Sunday, June 4, 2017

(ToM) Destruction

Hello and good day. Out of our imaginatons can come two forms of creativity: Degradation and filth; which The Bible says is rooted from hearts that are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Or we can choose to create art that though it is not divinely inspired still can still go to glorify the God of Heaven by its message. It's my prayer that this little anecdote will go to encourage us to love people within and without the body of Christ while staying on guard against the enemy of our souls.

Friday, December 23, 2031, A.D.
4:00 AM



It's dark on an early cold and rainy morning. Freddy Gonzalez slowly and methodically places the last elements of the bomb together in a box, and with perspiration starting to form on his forehead, he purses his lips together and mimics an explosion sound as he pushes air out of his mouth and smiles devilishly. With the box filled with nails and glass, Freddy wonders if he has enough shrapnel in the box. Satisfied that there is plenty of debris in the explosion to kill his victim, he sets the trigger and carefully closes the lid to the detonation capsule, concluding that whenever the package opens it will kill its intended target. There will be no mistakes. He will die. Freddy utters a curse for the man that has been the object  of his scorn for nearly eight months as he writes out the name and address on the box of the person he thinks will be dead sometime that weekend.

Friday, December 23, 2031, A.D.
7:45 AM

With an angry face, Freddy scans his ID badge and walks through the rotating doors of the entrance of the Social Security building.  He breathes in deeply the surrounding atmosphere, throws his coat over his shoulder, and holds on to it with one finger stretched through through the inside peg loop. He strolls nonchalantly and surveys from cubicle to cubicle his co-workers as he passes them. The growing unease Freddy feels as not stopped since he took vacation time from work. In fact, it has increased. And now, by the time he has found himself returned to his job, his sense of guilt and remorse seemed like it has doubled. He cannot help but feel like traps are being set for him everywhere he walks, and the constant searching of what he knew were from surveilling eyes didn't make him feel any easier. They were watching him. At lest that was what he thought, anyway.

Jesse Coleman sits at his desk at the Social Security Administration Spokane Washington branch and contemplates the beginning of his day at work. Jesse is a praying man, and his mornings consist of coming in early before anyone else arrives and meeting with God. He has already made prayer walks throughout the aisles of the office, and has placed cookies and hot chocolate in the break room for his colleagues to partake of when they get to work. Unannounced to his co-workers, this is Jesse's last day at the branch. For eight months he has served in replacement of another agent who has been on sick leave but will be returning after Christmas weekend. With a deep breath, Jesse thanks God for the time he has had at the office and reaches over to start up his computer. Soon, some of his co-workers start to walk in and pass his cubicle. Jesse and each one that passes, exchange pleasantries with each other with either, "good morning," "Merry Christmas", or just a simple wave until Freddy Gonzalez walks up to Jesse's desk.  

Jesse turned to look at Freddy at the sound of Freddy letting out a breathe of exasperation, sarcastically. Freddy stood erect a few from Jesse as he remained seated in his swivel chair. Freddy felt proud to tower of Jesse with all 6'7 of him gloating over him like a lion about to pounce on his prey. Freddy came from a lineage of Samoans, and at the age of 64, he was due to retire in the middle of January next year. He had an extensive career in the military before joining the Social Security where he rose to rank as an officer, but due to health concerns drew out of the armed forces at the advice of his doctors and took a job at Social Security which was expected to be less stressful and agitating to the old Colonial. However, despite Mr. Gonzalez's colors and credentials in the army, he was known around the Social Security office as a real harsh individual. Always irritable with his attitude and a series of complaints from clients already filed with the administration, the powers that be decided it was best (barring any unavoidable circumstances) that they allowed Freddy to serve out the remainder of his time with Social Security before retiring next year.

"Good morning, Mr. Christmas", Freddy said facetiously.
"Hello, Freddy." Jesse said looking up and smiling.

"What do you have planned to celebrate your crutch and fool's tale
 of a Savior this year?"

"Well, for starters I provided milk and cookies for everyone in the
break room. You're welcome to partake of them during your lunch
if you want to."

"Thanks", said Freddy. "I might."

"You know, I don't know where you're from or anything about your
personal life, but every time I look at this graduation picture of
yours on your desk, I'm reminded of what you Christians call this
Jesus, I have to put up with, especially during this time of the year
and it makes me sick."

"Well Freddy, since you don't know anything about me I can start
by telling you about this picture I have on my desk. If you think I
look a lot like the Jesus people portray him as in this photograph;
you would be right. You see, I love Christ, Freddy and I'm sorry He
makes you sick. But if there's anything I can ever talk with you
about or do for you, you know where you can find me."

"Yeah, under a cross, worshiping a dead man. Thanks anyway.",
said Freddy.

"Oh, there's one more thing Freddy.", interjected Jesse.

"Some of the people here wanted to give out Christmas cards this
holiday and I made one for you. I know you don't care for God so I
hope you can excuse the Bible verse, but what's said in the card
means good will and cheer to many people a lot less fortunate than
us this time of year. What's really neat about this card is that I used
something new that just came out called "activating time ink" I
wrote one part of the letter in regular ink and another part in ink
that will show up on the paper stock only at a certain time that it
has been programmed to appear. It's pretty cool, and if by nothing
else, I hope you think that part is exciting."

And at that, Mr. Gonzalez snatched the envelope out of Jesse's
outstretched hand and strode off, muttering to himself.


12:00PM Social Security Office (Lunch Time)

People were sitting around tables eating food when Freddy walked
in the break room. Jesse had walked away from his desk
momentarily to get himself a cup of water from the water-cooler
when he watched what happened next. Freddy approached the 
table that held the cookies and milk Jesse had brought and took out
a long fake beard and put it on his face.

He picked up a cookie and with voice that everyone could hear in
the room said, "Take, eat. This is my body."

Then Freddy bit off a piece of the cookie and pretended to gag. 
Most everyone in the room did not laugh. Then he walked up to the
table again and poured himself milk in a cup and held it up to 

everyone who was now watching him. "Drink from it, all of you. 
For this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many
for the forgiveness of sins. But I say to you I will not drink of this
stuff from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in
Father's kingdom."

Then Freddy looked straight at Jesse and said, "Or in my case,
burning hell."

At that, Freddy put down the cup amid coughs and scorns in the
room and walked out of the break room singing a song.
When Freddy had left, all eyes focused on Jesse. Jesse smiled,
shrugged his shoulders, and threw away his water cup and returned
to work.

Saturday December 24, 2031 A.D.
2:00 PM



That following day, Freddy was elated to be off from work and into
the weekend. Coming off his stunt he performed at the Social
Security office, he sat in his living room with a bottle of Jack
Daniels he had already finished half way off while listening to 
mixed CD of Elvis Presley's greatest hits. On his coffee stand sat 
the card Jesse Coleman had given him the day before. Freddy 
remembered what Jesse had told him about the activating time ink
but had not cared to even open the envelope yet to read it. 

The afternoon went on and so did Freddy's drinking. With every hour that went on, so did his anger and hate toward life, his job, and
especially Jesse. He hated what Jesse represented to him. Inside his
mind, he thought the performance of what he did, mocking Christ
was hilarious. But deeper inside still, he wanted every last remnant 
thought of Jesus eradicated. And to him that meant the demise of 
Jesse Coleman. 

With Elvis' "Nothing But a Hound Dog" playing in
the background, the thought came to Freddy about how Jesse's card
might be the last words ever told him from the one he hated. He
reached for the envelope and ripped it open to find the card and the words underneath a drawing of a cross written: "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink
-Jesse"

Suddenly, Freddy's hand that was holding the card started to
tremble. He starred blankly at the card for a moment. When the
second a tear drop was to fall from his eye, he hardened his heart
and grimaced. And at that moment, the activating time ink took
effect and then the whole message displayed itself on the greeting
card and showed: "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to
eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will
heap coals of fire on his head and the Lord will reward you.
-In Christ, Jesse."


Instantly, when Freddy re-read the entire message he flew into a
diabolic rage, fueled by his hate toward God and accelerated by his
drunken state of mind. He tore the card in half and started throwing
things in his living room. Moments later, the door bell rang to his
house and finally he opened the door to see the mail-man walk back on the sidewalk with a box left on his porch. Freddy stepped out on
his porch while Elvis' "Return To Sender" started playing from his
stereo inside his home. He looked at the box lying there and the
first words his eyes fell upon were the words, "Jesse Coleman". 

The maniacal episode he previously experienced inside came to him again, and with a feverish evil fueled by a drunken stupor, he tore into the box cursing in his last seconds of life on earth.


Prologue
Monday, January 3, 2031, A.D.
7:45 AM


The following year, news had spread of the death of Freddy
Gonzalez, while the whereabouts of Jesse Coleman were unknown.
Mr. Coleman had served his time as a replacement for the woman
who now walked toward her desk at the Social Security office and
found the following note attached to a greeting card of a drawing of
a cross with the following words written: A man who has friends
must show himself friendly. And as the woman picked up the card, a new text suddenly appeared on the note which was written in red ink that said: But there is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Thanks!
-J.C.


THE END

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