Wearily, she sank into the chair. Office life was hardly what she expected it to be.
She had once been an enthusiatic worker. But that was because she had just been freed from the bondage of addiction. Smiling, Marnie remembered the day she stepped outside the old brick wall.
A new creation- that was all she could remember of the Director's farewell speech. She was too excited at the prospect of a fresh start to her life to pay much attention to the speeches. However, as she stood outside the dear old building surveying the home that had been hers for a happy 2 years, the phrase came back to her. A new creation. Marnie drank in the smell of the pine cones, and her mouth trembled. Never had she been so grateful and so indebted to anyone as she was to Christ. He died in her place. She should have died on the Cross for all her sins. But Jesus did that. Because He loved her so much. He took her sorrows on Himself, and gave her peace in return. A new creation.
The next morning, eager to make a new beginning and fresh start, she had pondered her options for work.
"Any job that keeps me away from my old friends," she thought. "Of course," she corrected herself, "it has to be respectable and well paid."
However, the bosses of the big companies looked at her application with open suspicion.
"You've been an alcoholic, a drug addict and a heavy smoker before, eh? Harumph."
And before she could explain how Christ had set her free from the addiction to narcotine and alcohol, they had tossed her carefully filled out application form aside and ushered her to the grand mahogany doors.
So much for the big companies, she thought. Bull-dog determination, she reminded herself. Employers want people who are responsible and determined. And initiative.
Going into the nearest internet cafe, she searched for all the medium sized companies that might possibly want an assistant.
Impossible, she was told. Just why accepting her was impossible, she didn't know. Her funds were running out. She needed to know. Mustering up her courage, she banged on the CEO's door. Why? she asked. Why? The manager looked at her compassionately but firmly.
"Sorry ma'am, but we can't afford to hire anyone with a background like yours anymore. You all come in taking advantage of us, and then make away with the cash box for more cigarettes and beer. Thank you but no thanks." Sniffed at again.
She nearly walked into the van parked outside in despair. Oh why had she been so foolish? She should have been the one to sniff at them. Those mean ol' folks. She'd show them. She had been top in her class up till Grade 9. She had always been top of everything, until she'd mixed with the wrong friends. Trying the first cigarette didn't seem harmful. It was fun, and cool to be part of the gang. But look at where that first cigarette led her! Her life was in ruins. No one wanted to accept her.
Tears of remorse sprang to her eyes. It was all her fault. God, you are supposed to set me free. But it seems that I am still in bondage. "SOME SORT OF GOD YOU ARE!" She angrily thought. You aren't even listening- Oh... was it all a lie? That day when she thought she had a new start? Oh... if only...
A gentle voice broke into her swirling thoughts.
"Are you alright, ma'am?"
Startled, Marnie glanced up, then blushed. She had unconciously spoken her rebellious words aloud. She was about to murmur some concilatory words when she saw that the man was concerned.
She sighed. "Are you a Christian, Sir?"
He smiled. "Wouldn't ask whether you were all right if I wasn't, wouldn I?"
Well, no, she thought.
The nice man led her to a seat by the park. None of them said anything. Marnie was beginning to feel that perhaps this wasn't such a good idea.
"Now. Tell me how I may help you."
Giving in, Marnie told him everything. Later that night, Marnie marvelled. She, Marnie had told a perfect stranger everything!
Marnie told the man her sinful history, her salvation, and her excitement to start a new life, a life that GOD promised. She forced His name out. It came out somewhere between a spit and a choke. She also told him of her numerous attempts to find her job, and of her current jobless position. Then she told him all that she had been thinking before he had interrupted her. The man listened quietly. When Marnie finished her recital. The man sat in deep thought.
"Is that all you can do? Keep silent?" Marnie thought crossly. As if the man read her thoughts, he looked up and smiled. He had been praying.
"Well?" Marnie snapped. "You said you could help me."
As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Marnie felt sorry. This man was only trying to be helpful, and she had to say such a horrid thing. She started to sob. Not quiet tears, but deep gut-wrenching sobs. The man let her cry.
As soon as she quietened, he said, "Marnie, that day you accepted Christ into your life you allowed Him to die in your place. Jesus took all your sins, sorrows and troubles upon Himself, and covered you with His righteousness. You truly were a new creation. But Marnie," and here he paused,
"even though God forgave your sins, and washed them away with His Blood, the consequences of your sins are still there. God will help you through it, but He cannot take it away. The consequences are there as a lesson and as a warning to never go back. In your case, Marnie, you abused the body God gave you. This sinful act triggered consequences. Some of those are failing grades, poor health, and your current jobless position. These are consequences of your sins, Marnie. But that is not the end. Jesus will help you if you ask Him. He already did, Marnie, by sending me across your path. You shouldn't feel sorry for yourself. Sorry people never get anywhere. They sit and mope around, missing all the wonderful opportunities that pass by. View the consequence as a lesson, and learn from it. Never go back to taking drugs, drinking or smoking."
The man continued, "For several weeks now, I have been looking for an assistant. Her duties will be to type out all my documents, letters and contracts. Perhaps you'll do. Would you like to work for me? I must warn you that it is a very small company, however, and I can only offer you a small salary that will just cover your expenses and leave you with a tidy amount to save."
"Oh- THANK YOU, Mr...Mr... err."
"-Gershwin, Ian Gershwin."
"I cannot thank you enough, Mr Gershwin! I don't care if it is a small company or if the salary is small. I'm just so grateful!" Marnie beamed.
Marnie was an enthusiatic worker, ready to prove her gratitude to Mr Gershwin. She tried her best. She was kept very busy.
"For such a small company, they sure have a large amount of letters and contracts to write!" Marnie thought.
Sometimes, however, Marnie had to work late into the night to finish typing up all the documents. The tables took the longest. The figures had to be typed up painstakingly and then calculated. There were rows and rows of them!
Wearily, she sank into the chair. Office life was hardly what she expected it to be. She had once been an enthusiastic worker. But that was because she had just been freed from the bondage of addiction. Smiling, Marnie remembered the day she stepped outside the old brick wall...