Christian Short Stories
"Grace"

GRACE
By Connie Lanyon-Roberts

Kathryn Mayer had planned to get to church early, but nothing went as planned this morning. Everything she did to get herself ready seemed to take longer than usual. She felt uneasy. Something just wasn’t right, but she couldn’t put her finger on what could possibly be wrong. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she had a feeling of desperation come over her. She had never felt anything like this before. Her anxiety worsened. Kathryn finally closed her eyes and allowed the Lord to speak to her.

David Murphy, a disheveled middle-aged man, hid the bottle of whiskey under his raggedy coat and headed for the alley beside the liquor store. It was a familiar place to him now. He had spent a lot of his time in this particular alley and it almost felt like it was home.

As he rounded the corner he noticed two teenage boys walking toward him. He quickly dashed into the alleyway thinking the teens would just walk past on their way to the liquor store, but to his dismay, the boys followed him into the alley.

He turned around quickly and faced them. “What do you want?”

“Hey, man, we’re not looking for any trouble.”

“You expect me to believe that?” David asked.

“Look, my name’s Luke, and this here is Charlie,” Luke said as he patted Charlie’s shoulder. “We just wanted to say, hi.”

“I’ll ask you again,” David insisted. “What do you want?”

“We know what’re hiding under your dirty coat, and we want it,” Luke said threateningly.

“Get out of here and leave me alone!” David shouted.

“I’m not gonna say it again, old man, we want your bottle of booze. Hand it over nicely or we’ll get rough with you.”

David turned and ran down the length of the alley, the boys following at his heels. It wasn’t long before they caught up with him and threw him to the ground. The boys wrestled with the older man trying to pry the bottle out of his hands.

“NO! It’s mine! Leave me alone! Leave me alone! It’s mine!”

Suddenly Kathryn appeared behind the boys trying to pull them away from David. “Stop it! Stop it!” she shouted.

Luke turned to face Kathryn. He grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her to the ground. “Don’t you dare touch me again, you stupid cow!” the boy snarled.

“Mind your own business, lady,” Charlie said.

“You leave her alone!” David screamed.

“Shut up, you old drunk!” Luke shouted. “Hand over the bottle or I swear I’ll hurt her!”

David looked at Kathryn and saw the frightened look in her eyes. But how could he give his last bottle away before, before he could.....

Luke raised his hand to strike Kathryn.

David reluctantly handed the bottle to Luke. “Okay, okay! Here, take it!”

“Nice doing business with you, old man,” Luke said with a smirk on his face.

“We’ll see you later, you old drunk,” Charlie laughed.

David looked at Kathryn with disgust. It was her fault his last bottle of whiskey was gone. How would he ever find the courage now?

Kathryn crawled over to David. “Are you all right?” she asked.

“NO! What makes you think I’m all right! I just lost my last bottle to that punk! I don’t have any more money!” David shouted angrily.

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry! Sorry doesn’t get my bottle back for me, does it? You have any money?”

“No, I’m sorry I don’t,” Kathryn said softly. “By the way, my name’s Kathryn. What’s yours?”

David stood and walked away from the young woman. “You better leave now. It’s not safe here and I’ve got things to do.”

Kathryn stood and followed David. “I know. That’s why I’m here.”

“What are you talking about?” David asked harshly.

“The Holy Spirit sent me.”

David stopped to face Kathryn. “The who?”

“The Holy Spirit. He said you needed my help.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t need anybody’s help, especially yours! You just cost me my last drink before I......”

“Before what?” Kathryn asked innocently.

“It’s none of your damn business!” David said severely. “Now get out of here and leave me alone!”

David leaned against the building wall. He covered his eyes with the palms of his hands and slid down the rough surface until he was sitting with his knees up to his chest. He wrapped his arms around his legs and began to rock. Kathryn crouched down to face the homeless man.

“Look, lady. I want to be alone, okay? Please?” David pleaded.

Kathryn touched David’s shoulder softly. “You were planning to have your last bottle of whiskey so you’d have enough courage to commit suicide, weren’t you?”

David felt like he had been punched in the stomach. “How, how did you know that?”

“The Holy Spirit told me.”

David became frightened. “You’re crazy! You’ve got ghosts talking to you?”

Kathryn chuckled. “He is called the Holy Ghost as well and He does talk to me all the time.”

“Then you are nuts! Look, I have enough problems of my own. I don’t need a schizo hounding me. What’s it going to take for you to go away?”

“Why were you thinking of taking your own life?” Kathryn asked as she made herself comfortable beside David.

“Hey, I told you it’s none of your business!” David shouted. “What’s the matter with you? Are you hard of hearing too? I told you I want to be alone!”

Kathryn only smiled. She had no intentions of leaving this broken man.

“Look, I’m sure you think you mean well, but I don’t need your help, okay? So you and your little ghost can go now.”

GRACE - Part 2

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