Carrie met with the others that were at the Seven Eleven parking lot. To everyone, Carrie seemed different, but they don’t know why. Then Simon noticed a book in her purse. When Carrie pulled it out, she explained that it was her Bible.
“Your Bible,” exclaimed Mary, “I didn’t know you had a Bible.”
“I didn’t for a long time,” said Carrie, “Until a few weeks ago when I went to church.”
“Church,” said Liz, “since when do you go to church?”
“Yeah,” added Mary, “I’ve known you since elementary school and you were never into religion!”
“My parents started visiting this one church a few weeks ago. I didn’t go at first. I said I had other things to do. Then last week, they asked me to come along with them.”
“What did they do? Force you?” asked Mary.
“Did they threaten to take your wheels away?” asked Liz.
“No, they did nothing like that. It was like…I don’t know…it was something in the way that they asked me that convinced me to go with them… I’m so glad that I did.”
“Why is that?” broke in Simon who returned to his bench, “What is so great about church? It’s just a bunch of old men talking about heaven and hell!”
Carrie chose to ignore Simon’s statement and resumed her testimony, “Anyway, as I sat with my parents and listened to the Pastor’s message, something began to stir in my heart. At first, I thought it was just nerves. When I went to bed that night however, I had trouble sleeping. The words of God that were spoken to me that morning began to convict my soul. I began to remember all my past mistakes and it overwhelmed me like some black shroud. My mind tried to find a way out, but there was no escape. I didn’t get an ounce of sleep that night.” Carrie shuddered at the memory.
Liz and Mary looked at each other in disbelief. They knew Carrie for a long time and never once did they see her do anything wrong. Zach wondered what the things that she regretted were. He didn’t know Carrie very well, but just by looking at her, he could never imagine her doing anything bad.
“Carrie, what mistakes are you talking about,” John asked, “Compared to me, you’re a saint.”
“Thanks John,” Carrie smiled, “All of you know I try my best to do the right thing.”
“But despite all the good I’ve done, I still felt like I wasn’t good enough.” Carrie continued, “After that sleepless night, I was sick all over with the kind of disease that affects the heart more than the body. Do you understand what I am saying?”
Everyone nodded again. I know that sickness very well, thought Simon, I still have it. He took a drink from his soda and leaned forward.
“Why didn’t you call us Carrie?” asked Mary.
“Yeah Carrie,” Liz added, “We could’ve helped you.”
“To be honest, I did think about calling to tell you what was going on,” said Carrie, “But as I picked up the phone, something inside me told me that I needed to call the pastor at the church.”
“Why call him and not us?” asked Liz.
“Girls, I love you like sisters. But this was something I felt you couldn’t help me with.” Carrie continued her story, “When I called the church, the assistant pastor picked it up. His name was Mr. Daniel Ezekiel.”
“Daniel Ezekiel,” blurted John, “Who would name their kid with two first names?”
Carrie ignored John’s question and continued, “I talked to him for about ten minutes. After our talk, he invited me to meet him at the church.”
“Don’t tell me you went?!” Simon exclaimed.
“I did,” Carrie answered confidently, “and he showed me the truth and the purpose that I have in this life.”
“What truth is that?” asked Zach.
“That we are all sinners and are separated from God. However, because God loved us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross, so that all who believed in Him will be saved from the total separation from God which is to come in the end times.”