I wrote this in high school. I now find it humorous. I offer no further commentary and, like a good exegetical scholar, will let the text speak for itself. Enjoy.
The next day dawned sunny and warm, a perfect day for a barbecue. As the guys sat around the table eating breakfast, all they could talk about was what going to happen that afternoon. Chase smiled as he said,
“Maybe you guys better not bring me, I might scare all the girls off.”
They all smiled.
“Ahh, don’t be so hard on yourself Chase,” John said, “None of us here are what you would call goodlooking, you’ve got just as good a chance as the rest of us. I mean, I look like a human string bean.”
John’s comment drew chuckles from the others.
They continued eating and talking about the events of the afternoon. It seemed like three o’clock would never arrive. Finally when the clock said it was one, they started getting ready to go. Chase put on his favorite jeans and a white t\_shirt. Jake had on a pair of nearly worn out tennis shoes, some jeans, a t\_shirt, and his favorite cap to top it off. Jose wore shorts, sandles, and a brightly colored t-shirt. John wore tan shorts and a navy blue shirt. When they were all ready, they piled into the pickup and Chase started driving towards the park on the Puget Sound where they were going to meet with the rest of the group. When they reached the park, most of the group that was coming had already arrived. Chase and Jake grabbed a cooler from the back of the truck, Jose and John each grabbed a bag of chips and some pops. They walked over to where the group was sitting feeling a little akward because they didn’t know anyone at all. When they reached the picnic tables where everyone was, the leader of the group walked over and introduced himself to John, Jose, and Chase. After that the man, who was named Billy, turned and introduced them to the rest of the group. After introductions had been made, Billy asked for a volunteer to lead the group in prayer. A young lady raised her hand and the group became quiet as she blessed the food. When she had finished, several of the guys walked over to the grills and started handing out burgers. It wasn’t long before all of them were seated and eating. Several people had introduced themselves to the guys and asked them to come sit at their tables. As it ended up, none of them were sitting at the same table. Chase was sitting at a table with three girls and two other guys. He immediately found that he liked these people.
“So Chase,” A pretty brunette named Tiffany asked, “What do you think of your line of work?”
Chase thought for a moment, “I enjoy it. I mean it is not easy, at times it can be downright scary, but I love helping people.”
“What about the times you have to use your gun.” She asked.
“Believe me, that is a last resort, that is probably my least favorite thing about the job, but it is something that has to be done in certain situations.”
“Chase, I’d love to hear more about you. You wanna take a walk down by the water and talk?”
The other four at the table smiled to themselves as the surprise showed up on Chase’s face.
“Uh, sure, why not?”
The two stood up and started walking through the grass toward the water. They walked down to the waterfront and the sat down in the warm sand to talk. Tiffany started out by asking,
“Tell me about your family Chase.”
Chase hesitated for a moment. He still had a hard time talking about it.
“Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
Chase looked at her apologetically,
“No, its good for me to talk about it. I don’t even remember my real mother. I was born when she was sixteen, that’s what my adopted parents told me anyway. I guess that my mother was considering an abortion, but a friend talked her out of it. I was born in a hospital not far from here, as soon as my mom could, she had a friend help her sneak out of the hospital. She didn’t leave any note or anything. She just left, a doctor and his wife adopted me. They raised me and loved me. To me they were my family. It has been nearly a year now. My parents were going on vacation, the private plane my Dad was flying them in over the Pacific developed a fuel leak. Within a matter of minutes, the plane dropped off of radar and crashed into the ocean. The plane crashed in extremely deep water so they never recovered any bodies. So now I’m all alone. My adopted parents are dead, and I have no idea what ever became of my real mother. At least now I have my three friends, and Jesus.”
Tiffany just sat there for a few minutes looking into Chase’s grey\_blue eyes. She could hardly believe that a person could go through so much pain and rejection in such a short time frame. When she looked up again, she noticed that several tears were rolling down his cheeks. She scooted closer and put her arm around his shoulders. Chase tried to regain his composure, but still more tears rolled down his face. Then he moved and embraced Tiffany. Something about her attracted him, maybe it was just the fact that she cared about what had happened, or maybe it was something deeper. When he let go of her and looked at her, he noticed the color of her eyes, they were green, and her hair was brown, she was a few inches shorter than Chase, and Chase was only 5’8.
“I’m sorry about the tears. It still hurts sometimes. Sometimes I don’t fit the stereotype of the big strong tearless male.”
“It takes a real man to have enough guts to cry. At least that’s my opinion. Hey, I know this is usually the guys job, but, I was wondering if you would like to go to dinner sometime?”
Chase was to stunned to speak, could this be happening, a beautiful girl that he had just met wanted to go to dinner!?
“Uh sure, just name the date and time and I’ll come and pick you up. Wait, I don’t even know where you live, so I guess you would have to tell me that first.”
Tiffany started laughing, “I’ll tell you before we leave tonight, we better get back with the rest of the group before the begin to wonder if we fell into the water or something.”
They stood up to begin walking back to the group. Then Chase stopped and turned to Tiffany,
“Thanks for letting me talk through that, it’s good for me to talk about it every once in awhile,” Chase said.
“No problem, if you ever need to talk again don’t be afraid to ask.”
Then Tiffany looked up into Chase’s eyes. Their color seemed to change with the way the light fell on them. As she held his gaze for a moment longer, she felt something inside of her open up. It was a part of her that had been closed off for many years. Part of her was scared to let those defenses fall, but another part of her was ready to move on. She knew that she would have to tell him the reason for those defenses.
With that they started walking back towards the picnic tables where the rest of the group was sitting. As Chase walked, he noticed that all the other guys seemed to be laying on their respective forms of charm thickly on some young ladies they had met. He chuckled to himself, he really needed to work on his self confidence. Maybe the prestige that came with his job had a few pluses, the prettiest girl in the whole group had asked him on a date. The two found a table and they sat down,
“You want something to drink Tiffany?” Chase asked.
“Sure, I’ll have some Pepsi.”
“Two Pepsi’s coming up!” Chase said with a flourish of his hand.
As Tiffany sat at the table waiting, she was thinking about this guy she had just met. She had known a good many guys in her life, but none had grabbed her attention like Chase had. Something about his sense of humor, his openess and honesty, his tenderness, and his quiet strength, attracted her. She was feeling something she had never felt for any other guy before, and she hadn’t even known Chase two hours yet. She wondered if she was ready for or if she deserved someone like Chase because of her past.
“Your Pepsi my lady.”
She snapped out of it,
“Thanks Chase,” she said a little bit absently.
Chase sat down across the table from her and just looked at her for a few seconds, then he said,
“Tell me about your life Tiffany.”
“I knew that was going to happen, after you told me about your life.”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
“No, you told me about something that hurt you to talk about, so now I guess I get to return the favor. Some of this might not be easy for you to hear, but since you told me about your life, it is only fair that you know. When I was seventeen my parents finally said I was old enough to date. I was so excited when the star of the school football team asked me out. I mean this guy was the envy of all guys, all the girls wanted to go out with him. So I was very excited when he asked me, and naturally I said yes. When the night finally arrived, he took me out to eat at a fancy place. We ate and danced, and I was having the time of my life. After about an hour I began to feel bad, then I passed out. I must have been out for several hours. When I woke up, I was on the side of the road. A young couple driving by stopped to see if I was alright. I guess I had some cuts on my face so they decided to take me to the hospital. They took me to the hospital and then waited with me until my parents got there. The doctor gave me a full checkup, that was when I found out. In the time that I had blacked out, I was raped. The guy who I thought was the greatest guy in the world took advantage of me. We later found out he had drugged me, that’s why I passed out. I struggled with my feelings for over a year. Then a friend invited me to come back to church. I had quit going to church because I was always getting into huge arguments over it with my parents. At that church service, I became a Christian. Believe me, my problems did not end right then, but I started healing spiritually after that. Now I guess you could say I’m pretty much fully recovered, but sometimes it still hurts.”
Chase didn’t know what to say, he had never had to try and come up with something to say after hearing a story like that. Suitable words seemed to escape him.
“I really don’t know what to say, accept that I will do my best to keep from hurting you in anyway.”
Chase could not think of anything else to say so he reached across the picnic table and took her hand, hoping that she wouldn’t mind that action. For a few moments they were silent. Chase continued to try and come up with something else to say but nothing came to mind. So he just sat there with his hand resting on hers, hoping his presence would be comfort enough to help her ride out the difficult memory. Tiffany broke the silence,
“Chase, thank you for listening, I know it can’t be easy for you to hear, but I hadn’t told anybody in so long, I needed to talk about it. Some of my closest friends don’t even know about it. I’m not even sure why I told you. There is just something about you that I’ve never seen in other guys. You are the one guy that I have been able to tell besides my Dad.”
“Hey you two!” It was Billy, “We are going to sing some songs and then have a short devotional.”
Chase and Tiffany got up and moved to a table where Jake was chatting with a girl named Stephanie. They sat down side by side on one end of the table. Billy moved to the front of the group with an acoustic guitar.
“We’ll start off singing a few familiar praise and worship songs.”
Billy started strumming the guitar, and when he hit the right chord, he started singing. The whole group followed along as they all belted out the familiar song. Chase loved to sing, and when he heard Tiffany singing beside him, he knew that one of these days he would love to sing a duet with her, she had an incredible voice.
They sang several more upbeat songs, then Billy slowed things down some,
“The next song we are going to sing is a worship song in every sense of the word, I want you to sing this song as a prayer, make it your prayer today and everyday.”
He started strumming gently on the guitar and then started singing softly.
All through the group people worshipped in different ways. Some raised a hand, others closed their eyes, a few had misty eyes, all believed every word being sung.
The group continued to sing softly as Billy strummed the guitar, slowly he stopped strumming and they were singing acapella, thier voices raised together as they worshipped the God of the universe, the God who gave them love when they didn’t deserve it, and the God who gave them His grace even though they continued to sin.
When they stopped singing, Billy put the guitar back in its case and sat on the top of one of the picnic tables. He pulled out a small, pocket Bible and opened it up to the book of Romans.
“Our devotional this afternoon will be about the passage of scripture found at the beginning of Romans Chapter eight. It tells us that, Therefore there is no comdemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. That verse is our promise as Christians. The instant we placed our faith in Jesus we could claim that verse. What that verse is talking about is the promise Jesus gave us about eteranl life. Because we believe in Him, He has given us the gift of living with Him in Heaven forever. We no longer have to worry about the condemnation we faced before we were saved. Now, all we have to do is believe. It is so simple that some people just can’t accept it. I’m so grateful that God opened my eyes and your eyes to the truth, now we can claim that verse, that verse is our hope when a close Christian friend dies and goes to heaven. That is the promise we can cling to if we ever face death. The promise that we will all see each other again someday. That is all that I have, so you all can go back to talking or doing whatever. We will probably start wrapping things up in about an hour. ”
Chase and Tiffany sat together and talked for the remaining hour. They talked about everything, from the kind of cars they drove, to their hopes and dreams for the future. The end of the hour came all to soon for them.
Tiffany walked over to Chase’s truck just as he was about to get inside. The other guys were already in the truck.
“Chase, I thought maybe you could pick me up on Friday about five, then we could go eat somewhere, and then go and see a movie.”
Chase thought about it for a moment, “I’m free on Friday night, lets do it.”
Tiffany smiled, “I’ll talk to you on Friday then, I can hardly wait, it has been so long since I have been on a real date!”
Chase smiled at her giddy tone, “Me neither.”
Chase got out of the truck and hugged her. He got back in the truck, started the engine, and drove off.
Almost immediately the conversation started, Jake was the first one to speak,
“Man, Stephanie sure is sweet, I never thought I would meet a girl like her”
Jose was next,
“I got to talk to this girl named Angel she reminds me a lot of one of my sisters, we are going to eat lunch together tomorrow.”
John turned a little bit red when he realized that all eyes were on him,
“When I was sitting at a picnic table, a shy looking girl who was probably only about five foot four came and introduced herself. Her name was JoAnn. After I got to know her, we started talking about our lives and our pasts, and what we wanted to happen in the future. Since I was to scared, she asked if we could go to lunch sometime, we are going to eat together in two days.”
Finally everyone looked at Chase,
“I met a girl named Tiffany, she told me all about her past. She has been through some very difficult things. We are going to eat and see a movie on Friday night.”
All they could talk about on the way home was the girls they had met and dates they were going on. When they reached the house, they were all to excited to sleep. They sat in the living room talking until well after midnight. When they all finally went to their beds to sleep they were all tired and soon they were all deep in their dreams.