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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)

TITLE: Spirit of the Skeptic
By Amanda Brogan
09/15/10


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“There’s no such thing as spirits!”

Jack Staples stared defiantly at his cousin, chest heaving, eyes burning like a scorching sun over an arid desert. “I’ve told you before, Andrew, they don’t exist. So stop lecturing me with your ridiculous fairytales about my soul going to hell.”

Andrew sat calmly on the plush living room couch, unaffected by the outburst. It seemed that he was surrounded with an impenetrable force field which was able to deflect even the seething heat of Jack’s unrelenting gaze.

“Jack,” Andrew folded his hands and, leaning forward, rested them on his already crossed legs. “I know how you feel on the subject of spirituality, and the last thing I’m trying to do is push you away or scare you with –”

“Scare me?” Jack hissed. “Ghost stories don’t scare me. They irritate me.” He jabbed his finger in the air towards Andrew – another fruitless attempt to burst the force field. “I’m not intimidated by meaningless superstitions.”

His cousin didn’t budge. He merely allowed himself a whisper of a sigh and returned, “Ghosts and superstitions are not what I believe in. I place my hope, my faith, and my life in something much deeper.”

“But why stake everything you are on something you can’t even see or touch?” Jack waved his arms around the room, turning in a half circle. “This room, this house,” He dropped his hands back to his sides, “These things are tangible. You and I are tangible creatures. We’re here, now, in this life ... but what makes you think there’ll be more after we die?”

“Would you rather just cease to exist?”

“What I’d prefer doesn’t matter. I refuse to adopt a philosophy that can’t be backed up by facts and proof.”

“I have proof. Proof that lives within me.”

Jack snorted his contempt. “Oh right, the ‘Holy Spirit.’ Doesn’t the thought of a supernatural person or being living inside you kinda creep you out?”

“No. It gives me peace that my soul is secure. That the real me, not this outer body, will someday be safe in utter bliss. It rescues me from the frivolity of trusting in my own heart to make me a moral man. I need only to trust Him Who dwells within me.”

The skeptic shook his head and waved his hand dismissively just as the sounds of a car motor and boisterous hollering assaulted his ears.

“Oh, those boys,” Andrew walked to the window. “They came here once before. A bunch of troublemakers that roam the countryside looking for folks to bother. So far, there hasn’t been any damage.”

The sound of shattered glass interrupted him. A baseball-sized rock lay in the center of the room, a trail of jagged glass behind it.

Jack gaped at the object. “We’ve got to stop them! We’ve –”

There was more shattering, and this time Jack felt a sharp pain at the back of his head. Just before everything turned black.

~


Jack’s first conscious thought was that he was conscious. Though he somehow knew something was different. Something was missing and yet he felt more complete. As if this was how he was meant to be. All was dark, but not frightening. It was peaceful, like a deep, sweet sleep.

And then ... light. A pinprick of light shone through the darkness, then suddenly exploded all around him. All his wrong actions flashed before him: his skepticism, doubt, and his scorn of Christianity. Things that had never seemed wrong to him before.

A voice sounded from the light. “Jack, why don’t you believe?” It emanated with compassion, but was also sad.

“I – I believe in reality. Not the supernatural.”

“Jack, I AM reality. Your soul, the deep part of you that is you, is reality. Your dwelling on Earth is only a preparation for spending eternity either with Me or apart from Me.”

Jack suddenly felt a chasm within himself, as if the completeness that he had felt initially was only what could have been and not what was.

“I AM He Who is ready to fill you with real life. If you allow Me into your heart I will never leave. Not while you are on Earth or after you leave it. The question is: are you ready to spend eternity without Me?”

~


Jack opened his eyes to see Andrew dabbing his head with a washcloth.

“Jack, you’re alive!”

“I am now.” He winced and touched his head. “And I think I’m ready to believe.”


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This article has been read 373 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 09/16/10
I like the brevity of the depth in your dialogue - at human and divine levels.
I also enjoyed the touch of humour within the critical nature of your close. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/16/10
This is a nice story. It has a wonderful message and is sprinkled with just the right amount of suspense.
Theresa Santy 09/18/10
This was powerful. I especially like the last line.
Genia Gilbert09/19/10
Good picture of the change that can take place in the deepest part of any who will receive Him. Takes some longer than others.
Christina Banks 09/22/10
If only all the skeptics had a chance like you MC to realize that there is more to life than what we have here on earth.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/22/10
To answer your questions... I don't think it ends abruptly at all, but then I know about how I have a hard time keeping it under 750 and understand having to end it before I think it's finished,

As for the He, I will admit that confused me at first. I had to reread it. I think it should be lowercase because the sentence hasn't ended yet. But I could be wrong.

Again I think you did a great job on this piece and I could really feel your passion in spreading the news about Jesus and heaven.
Sarah Elisabeth 09/22/10
Good story! I don't think it ended too ubruptly.

"He" would be lowercase. A tad of red ink: the voices in this didn't sound "masculine" enough to be an authentic exchange between guys.

Good angle for the topic :-)
DK Landers09/22/10
Great story. I like the twist ending. Your red ink has been applied in another post, so I won't echo the corrections. You have captured the skeptic quite well.
Caitlyn Meissner09/23/10
Hey there! :) I enjoyed reading your story. It reminded me of how Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus. He was probably something of a skeptic, too. I like how you fitted the inner person and the message of salvation into your article. Great job with a tricky topic!