Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)
TITLE: A Heavenly Celebration
By Debbie OConnor
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Scott nodded and reached across the coffee house table to take her hand.
Heaven was silent, listening. For twenty-three years the Lord and His hosts had called Amy. God’s servants had testified. The seed had been planted, watered and allowed to grow.
“I believe Jesus must be the Son of God because he couldn’t have done what he did if he wasn’t.”
The angels cheered. “Silence,” commanded the Lord. “This isn’t over yet.”
The Holy Spirit hovered over Amy and whispered, “Do you mean that? Or are you just saying what you think Scott wants to hear?”
Amy’s spirit silently answered, “I mean it.”
The question, asked and answered in a heartbeat, didn’t disrupt her conversation with Scott. With little pause, she added, “But I don’t know about the devil and the Bible and all that.”
Demons scurried around the host of angels that held them back. Swarming Amy, they went back to work, striving to steal, kill and destroy.
Amy was happy. She believed she and Scott had an understanding. He even kissed her goodnight.
The demons encouraged Amy to daydream of a future with Scott.
Scott was conflicted. Demons encouraged him to desire Amy. Angels battled them back so Scott could hear the Lord.
“Lord, what should I do?” he prayed. A passage from the Bible discouraging believers from being unequally yoked immediately came to mind. He found the verse and read it. He knew what to do, but it was going to be hard.
Two weeks later Amy was still waiting for him to call. Hurt and apprehensive, she finally called him.
“I’m glad you called, Amy,” Scott said. “We need to talk.”
Here it comes, thought Amy.
“I’m sorry,” Scott continued. “This isn’t going to work.”
“Why?” she asked.
“I can’t explain it. I hope we can be friends.”
Amy was angry. She ended the call. It hurt. A lot.
“Why couldn’t he just tell me why?” she asked her friend, Trish, the next day.
“Men are jerks,” Trish said. “Forget him. Let’s go dancing.”
Amy agreed. Anything was better than being alone.
Amy danced and drank her pain away. Demons made sure she never wanted a partner. At 2 a.m. she and Trish straggled out of the bar. Amy sped them home until stopped by the police.
“Ma’am, do you realize you were going 80 miles per hour?” the officer asked.
“I’m sorry,” she cried. “I’m tired and I want to get home.”
“If you aren’t careful you’ll never get there.”
“Amy, I’m sorry,” Trish said.
“I can’t afford this ticket,” she cried, smacking the dashboard. “Why does God hate me?”
Trish had no answer. The demons laughed. They’d planned to kill her, but angels had intervened just in time.
The next day Amy awoke with a headache and drug herself to work, late. A demon whispered, “It would be easier to drive off this bridge than over it.” Silently, she agreed, but drove on.
Amy made her last sales call at Keri’s Boutique, a client she had visited many times. She was shocked to notice that the King’s Christian Fellowship was next door.
Why haven’t I ever seen it before? she wondered. Scott attended a branch of that church across town. Maybe I can get some answers if I visit, she thought. The angels shouted their victory over darkness.
On Sunday, Amy visited the church. She almost didn’t make it.
Demons helped her run her nylons, lose her keys and pull a button off her shirt. She was hot, tired and aggravated, but thanks to angelic intervention she was only a few minutes late.
Every song was balm to her wounds. Amy listened and cried. A young, energetic pastor got up and challenged the congregation. “God has good plans for your life,” he said. “But you have to let Him to take over. If you want to go to Heaven, you either have to be absolutely perfect or accept Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for your sins.”
Amy knew she wasn’t perfect. “Please, God,” she prayed with the congregation. “Take my life. I need you to save me.”
The party in Heaven began. Jesus led the celebration.
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7 (NIV)