. . . The Employee

I DON'T NECESSARILY AGREE!" Mickey said.   "Granted, I want to grow
   as much as anyone, but . . . never mind; you'll think I'm a heathen."
   "No, go ahead.   Say it!"
   Mickey Grison rubbed his dark beard between forefinger and thumb, wondering
if anyone else in the restaurant was about to bare their soul, too.   What he was
about to tell Jeremy had never been uttered to another human being.   So he closed
his eyes and blurted it out.   "I don't practice devotions on a regular basis."
   Jeremy wrinkled his forehead.   "You mean, you hit and miss?"
   "Actually . . . It's more miss than hit."
   "You mean NEVER?"
   "Look, don't act like it's the end of--"
   "IT'S A SIN!" Jeremy said.
   Mickey rolled his eyes.   "Chapter and verse, please!"
   "You heard the pastor!"
   "Yes, and I agree that spending time alone with God is a good thing to do.   But,
you can't find a direct commandment to set aside time to read our Bible and pray
to God daily, on a one-on-one basis."
   "What about Psalm, Chapter One?   What about the prayer closet?   Jesus, Himself,
said--"
   "I know what He said! . . . Look! The bottom line is . . . Ah, forget it; I've done
enough damage!"
   "NO JOKE!"   Jeremy's Irish features made a face Mickey couldn't ignore.
   "All right, I'll say it!" Mickey began. "The proof's in the pudding.   I've been able
to serve God in various ministries without having devotions."
   "That doesn't make sense; you can't serve without knowing His Word?"
   "I didn't say I never read my Bible.   I read what I need as I need it; same applies
to my prayer life."
   "But, you're spinning your wheels," Jeremy said.   "God won't bless it!"
   "I'm not too sure about that either," Mickey said.   "I've seen people get saved, in
spite of it."
   Jeremy's confused look pained Mickey, who wished he could erase the last two
minutes.
   "Look, Jeremy, I'm sorry.   The last thing I want to do is to cause you to stumble.
It was stupid of me to say this . . . think of me as a bad Christian.   In fact, I
wouldn't hang around me anymore.   Find someone in the church who has his
devotions down pat.   Hang around him."
   "And who would you suggest?" Jeremy said.

   Mickey thought for a moment.   "I'll get back to you."
   "Wait-a-minute!   What are you saying?"
   "NOTHING!   I just can't think of anyone, off-hand," Mickey looked away.
   "OH!   So you think most of the church is like you?!"
   "I didn't say that--"
   "That's what you implied," Jeremy said.
   "I'm sorry, guy."   Mickey stood up and laid a five dollar bill on the table.   "This
conversation is out of hand.   I'm a bad Christian, okay?"
   Mickey headed for the exit, as Jeremy fought for the last word.   "I'll pray that
God sets you straight!   And, somehow, He will!   YOU HEAR ME!"

   The next day after work, Mickey encountered two men in dark suits waiting
outside his apartment.
   "Mr. Grison?   I'm Officer Tadwell, this is Officer Franklin.   We'd like a word
with you."
   "Is there something wrong?" Mickey said.
   Tadwell held up a photo.   "Do you know this man?"
   "Yes . . . That's Todd."
   "Where do you know him from?" Franklin said.
   "From work . . . Is he in trouble?"
   "How long have you known him?"   Franklin pulled out a note pad.
   "Should I get a lawyer?"
   The two officers glanced at each other.   "No, Mr. Grison, this won't take long,"
Tadwell added.   "How well do you know him?"
   "My lawyer?"
   "Todd."
   "Well, we've worked together for about three years."
   "Would you say you and God are close?"
   "God?"
   Franklin looked up from his pad.   Tadwell frowned at Mickey.   "What are you
talking about?"
   "You said, ‘God’."
   "I did not.   I said, ‘Todd’."
   "He's right," Franklin said, pointing his pen at Mickey.   "You're the one that
heard God."
   Mickey blushed.   "I'm sorry . . . My mistake . . . What was the question?"
   "Are you and Todd close?"
   "No . . . not really."
   "But you work with him on various ministries, right?"
   "Ministries?"
   "Do you wear a hearing aid, Mr. Grison?   Maybe I'm not talking loud enough for
you."
   "No, I don't use one . . . But, for some reason--"
   "What kind of machinery do you and Todd work on?"

   "Oh, you meant machinery.   I'm sorry," Mickey said.   "Ah . . . metal Lathe, Drill
Press, and Brake."
   "What kind of relationship do you two have?" Franklin asked, without taking
his eyes off the pad.
   Mickey paused, thinking it was an odd question.   "Ah . . . strictly business; it's
just a working relationship."
   "So you don't know God personally, then?"
   "Excuse me?"
   Tadwell grew impatient.   "What part didn't you understand, now?!"
   "You meant Todd, right?"
   "Maybe we should question him at the precinct," Franklin said.   "Let's see how
funny he is, there."
   "No, no.   I'm fine, really . . . I'll listen harder from now on."
   "Now, Mr. Grison, this is important," Tadwell said, with a hard stare.   "Do you
remember where you were last night?"
   "Yes . . . I had dinner with a friend--"
   "Name and address?" Franklin said, getting ready to take it down.
   "Jeremy Wallace, 2309 Butcher Street . . . Apt. 5"
   "Were you involved in any devotion last night?" Tadwell asked.
   Mickey's face turned white.
   "You okay, Grison?" Tadwell said.
   "Yeah . . . sure . . . I'm fine . . . just a little--"
   "Then answer the question!" Franklin said, noting Mickey's reaction.   "Were
you part of that commotion last night?   You and Todd, your estranged co- laborer;
the person you only want to have a working relationship with, and don't care to
know personally?!"
   "Back off, Frankie.   This guy looks sick."   Tadwell got right in Mickey's face.
"Maybe you should see a doctor . . . Or better yet, curl up with a good Book;
you'll feel like a new man."
   The two suited men walked away, as Mickey desperately tried to unlock his
apartment with a trembling hand.

   Seconds later, the two climbed into their car.
   "What do you think?" Franklin said.
   "Guilty as sin."   Tadwell flashed a smiled.   "Of course we knew that already, . . .
Now, he knows it, too."

. . . Some say the walls have ears, but as Christians,
we know better.   For the ears that are actually
poised, ready to visit upon the fruits of our indiscretions,
are those of Angels and their master--
the God who's dying to have a relationship . . .

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]