Eric hurried, treading on fallen leaves scattered along the sidewalk. He was sure someone would hear the crunching beneath his feet, a sound like tiny bombs exploding. He pulled his overcoat tighter around his frame, careful to conceal his Bible from snooping eyes. The sun was setting. If an official caught him out after dark he would surely be stopped and searched.
His eyes widened when the cell phone vibrated in his pocket. Flipping it open, he heard Sam’s voice.
“Eric, are you coming tonight?”
“Almost there,” he whispered.
He shoved the phone into his pocket as he turned a street corner. Sam’s house waited in the distance. He uttered a quick prayer. “Thank you, Lord, for sparing Sam’s place in that earthquake last week.”
The door opened as Eric bounded up the steps to the porch.
“Good to see you, brother," said Sam. "We were getting worried.”
His friend's welcoming smile instantly calmed him. “Sorry I’m late. Cops were outside my building. I stayed put until they left.”
“Good move. They're really sending out the watchdogs on Sundays. It might be safer if we started meeting on another day of the week.” He suddenly lowered his voice, looking at the floor as he spoke. “I never would have believed this could happen in the United States.”
“I know, Sam, but it’s all there in the Bible, just like you taught us. We should’ve seen this coming. I tell you, I’m getting tired of hiding my allegiance to Jesus. The law treats us as if we’re criminals.”
“Yeah, it’s frustrating. But remember, He will be with us no matter what.” Sam squeezed Eric's shoulder as he led him to the dimly lit family room where the rest of the class was reading Scripture.
Sam’s wife, Allison, jumped to her feet, greeting Eric with her customary bear hug. “Good to see you, Eric!”
“Great to be here. At last.” Eric grinned.
Billy rose, offering his hand. “Glad you could make it buddy.”
“I made some of those cookies you like,” Christine said. She stood apart from the group, smiling shyly.
“You know the way to my heart,” Eric replied with a wink. Blushing, Christine took her usual spot on the sofa.
“Have you started without me?” Eric pulled his Bible out and sat down next to her.
“No," answered Sam. "We were sharing encouraging Bible verses with each other. We need to remember to stay in the Word during these frightening times. God has given us plenty of promises and this is no time to forget them. Before we start, let’s have a word of prayer.” Sam bowed his head and the others followed.
All five heads snapped up simultaneously before Sam could utter a word.
“Someone’s knocking,” Allison gasped. She hurriedly gathered the Bibles from her friends and tossed them into a large trunk in the center of the room. She snapped shut the lock.
Sam walked to the front door and opened it. “What can I do for you officers?” He tried to muster an air of calmness.
“We have a report of an illegal meeting going on here," said one policeman. He spoke with a snarl.
“Just some friends visiting, sir.”
“I think I’ll have a look.” Both lawmen brushed by Sam and walked toward the family room.
Eric stood as the men entered. “Hello officers. What brings you here tonight?”
“You having a ‘hate’ meeting here this evening?” asked the cop who had snarled.
“Hate meeting? We love one another!” Eric’s mind was racing.
“I know how you Christians think. You hate people who won't bow to your god, even tell ‘em they’re going to hell.” The officer obviously enjoyed antagonizing them.
“I tell people what the Word of God says. If they don’t like it, I guess they can take it up with Him.”
“So you ARE Christians?”
“I won't deny who I am. I love the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Jesus Christ?" The man smirked. "You love a dead man.”
The other officer spoke for the first time, “C’mon Stewart, give the kid a break. Let’s just go.”
The officer named Stewart eyed each person then turned to leave.
The Sunday school class watched from the window as the officers drove away.
“How about that prayer now?” Sam asked.
The group joined hands and gave thanks to the God of mercy.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.