Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
TITLE: A Letter to Julie
By Betty Castleberry
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Hope this letter finds you, Walt and the children happy and healthy.
I’m writing to share an experience I had recently. You were right when you said I needed something to occupy my time. Since my retirement and the passing of your beloved mother, I’ve done nothing of any value. The senior citizen’s lunches and afternoon domino sessions weren’t fulfilling my need to feel useful. In fact, I will admit I was on the verge of depression. Looking for a part-time job seemed to be a good way to get out of my funk.
I came across a newspaper ad Bargain Mart had placed advertising for a greeter. Since I have over thirty years experience as a greeter at church, this sounded like just the ticket for me. I filled out an application, and they called me for an interview.
Daydreaming about doing something interesting and worthwhile was just about all I did until the day of the interview. I even dug out that bottle of Magnificent Man cologne that you sent me at Christmas. I wanted to smell nice and make a very good impression.
Arriving right on time, I could barely contain my excitement. A lovely young lady named Miss Gray showed me into her office to ask me some questions. It wasn’t until she started to speak that I realized the battery in my hearing aid was weak. I leaned forward in the chair, pretending to be very interested, but honestly, I was just trying to get closer to hear what she was saying.
She then asked me if I would be willing to participate in a hug fest. I didn’t learn until much later she had actually said drug test. At any rate, I thought asking for a hug was a slightly odd request. Having always been self-employed, I didn’t know how interviews worked, so I obliged her. Now Julie dear, I assure you it was a fatherly hug. After all, she was about your age, and she even reminded me a lot of you. Miss Gray stiffened at the embrace, and looked at me strangely for the rest of the interview. She even placed her hand on the phone at her desk. I assume this was to alert someone if the old geezer got any more funny ideas.
She promised to call the next day to let me know whether or not I got the job. It‘s been over a week now, and I still haven’t heard from her. I am not holding out much hope at this point.
At first I was terribly disappointed, but I believe God had something else in mind for me all along. As I was on my way out of Bargain Mart, I ran into Alice Bryant taking advantage of the half price sale on room fresheners. I’m sure you remember her from church. Her husband passed away recently and she needed something to keep her busy, too. She has gotten involved in the church’s wonderful after school program, Adopt a Grandkid. The idea is to pair children with senior citizens who volunteer to watch the kids until their parents are off work.
Alice chatted with me about volunteering, and I agreed. Yesterday was my first day to help out. The children are delightful, at least for the most part. There was an incident or two of cookie snatching and pigtail yanking, but kids will be kids, after all.
I am going to continue to help out as long as I’m needed in the program. I feel I am providing an important service, and I do enjoy the children. We are teaching them to pray and talking to them about Jesus.
I understand now why I was not supposed to get the greeter’s job at Bargain Mart, although I was terribly disappointed for a short time. In fact, Julie, there may even be a bit more to this than just the children in need. Alice and I are having dinner together tonight. I have invited her out for Chinese food, her favorite. I am not sure where all this will lead, but I do ask that you keep an open mind.
It’s late, and I need to get ready for this evening. Please tell Walt I said hello and kiss the kids for me.
P.S. Would it be too much trouble to send me another bottle of Magnificent Man cologne? Alice loves it.
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