truth, and that the Truth will set you free."
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