"Paulson, have faith as a grain of mustard seed."
"Don't you dare question me about my faith?"
"Brothers please," intervened the pastor, Rev. William Myers as the others listened, "We are not here to question about one's faith, but to finalize the itinerary, for the all night prayers."
"Pastor, let us be serious," said Mr. Martin Paulson, after everyone had left, "Brother Mark's request is frivolous, petty and our congregation will not take it seriously."
"Brother as Christians we pray with faith," replied Rev. William Myers, "Jesus said that when two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in the midst of them. So when Brother Mark requests a special prayer that the shops across his street be moved to the side where his house is, we will pray. It's a special prayer and if it is His will, it will be done. Paulson you are aware that after the road widening, Mark had problem crossing the road to even buy a loaf of bread, or even a strip of medicine and a cake of soap! He is a staunch active member of our church and is in the forefront whenever the need arises unlike others who just criticize, but do not lend a helping hand."
"Why doesn't he sell his house and move somewhere else?"
"He wanted to, but the offer of sixteen lakh rupees was far too little for an independent house in the heart of the city?"
"Heart of the city, bah? It's in a small lane, where even a scooter cannot take a U turn."
"That's not how a Christian should talk?"
Hearing the sound of the Vespa scooter as it made its way the dead end lane of her house, Catherine opened the gate and waited for Mark to park it, so that she can take the carry bag, which was invariably filled with vegetables, fruits and a loaf of bread.
"Why was the meeting so late?" asked Catherine, taking hold of the carry bag, "I was worried as the evening was getting colder, and you have not taken your jerkin?"
"I never knew it would be so long?" sighed Mark, "That fellow Paulson was thinking that the shops across the road will not be shifted, even if we pray."
"What did the pastor say?"
"He said we'll put it in prayer?"
"Come we'll have our dinner and then pray."
For the next three months the all night prayers were held successfully with nearly the entire adult church congregation participating in it.
On a beautiful Monday morning, Mark was at home reading the day's paper, when an earth shattering loud noise made him rush out to find that heavy machinery were at work. "They are constructing a Mall," explained a neighbor, "not one, but two."
"Cathy, I don't know whether God has answered our prayers, but we will be in the midst of two malls."
"That's very bad as there will be more traffic, dust and noise pollution, but anyway, if two malls are going to be built, it's God's plan."
"What will we do?"
"Put it in prayer. God willing, now we may sell our house and move to a quieter locality."
"But the rates quoted are too low."
"We can only pray."
There was an urgent knock one afternoon. It was the old real estate agent.
"Sir, can I talk to you regarding the sale of your house?"
"No, I don't want to waste my time."
'Sir, this time I brought a very good offer. It is a fifty lakh rupee deal, not a single rupee less."
"Cathy, Praise the Lord, the sale is registered."
"Yes, thank you Jesus."
Rev. William Myers sipping tea, at their new house, said,"Mark it's because of your faith that you were able to sell the house at a very good rate and buy a beautiful house in a locality of your choice."
The pastor kept silent for a second and looked at Mark and said slowly, "Some decades back, Corrie Ten Boom said that, "Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible."
Victor Jasti lives in India and is passionate about writing short stories based on the Bible and real incidents. He also writes Christian fiction and poetry. Five of his poems were published in Temporal Currents compiled by an American author, Ms. Christine Tricarico.
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