Hello, Reading Friends! Thanks for joining us for my Christian short story, “Aren’t you Listening?” Regardless of the divisions the media promotes throughout America, the Bible divides people into only two categories: believers and non-believers. Everyone who is now with Christ used to be against Christ, but by the grace of God, we are now with Him. God wants those who are against Him to be with Him, and that should be our priority as well. I hope the side you take in the conversations of today is simply what Christ would want, even if that view is unpopular. Here’s a story I think relates to what’s playing out across America right now. This also relates in some ways to The Steadfast Series: America’s Last Days. See you on the next page!—David Telbat
Aren’t you Listening?
by D.I. Telbat
Ray MacDonald stumbled out of a cloud of tear gas and fell to his knees at the street corner. The mob of protestors clashed with the counter protestors behind him, but for a moment, he was out of the fray.
A hand on his shoulder caused him to look up, but his eyes still burned too much to see well.
“Here you go, Ray.” It was Mike Oates’ deep baritone voice, known throughout the community for his middle-aged quartet from church. “You all right?”
Ray accepted a cool cloth and held it to his face.
“I’ve never been so angry, Mike!” Ray rose to his feet. “Hey, I didn’t know you’re an activist. A man your size, I bet you could really push those jerks around up at the front there!”
“No, I’m not here to protest, but yes, I’m an activist. Water?” He offered Ray a paper cup of water. “I try to remain active for Jesus.”
“I hear you, brother.” Ray took a deep breath and watched the clash of protestors now in the park. Two bullhorns competed for attention. “We need the Lord on our side to win against all this hatred!”
“Is there a side who isn’t hating?” Mike filled another cup of water from his thermos and handed it to a woman doused in orange pepper spray. “What do you see when you look out there in our city park right now? Or are your eyes still blinded?”
“I thought you were on our side, Mike.” Ray frowned. “I mean, you’re, you know . . .”
“Black? Yes, Ray, I’m a black man, but that doesn’t mean I choose a side of hatred. I take God’s side and hate all forms of sin. Aren’t you on His side?”
“Who’s side are you actively portraying out here, Ray?” Mike handed an invitation card to a couple who trudged toward the chaos. “Ya’ll come to this meeting on Saturday night, you hear? We’ll be talking about the peace that God offers our souls. Real peace from Jesus Christ.”
“Get lost, freak!” The woman cursed, wadded up the card, and threw it in Mike’s face. “I’m my own god!”
Ray watched the couple join the crowd in the park, chanting against bigotry. He was suddenly embarrassed to be standing next to Big Mike.
“You’re inviting people to a Bible study while at a civil rights march?”
“Well, I can’t rightly invite them to a Bible study if I’m sitting at home, can I? What are you doing for people’s eternal souls out here?”
“We’re fighting for something important, Mike!”
“So am I!”
“We’re losing this country! Don’t you see?”
“I see fine. I’m not the one with jalapenos in my eyes. And it’s not the racists we’re losing this country to. Racism is just a different symptom of the same problem—on the left, on the right, or right down the middle.”
“What’re you talking about?”
“One crowd hates the color of my skin. Another crowd hates the holiness of my God. And there’s all kinds of sinfulness and denial justified in the middle. Blind leading the blind, the Bible says. So, I’m inviting all of them to come hear the gospel Saturday night.”
“What do you mean you’re inviting them all? The other side, too?”
“There isn’t but one side I’m looking at out here, Ray—the side who needs Jesus. Does either crowd out here seem to be at peace about their eternal destination? You introduce each individual here to the love of Jesus Christ, and this civil strife disappears. Every one of these people are frightened about eternity and disturbed about sin on their conscience. You bet I’m going to that other crowd. Racists need Jesus, too!”
“You’re going to get yourself killed out there—by both sides!”
“Well, that would be some statement, wouldn’t it? Dying for Jesus on America’s streets. I can’t think of a better cause worth dying for—trying to introduce hateful hearts to God’s love.”
Ray rested his hands on his hips and looked up at his friend.
“I’d better go with you, just so you don’t get beat up or anything over there.”
“You think one skinny white man is going to stop that crowd from killing me? No, Ray, a miracle from God in their hearts is the only cure for this hatred. They all need the gospel. Aren’t you listening?”
Novel Update: David’s new Leeward Set is out! You can find Book One, Fury in the Storm, here, and Book Two, Tears in the Wind here, along with descriptions and direct retailer links. Watch our Novel News Page here for updated news!
COMING UP: Join us next time for “Fury in the Storm: Where Christians Dare in North Korea.” For the following post, we have David’s short story, “Where is Jesus in your House?“