Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DROP IN A BUCKET (10/24/19)
- TITLE: Show Up and Watch
By A Mattingly
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“Hello, Ava. Will we be singing upbeat hymns with plenty of rhythms today?” interrupts Cora Beth in a loud but cheerful voice. I give her a thumbs up and head nod, barely in time for her to see before jetting off to greet everyone else in her path.
My eyes follow Cora Beth. As expected, she slides in next to Jane, who is seated in front of the sound booth. These two ladies are a hoot to watch. They remind me of Clairee and Ouiser from “Steel Magnolias.” I continue to watch as Cora Beth looks to find Jane scrolling down her phone, eyes fixed on the screen.
“What kind of juicy stuff are you reading now?” Cora Beth asks.
“Oh, hush. This isn’t social media. I’m searching for an answer.”
“What’s the question?” Cora Beth’s voice still a little teasing.
I hear Jane reply with a serious voice, “I’m doing a search on ‘How does a nation turn back to God?’” From the corner of my eye, I catch a softening in Cora Beth’s expression as she watches Jane hard at work.
“I’m not finding the answer here anywhere. My google search just brought up a whole string of articles about how to recognize ‘when’ a nation is turning away from God. It’s evident from the news and politics that we’ve got that part down. But how do we get our country to turn back to God? I’m not finding any answers here.”
Curiosity piqued, my eyes turn to see how Cora Beth will respond.
“It’s no longer a matter of being a good example to our fellow co-workers or a stranger in the store. A simple smile or ‘How can I help?’ isn’t going to cut it anymore. Our situation is too far gone for one person to make a differe….” Jane stops mid-sentence and looks up from her screen when Cora Beth touches her on the shoulder.
“What’s that book on the back of the pew, Jane?”
“The Bible,” Jane sarcastically replied with a questioning look.
“That’s where you need to be looking. Do a God search, not a Google search.”
I had to chuckle when I saw the look Jane gave Cora Beth.
“You’re looking for a people answer to a God-size problem. There’s a Bible story where a small army is going up against several larger armies, a losing situation. God told them to show up, stand firm, and watch Him work. This was not their fight. The small army arrived at the battlefield to find everyone dead. Let me do a search for that passage. Here it is. 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.”
Jane flips to the passage. I jot it down as I watch one friend comfort the other through her knowledge of the Bible. Cora Beth is right. We should be communicating our concerns to God through prayer instead of googling for answers.
“Jane, did you hear about the governor allowing Bible study in public schools, and another declaring an annual day of prayer and fasting? What about the young man forgiving his brother’s killer? He asked the Judge multiple times from the witness stand if he could step down and hug the woman. Later, that same Judge gave the convicted woman a hug she requested and a Bible from her chambers to read while in prison. Individuals, powerful witnesses, that showed up.”
“No, but I did hear about a rapper who stunned his fans with the release of a Christian album. And about the high school students all saying the Lord’s Prayer in the stands before a football game despite a warning from an atheist group.” Jane paused. “Last week, our marketing group president opened the monthly meeting with a prayer.”
“Individually, these are drops in a bucket. But Jane, if we all show up and stand together, it could start a downpour.”
I adjust the mics. Taking one last glance at the ladies, I see Cora Beth playfully slap Jane on the thigh with the back of her hand when the organist begins playing ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus’.
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