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Salvation on a Park Bench

by Michele Fleming  
2/13/2012 / Short Stories

Amanda hopped onto the barstool and opened the morning paper. Opening to the classifieds, she settled in to begin her morning ritual.

"Today, I will find a job!" She promised herself as she began to peruse the "Help Wanted" section.

A quick scan revealed the same thing she had found the last three days in a row . . . no new listings. Amanda slowly refolded the paper. She slid it across the counter top and just sat staring at it.

With tear-filled eyes, she began to pray. "Lord, I have been searching for so long. I don't know what I am going to do! The rent is due next week, Alyssa is going to need formula in a few days and the cupboards are almost bare. Please, help me dear Lord."

Amanda sat crying, giving her every emotion over to God. Once she regained control and the tears subsided, she did feel better, but the weight of her situation still hung over her like a blimp. She determined herself to put it in God's hands and with a swipe to her face with her sleeve, she stood and went to ready herself for a day of pounding the pavement. The newspaper held no promises of employment, but that didn't mean there weren't jobs out there somewhere.

As soon as her neighbor arrived to watch Alyssa, Amanda set out on her quest. She hit every business within walking distance, including the ones she had already visited. By the end of the day she was feeling rather defeated from all of the rejections. She decided to lift her spirits by treating herself to a small ice cream cone in the park. While she sat on the park bench fighting to catch the melting ice cream before it ran down the side of the cone, she watched all the activity around her.

Amanda marveled at the variety of people that passed by, as she always did. She found herself wondering what it would be like to live in their world. What kind of life did they have? What did they do for a living? As she sat daydreaming on these questions, a man sat down beside her.

She gave him a quick hello, and then turned back to her daydreaming. Picking up where she left off, Amanda wondered about the man sitting beside her. He appeared to be in his late thirties. Judging by his attire, he was probably upper middle-class. She noticed he had a gold band on his left- hand, so obviously he was a married man. Beside the man on the bench lay a Bible.

As she sat pondering the man, his cell rang.

"Hello." The man said to the person on the phone.

Amanda sat quietly finishing her cone as the man spoke.

"Just like I have told you before, whoever we get has to be of the faith. They have to be someone with Christian beliefs and values. They absolutely need some experience working in an office and we need them to start . . . like, yesterday."

This last statement caused Amanda to sit straighter and listen more closely.

"Alright, I will give you a call back first thing in the morning." He then hung up his phone, picked up his Bible and from what Amanda could tell from the corner of her eye, began to pray. She decided to say a quick prayer of her own.

The man sighed and Amanda turned to him.

"Tough day?" she asked, hoping to work her way around to asking about the job.

"You could say that." He told her and shook his head in exasperation. "With all of the people out of work, you would think that any type of employment would be greatly appreciated. But, I have been looking for someone to run the office at the church for weeks now. I guess since it's for the church, no one is interested."
"I might be."

"You're looking for a job?"

"Yes, I am actually." She answered, then reached for one of her resumes and handed it to him.

After looking it over the man turned and gave her a huge smile.

"Your qualifications are just what we are looking for. I think you may be the answer to our prayers. "

With tear-filled eyes, Amanda felt the Spirit of the Lord wash over her. "And, you may be the answer to mine."

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