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Rated: E · Short Story · Religious · #2011806
A story that I am rewriting for a new friend.
Acceptance of Faith
by Charles

Jimmy is agnostic. He grew up without religious education. He never went to church growing up, and only knew a little bit about Christianity, such as the fact that Jesus is watching above mankind, died for mankind, and rose again and ascended into Heaven. All that he knew was from the culture and media around him. When he was younger, Jimmy wasn't sure if he believed in God or not.

As he got older, Jimmy began developing some atheist attitudes. It was no surprise, for he had a ton of atheist friends and colleagues. He lived with his mother and father, who were completely nonreligious and were atheists.

One day was a day Jimmy would never forget at school...his faith was going to be tested. During lunchtime, two of his friends, Leon and Nemo said to him, "If you want to be our friend and be cool like us, you have to do us a favor." Jimmy was nervous. "What's the favor?" he asked, unsure if they actually heard him. "We want you to steal money from the register. After you do that, meet us at the park."

"What?!! No way!! I can't do that!! It's illegal...we can get into a lot of trouble!" Jimmy exclaimed. "Dude, shut up! You're being too loud!" Nemo said, pushing Jimmy. "All you have to do is this one thing, and then we can be best friends," said Leon. Jimmy didn't know what to say. He was full of mixed emotions. But what were the words to describe them? Jimmy thought to himself for a long moment of silence. His mom always told him to do the right thing and obey the law, but he ignored all of her messages. Finally, Jimmy opened his mouth and forced the words to come out. "Fine...I'll do it on one condition...that we keep it between us," he said. They had a deal. Then Nemo slowly hands Jimmy something...a gun. Jimmy could hardly believe his eyes.

Jimmy didn't know much about wrong and right, but he always remembered his mother's wise teachings. Now, he stands with a gun in his hand. What would she say to him if she knew? Jimmy was tangled up in two difficult choices, which seemed to suffocate him every time he tried to take the first step of deciding.

Jimmy ignored the awful feeling of choosing. He looked through the glass windows once more, seeing this time only the cashier. Seeing that this was a golden opportunity to say yes, and might be his only, he finally opened his mouth to reveal his answer. Jimmy took a deep breath. "Ok," he said, "I will go in and meet you at the nearest park." Nemo and Leon smiled, laughed, and then ran away leaving him. Once again Jimmy was alone...he had been since he was little...but that was about to change...or would it?

Knowing that his experience with not having any friends would soon change, Jimmy stepped inside the store and began lurking around slowly. Just as Jimmy was about to perform the illegal act his soon-to-be "friends" asked him to do, he looked up and saw a big poster. Treat others as you'd wish to be treated and and be faithful and truthful to all mankind{/i}. It read.

He stops...he gets a different feeling, full of mixed emotions...all of a sudden, he becomes scared and a nervous wreck.

Jimmy, completely aware of his emotions, looked at the sign again. He read it slowly and carefully. What was he doing?! Was he rethinking his decision?! He suddenly came to a conclusion...not only did he know what the right thing to do was, he wanted to do the right thing. He thought again. No, I am not going to do something wrong and unlawful. Though he didn't know much about God, he knew one thing...he was going to do what God wanted him to do. His friends had asked him to pay a price that was too pricey. He could find friends who would love him for not what he did for them, but for who he is.

Then, he began to ask himself a question. But where is God? Why hasn't he been there for me in my troubled times? He thought. Why does he have to all of a sudden show up when I'm about to get new friends? He began weeping, with the gun still in his pocket. An instant later, a wise, old man, who seemed to be a priest or a pastor...comes rushing to Jimmy's side in complete compassion. "Young man, are you alright?" asked the older man. Jimmy, not completely aware of what he was about to say, says, "Please go away, I don't want to talk to you." The priest was about to walk away when Jimmy realizes what he had just said. He runs up to the man, hoping for a second chance. "Sir, I apologize for my impoliteness. Please, I'd love a conversation," he said.

A smile creeps across the old man's face, as he gladly says, "Yes, I will." Then, an idea struck him, not to mention it was completely obvious. "Would you like to go to the doughnut shop and have a coffee?" he asked. Jimmy likes the idea and politely says, "Yeah, sure."

A few minutes later, the two were conversing with each other on the subject Jimmy had been struggling with. "Sir, why are you a priest? And why do you choose to obey the Bible?" asks Jimmy. The priest smiled. "I first felt the call to become a priest as early as primary school," he replied. "From then on, I have been positive it was what God wanted me to do."

"It's hard to rationalize, but something I can't deny," the man continued, "and I've always loved worshiping the Lord."

Jimmy took a moment to take in all that had been said to him. The he asked, "Where does it come from, and how can I have a life like yours and a relationship with God?" "I feel God's call came through the people in my life, especially my parents," said the priest. "One of my earliest experiences in life was as a young child running through the house looking for my mother. Well, eventually I found her, and she was kneeling beside her bed, with beads in her hand. Everyday my mother would find some time to go to her room and pray the Rosary."

Then Jimmy said, "My parents are both kind and loving, but they weren't religious. As a matter of fact, we never had conversations about God or faith." The priest added on saying, "Faith was the center of my mother's life. Faith was a big part of my family's life. Here is a quote from the Bible I'd like to share with you, young man: "Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, and I will uphold you."

"What? I don't understand this...what does it mean?" asked Jimmy. "I have lied to people that I would do something but never do it, I have resentments with people, I have been treated miserably...how can I forgive?"

"Well," says the priest, "If you listen carefully, you will hear that it says, "Do not be afraid, I am directing you, do not feel distressed because I am your Father and I will always be there for you and support you from beginning to end of life."

"You are asking a lot of questions which tells me that you are yearning for knowledge and faith, and I am happy to answer those questions. Jesus has always forgiven others, and if you have wronged or lied to someone, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Jesus says that we as humans aren't perfect. We have our ups and downs but we shouldn't feel resentment of others, for we are all one in Christ and should practice love with each other. Pray to God and He will hear you, comfort you, and answer your prayers. Now I have to get going, but here is my card. Call me if you need anything, and please, I invite you to church if you'd like to come."

The priest gets up and leaves the shop. Jimmy stood, astounded by the words of God said by the priest, but he is also still confused and questioned his faith.

A day later, Jimmy walks to the store to buy a Bible. Afterwards, he went home and shut the door to his room behind him. He began reading curiously in the new book, and was pretty skeptical about the miracles in the stories, but he kept reading. He then thought for a moment. It is true God does miracles, because He definitely saved me from committing a crime, he thought. He kept reading in the old testament and then in the new testament. By that time, he became convinced by the stories of the Bible and most importantly in Jesus Christ. He stumbled upon a certain scripture that captivated him.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. - Luke 6:35

As soon as he read it he began to feel emotion welling up inside of him and by the time he read the sentence, he was crying. Not tears of pain, but tears of profound joy. For a moment of silence he felt God's presence once again, but this time it was much deeper and in his mind he heard the words I love you.

He then kneels down and wears a rosary on his neck that he bought from the store. He prays for the first time saying...

Dear our Heavenly Father,

I ask for forgiveness for what I have done in the past, such as tempting to steal, carrying a gun, and hanging around the wrong crowds. May I also forgive others who have wronged me, and most importantly, I ask for the acceptance of you in my life and in my journey come to hold me, strengthen me, protect me and direct me in the right paths. Allow me to be cautious for the wrong paths. Also support me in the choices I make everyday and please come into my heart and live in it forevermore. Amen.
© Copyright 2014 Khariyya Jia Li ~ Studying 247 (erynb at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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