Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: HONEST (05/31/18)
- TITLE: The Saga of Fairly Honest John
By Trudy Newell
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The wooden sign swung on its hinges in the wind.
MONTEVIDEO GENERAL STORE
FAIRLY HONEST JOHN BROWN, PRORIETOR
The year was 1950. Like most towns in northeast Georgia, the General Store was the hub of the community. No one laughed at the sign. Fairly Honest John had a reputation.
People from miles around said things like “If you trade at Montevideo General Store make sure you have all your fingers when you leave. His thumb is heavy on the scales.”
Sarah Brown, his wife, was a sweetheart. She was the reason people still traded at the General Store. Her winning ways and signature smile drew them in.
Though John didn’t know it, Sarah was the best thing he had going for him. When he got drunk, which was far too frequent, she suffered at his hands. But life goes on, and people somehow accepted Honest John for who he was as a part of the community.
People shook their heads as they talked about Honest John. Everyone knew he had a need. Everyone was ready to talk about Honest John, but no one had the boldness to talk to him about his heart condition.
Then a new family moved into town, a transplant from Apple Creek, Ohio. No one knew what to do with Paul and Marg Higgins. They had never eaten grits or boiled peanuts in their lives. They were not sure about sweet tea either. Marg was not a Georgia peach. Neither of them fit in with the community. It gave everyone something new to talk about.
Paul was the new headmaster of the small community school there. He had graduated with honors from the University of Cincinnati. Everyone was suspicious and wished the Higgins would go away. They didn’t need all that ‘head learning’ for their one-room school.
However, Paul was not discouraged by the poor reception. He and Marg had prayed and were convinced this was right where God wanted them.
Because his salary as a schoolteacher was not sufficient, he needed additional employment. Marg taught piano lessons which helped some. The only job that fit in with his teaching schedule was part-time employment at Montevideo General Store. That’s how Paul got to know Fairly Honest John.
He worked after classes and on Saturdays. Paul was one busy man. Yet he was not too busy to pray. Every evening Paul and Marg asked the Lord to work in Honest John’s heart. They prayed that Paul would have an opportunity to share the love of Christ with him.
Paul gave him one of the red Gospel of Johns he kept handy to share. Paul knew how much Fairly Honest John like the color red. "A true Georgia Bulldog fan,” thought Paul.
But Fairly Honest John was not impressed and shoved it back at Paul. “Religion is for women, children, and the weak,” he said, “keep that garbage to yourself.”
Paul backed off but kept praying. Then he discovered John’s secret. As Paul was going over inventory, a letter fell out, caught on one of the file folders, and floated to the ground. Curious, he picked it up and read it. What a shock to discover that Fairly Honest John was a ‘card-carrying member’ of the Communist Party.
Paul knew the time was right to speak to John directly about his salvation, even though it could cost him his job. But that’s not what happened. As Paul shared the love of Christ, God opened John’s heart. There in the back room of Montevideo General Store John gave his live to Christ. The change was immediate and complete.
News spread and there was a brisk business at Montevideo General Store. Everyone had to see. But the transformation was obvious.
Five years later Paul still taught school and worked part-time at Montevideo General Store. Marg still taught piano lessons and played the piano at the Montevideo Community Church. John Brown was now a deacon there. When Marg played ‘Amazing Grace’ his eyes pooled remembering that day in the back room of the General Store when Paul confronted him with the claims of Jesus Christ.
The Montevideo General Store had a new look. There was always a pot of coffee on for the customers, and a bench in front of the store invited people to sit and chat. Above the bench a new shiny red sign replaced the worn wooden sign that had hung outside the store far too lang.
MONTEVIDEO GENERAL STORE
JOHN BROWN, PROPRIETOR
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.