What’s the Story?

What’s the story?

So here’s the photo. What’s the story? To fire off your writing for today, spend 10-15 minutes scribbling with no judgment on yourself. There’s no editing, it’s simply jumping into writing and spilling out “What if?

To prime the pump:

  • Who’s going to meet someone at this table?
  • Who’s watching this table to see who shows up?
  • Why here? At this coffee shop?
  • Are they supposed to be together?
  • What might happen when they meet?
  • What is one of them wanting to avoid during this meeting?

Ready, set, jump—-into writing. What if?

2 Replies to “What’s the Story?”

  1. This photo is the essences of freedom, a topic that is terribly maligned by modern culture.

    Were someone to sit in the chairs, they would feel the lingering warmth of the two old and dear friends who, not having seen each other for over a year, just spent the previous two hours, warmed by the sunlight, as they talked, prayed, and wept together about a future that will never be, a sad truth after one revealed that her twenty year old daughter had been diagnosed as being bipolar.

    Freedom is in the essence of the seat with it reminds the fifty-something woman at the table next to its now vacant chairs of the day when she sat in one of them, staring out the window with a cup of coffee clasped between her hands, trying to decide how she would tell her son, a college senior, that her husband, his father and an elder in their church, had been charged with embezzlement. Yet, as she remembers the horrific days that followed, her muscles relax and she smiles. How odd it now seems looking back. Anger and trembling had been displaced by amazement, not because of any heroic effort on her part. No, her faith had been too weak. Alex, her son, a young man too mature for his years had led her back to Jesus. Her smiles widens as she remembers sitting alone in one of the two empty chairs. She hadn’t been alone on the miserable cold day. Jesus had filled the other chair.

    Freedom is also in the future, as two men looking for a place to sit and talk, wait. One is a black minister; the other is an avowed atheist who has just returned from a trip to his homeland of Africa. The first man is older, bent with age; his dark skin is deeply furrowed and incredibly kind. The second is younger, but his once-fair skin is leathery and crusted. His wrinkles seem to be all in the wrong places, for they do not fall as they should considering the intensity of his eyes that look out the window, toward the bright sunlight, but see something else. His mouth moves, but he stumbles over words that fail him. “Had I believed what I wanted – want – to believe, I would be like the blind secularist who says that Africa would be better off without missions and missionaries. But only a fool turns away needed help just because faith motivated the offer.” He turns toward his companion, but a flash of sunlight, reflected from the glossy table top washes his face with light. He winces, only momentarily deterred, “But that what I saw doesn’t match what I wanted to believe.” His eyes widen and every wrinkle relaxes. Again, his eyes look past the table, seeing something that is not there. “Faith is more than something, some thought, in the missionary’s head.” His hands fist then relax. “The people he touches are different.” He shakes his head and frowns. “They think, Jeremiah. They think for themselves. I know these people. They’re no longer afraid or shy.” The rapid pace of his words slows. “They’re not afraid of anything. How can that be?” Jeremiah’s head nods as he points to the table and empty chairs. “Come, we can sit here. I have a story to tell you.”

    Freedom is the present that drags us toward a future we never wanted. It is the past, that turned out better than we ever imagined. And it is the future that lies cradled in God’s hands, waiting patiently as Jesus prepares us to walk paths that he laid out for us before he formed us in our mother’s womb. True freedom is found in Jesus. Everything else is bondage.

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