Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Paper for School



...my son asked a favor of me this evening. He'd been working on a paper for school, and requested my help in editing his rough draft.

When I sat in front of the computer, I was unaware of the subject he'd chosen. Had no idea what I was in for, him being fourteen and all.

From the speakers whispered Ryan Bingham's, "The Weary Kind." Outside my office window, an arctic gust threw handfuls of snow at the glass, a festering blizzard flexing its muscle.

And this is what I read...


I watched in curiosity, frightful as the man marched into the gates of our small town. The man was dressed in khaki shorts, sandals, and a plain white t-shirt. But this is not what sent goose bumps creeping up my spine. There, cradled in his arms, was a book. Not just any book, the Holy Bible. Around his neck he wore a silver cross. I wanted badly to tell him to leave. To go back to the land from which he came, where he was in no danger. Instead, I watched as the silver streak flew through the air and pierced the back of the man's skull, sending his body sprawling to the pavement. Within minutes the guard who took the man's life rolled his body off to the side of the road to make way for the oncoming traffic.

Now you have to ask yourself, what if? What if you were that poor guy watching helplessly as a Christian man was slaughtered for his beliefs? But then again, you probably wouldn't spend more than one minute of your precious time thinking this over. As Americans, we take for granted our freedom of religion.

You should feel honored to live in the United States of America. In 51 countries, 40 are restricted nations, 11 are hostile. It wouldn't be uncommon to see this same scene a dozen or more times in one day. Every one of us was blessed by God to be born in this nation.

The man who was murdered for walking around with a Bible in his hands, a cross from his neck...what was he planning on doing? Maybe he had a family. Maybe he was on a missionary trip and didn't know he would be killed for being a Christian. Or maybe, just maybe, he was there to spread the word of God, even though he knew that it may be the last thing he ever did.

Why would anyone do such a thing? In Romans 1:16 it says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." It then goes on to say, "For in the gospel righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last. The righteous will live by faith."

How many of you Christians out there live by faith? How many of you are willing to yell at the top of your lungs...I believe in God, and are willing to spread his word?

You know what is right. Will you be ashamed, or righteous, and live by faith? Thank you for your time...


...I looked up from the computer to a world covered in ice. Listened a bit longer to Bingham's velvet tone, and thought, "I'm far from perfect. The mistakes I've made are countless. But through the sweat and the tears, the debt and the grime of a world forged in cruelty, I've managed to get one thing right. ...he's fourteen, and ageless.

Thanks for reading:)
EL

17 comments:

Donna Hole said...

I think your son takes after you; a profound thinker, passionate in his concerns and curiosity.

My father is the type to yell out his faith. When he prays for you, you know something miraculous will happen.

Unfortunately, he didn't pass on the same passion to me. I think in different realms. For myself.

Having faith is important, and is a deeply individual decision. My father's faith sustains him, and is rewarded in his daily life. He lives his Christian faith, and I've no doubt he will reap the rewards he believes in in the afterlife. It would be too cruel to think about - even for me - if he does not.

Yes, I am glad I live in a country that tolerates differences in so many cultural ways. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but the benifits outweigh the minor complaints.

Have a good evening El. I hope your son gets a good grade on his paper.

......dhole

Anne Gallagher said...

You have an amazing son because you are an amazing father. You have taught him what you think is important and it stuck. Great job Elliot.

Now could you come to my house and explain to Monster Baby how important it is to clean the playroom so Mommy doesn't throw fits anymore.

Jules said...

I do so agree, you definitely have gotten one thing right. This about me cry when I realized those profound words emerged from youth.

Be ever so proud :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

G.~ said...

Hi El.

That is amazingly beautiful. What a gift it is to be such a wonderful writer, but to also be able to write the truth so eloquently as he knows it in his heart.

Beautiful. It almost renders me speechless...

By the way, thank you for the comment, but I removed the post because I forget it was a blogfest day, so I had to change the post.

Thank you always for your kindness.

I'm sure your son is proud to have a father who has taught him so well, as I know you are proud of him.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You do have an amazingly perceptive 14 year old son. But having the father he does, maybe not so amazingly.

Muslims take advantage of our freedom of religion but will not return that courtesty to us in their own countries.

Many will never read the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. The only Gospel they will ever read will be the Gospel according to Roland or to Elliot by our actions and words.

Always a thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

Have a great weekend, Roland

Elliot Grace said...

...thanks guys for your wonderful comments. I've never pushed religion on my kids, allowing them to choose their own views, following in their own beliefs, rather than forcing opinions upon their already burdened shoulders. He's gone the route of "Believer" since he was a young boy, and thus, is becoming a compassionate man in return. Expressing how proud I am of his decisions is a moot point. Which is why I simply published his work instead.

I was concerned that expressing his beliefs would influence his grade, what with school vs. religion being an ongoing discussion during these confusing times.

He received an A.

Thanks for reading:)

Jodi Henry said...

Great post. It's good to see hard work in parenting pays off. I've got a long road ahead of me with my young ones.

J

DEZMOND said...

this is an off-topic, but as an atheist, Christians have always reminded me of the Borg from STAR TREK.

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - he's got talent and depth and heart. You done good Elliot!

Kristy said...

Awww I love that boy. So proud of him!

Elliot Grace said...

...yeah well, he's a mommy's boy:)
Go figure.

Olivia J. Herrell said...

He has inherited your passion and your way with words.

Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this.

~ that rebel, Olivia

Jehelb said...

Wow-Elliot- that there caused me a case of some hair lifting goosebumps. And you did that one thing right!! PS. I noticed you follow Joe Hill's blog- did you read his "Heart Shaped Box"? I found it pretty entertaining. J

Lola Sharp said...

Wow, that is a very organized and well written piece. At 14 even more impressive. He deserved that A. :) And his proud father.

Thanks for sharing. (I assume he gave you permission and is thrilled to be 'published' and semi-famous. :)

The Words Crafter said...

That's a profound piece of work, full of insight and wisdom. And challenge. Wow. I'm glad he got an A, too. Wow.

Rachel Morgan said...

*yelling at top of lungs*
I BELIEVE IN GOD!!

Thank you for sharing this very thought-provoking and profound piece by one so young. May he never lose his faith :-)

xx R

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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