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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: The Corner of Mesquite and Eubanks
By Betty Castleberry
12/07/07


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A dry wind blew sand across the vacant lot. Jeremy squinted at the pebbled expanse, wondering why anyone would choose to build a church there.

The phone call he had received was odd, with the caller identifying himself only as an interested party. The voice on the line asked him to be at the corner of Mesquite and Eubanks at noon.

He looked at his watch again. It was ten minutes after twelve, and the caller had not shown up. The “interested party” should have already arrived. He was beginning to think the whole thing was a joke until a dented black truck pulled up beside him.

The driver was a non-descript man wearing large sunglasses and a ball cap. “Jeremy Stevens?”

“Yes. Are you the person I spoke to on the phone?”

“Yes, I’m Sean Michaels, the one who wants to build the church.”

“Can I ask why you chose this location? It’s pretty desolate, and barely in the city limits.”

The driver stepped out of the truck and tugged on his cap. “It wasn’t me who chose it. I never choose the location, but it’s always the right place.”

Jeremy eyed the man curiously as he continued.

“Since you’re a real estate agent, I thought you could help me with the legalities of purchasing the land.”

“I can help you. We can discuss terms back at my office if you like.”

He seemed to ignore the statement and gazed across the lot. “Listen. Do you hear it?”

Jeremy tipped his head to one side. “The wind?”

“Oh no. It’s the voices of a thousand angels.”

The real estate agent involuntarily took a step back. He found himself wondering if the man was crazy.

“Can’t you hear them?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Sean stood beside his truck, swaying slightly, his eyes closed. “They sing so beautifully. I wish you could hear them.”

He opened his eyes and pointed, apparently back to the business at hand. “Look over there by the tree stump. That will be the baptistery.”

Jeremy nodded.

“This will be a simple wood frame building. There will be no stained glass or fancy trappings of any kind.”

“Well, it should save you a lot of money that way.”

“Mr. Stevens, I’m not worried about the money. I won’t need any for the building itself.”

The agent stuck his hands in his pockets as more thoughts raced through his head. He’d never heard of anyone planning to construct a building without a dime. “Can you get financing?”

Sean chuckled. “I’ve never needed it. This isn’t the first church I’ve built. I go where I hear the singing, and that’s where I build.”

By now, Jeremy wasn’t surprised at the strange statement. “Do you get donations?”

“You might call it that. Soon this lot will be full of lumber and everything else I need to start building.

“Look. There are the lights, dancing across the lot. They’re especially lovely today. I see every color in the rainbow. The white one in the middle is always the brightest.”

Jeremy was very uncomfortable. He thought maybe he should just leave, or perhaps call the police.

Sean spoke again. “To see them, you must look through the eyes of faith. Many people never get to witness their radiance, just like they never hear the singing.” He wiped tears from his eyes and continued. “The songs are there for all of us, but only a few really listen. The lights are ours for the asking, too, but not everyone chooses to see them.”

The young realtor wanted to hurry things along and leave Sean’s company. “I’d like to help you, but I’m afraid you will need money to buy the land. That’s just a reality of life.”

“I always have enough money to buy the land. Never a penny more, but just exactly enough. I need to build this church right away. People may refuse to hear the singing or see the lights, but if there is a building here, they see something. They have a tangible object to help them focus on Jesus. He is the one who made the lights and the one the angels sing for.”

Jeremy looked again at the vacant lot, straining to see anything out of the ordinary. He shrugged and faced Sean. “Maybe you have a point. I can’t say.”

Sean smiled. “Indeed I do, and perhaps you will worship here when the church is built.”


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This article has been read 935 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LaNaye Perkins12/13/07
“To see them, you must look through the eyes of faith....."

That was my favorite line in the whole story. I just loved this entry. It's one of my favorites so far this week. Well done!
Joanne Sher 12/14/07
Now, I LOVE Sean. What a wonderfully deep and intriguing character. And the contrast with the realtor is striking. Good stuff.
Venice Kichura12/16/07
Great lesson on walking by faith...The dialogue, tags, etc. were very well done!
Beckie Stewart12/16/07
This was really well done and very wonderful way of showing the church.
Dee Yoder 12/16/07
A church builder who builds by faith! Unique story with excellent writing. I was drawn into this man's vision.
Shirley McClay 12/17/07
I am just a beginner newbie, but I had to comment after reading this! I actually stopped partway through to wonder if I could hear the music if I stopped to listen for a bit. Nice.
Catrina Bradley 12/18/07
I love the mystery of Sean the church builder. Very creative. Good job!
Jan Ackerson 12/18/07
Oooooh! I like this! What a cool character! Really inriguing premise--allegorical, parable-like...and really fun to read.
Temple Miller12/18/07
Lovely, intriguing story. I love seeing the lights and hearing the angels' singing through faith senses.
Sally Hanan12/18/07
Loved the whole thing except for the last line. It seems to trail off into nowhere. It might have been better if Jeremy was leaving and looked back one more time to see if the flash that caught the corner of his eye was just his imagination. Very creative take on the topic.
Loren T. Lowery12/19/07
Okay, several things ran through my mind as I read this. One, I was put in mind of "The Bishop's Wife" (one of my favorite movies)as David Niven stuggles with the real reason to build a church. And another, is how some churches built in the most unsuspecting places are the most successful in fullfilling thier true purpose. And finally another, is that I love stories where people step out in faith and do what God has put in their hearts for them to do.
Sharlyn Guthrie12/19/07
This touched me on a level that is hard to describe, but I will suffice it to say it's inspired! Excellent writing!
Sara Harricharan 12/19/07
This seems like a Christmas story here. I liked this. The thought of hearing 'Angel voices' is just so sweet. I liked how he could see the whole church already and how well grounded he was that he didn't even worry about things like money and whatnot because he knew. This is a beautiful piece!
Sheri Gordon12/19/07
Looks like the beginning of a made-for-t.v. movie. (I see Randy Travis in the lead role.) I want more of the story. Does the church get built? (Of course it does.) Does the realtor attend? Does he ever hear the singing?

Great job with thet topic.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge12/19/07
Loved this for two reasons... first, it thrilled my heart, inspiring me... second, my grandmother built five churches this way. How? God would lead her to buy different properties, against council, that within months someone would buy for huge sums, once to build a hospital, then she'd build the church cash.
Ann Renae Hair12/19/07
You had me all the way to the end which fell a little flat to me. Otherwise loved it! I am curious if their is symbolism to the street names...very unique.
Preacher Johnson12/20/07
Loved the story. Would love to read the book. The church being built, the future relationship between Sean and Jeremy, how God provides everything. It would be a page churner. The story also reminded me of the prayer meeting a few men had on 20 acres that was “not for sale at any price” that is now where our church sits.
Lenda Blackmon01/04/08
More, more I want more. That was awesome. I could see myself standing right there with them looking over the lot. Great job.