Opening prayer, all are called to attention.
She fights back a shiver of apprehension.
The young preacher greets the room with a grin.
Forgive me, Father, for I fear I shall sin.
…he addresses the crowd…
“Tell me of truth, for you hide it so well.
Tell me of love, and how far that you fell.”
She bites down on her lip, desire betrayed.
A front row saint with her sins on display.
She longs for his touch, too strong to object.
His fingertips tracing the nape of her neck.
…she nearly whispers aloud…
“Tell me of passion, and the hearts it set free.
Tell me of love, and whether you feel it for me.”
He swallows hard and then straightens his tie.
Lost to the fervor he sees in her eyes.
He cannot bring himself to look away.
Helpless before her, a powerless prey.
She clutches her cross and begs God for direction.
He closes his eyes and is consumed by the question.
…to neither, a pause of doubt…
“Tell me of Jesus, does He let this one stand?
Are even the guilty guided to love by His hand?”
anyone heard of this book? the story takes place in a catholic school, during its annual chocolate sale. this one unassuming kid, a freshman named jerry renault, decides not to sell the chocolates. this isn’t against the rules; the school forces no one to take part in the fundraiser. but other students start to take notice, start acting out. things get out of hand. in the end, the headmaster turns the students against jerry, and poor jerry’s decision to “disturb the universe” turns his life into something of a living hell. his best friend begs him, pleads with him: just sell the chocolates. but jerry can’t. he won’t. things grow from bad to worse. after the sale ends, jerry - having sold not one single box of chocolates - is beaten within an inch of his life by one of his classmates. as he lies on the ground in agony, the fate of whether he lives the onslaught uncertain, he looks up at the horrified face of his friend and tells him: don’t fight. just do what they say. just go along with it.
just sell the chocolates.
what does this mean for us? sometimes we take a stand for something trivial when we should just keep our mouths shut. sometimes we rebel when we should conform. sometimes we must dare, we must disturb the universe, we must refuse to sell the chocolates. why? why is not always so important. but it changes you, and it changes the people around you. or maybe that’s wrong. maybe it doesn’t change you.
maybe it shows you who you really are, and who the people around you really are.
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