Carol Ann Evans
c 2010 All Rights Reserved
A Call to Serve
“Charles, wake up,” a female voice called. A slight glow shimmered over Charles.
Charles groaned, pulled the covers over his head and repositioned himself.
“C-h-a-a-r-l-e-s,” the voice sung.
Charles lay motionless in his bed.
The voice changed its tone from gentle to urgent. “Charles Andrew Wilson!” the voice said.
Charles immediately sat up at attention. He frantically pulled the covers off his head. His eyes darted around the room in all directions.
“Huh? Who’s there this time?” he asked.
“It’s me, Angelica. Father wants to see you,” the voice said.
“Father?” asked Charles. He looked around the room as he spoke.
He tried to locate the usual faint glowing cloud that accompanied messenger voices but didn’t find it.
“Yes,” the voice replied. “He sent your brother. He’s waiting for you in the garden.”
“Now?” Charles looked frantically around the room again.
“Right now,” the voice answered. “Your brother is very patient, but I’m not. So get up and get out there,” the voice commanded.
Charles fell out of bed, grabbed his robe and ran to the garden.
“Nice to see you, Charles,” his brother said.
“Nice to see you, too,” Charles replied. “How can I be of service?”
“Father has given you a special mission. He sent me to give you the details.”
“Sure. I’m ready,” said Charles, tightening his robe and pulling on his sandals.
“Good,” his brother said. He placed an envelope on the patio table. “When you have finished reading the details, let me know if you still want to accept the mission. Remember, you may decline at any time.”
“If Father needs me, I’ll do it.”
“Not so fast,” his brother said. “Read it first, you may change your mind.”
Charles picked up the envelope and returned to his cottage. Breakfast had been prepared and was served at the kitchen table, just the way he liked it. Birds chirped outside the window and he could see the sun rising over the mountains in the distance. The sun’s rays streamed into the room as it continued to rise. Its warmth smothered the cool bite lingering from the night before. Charles loved to sleep in crisp weather.
Once the sun had fully risen and the cottage was surrounded by its light, Charles took the mission envelope to his study. Father often sent Charles mission tasks. The missions were usually stories, mysteries were his favorite but he enjoyed any story his father sent. Sometimes Charles had to complete a task given him at the end of the story. The last story asked him to help needy children. Charles had never turned down a task. He had a loving relationship with his father and was always eager to please him. A messenger usually delivered the stories without waking Charles. But sometimes the mission was a request and the messenger was instructed to wake Charles before leaving the envelope. When his brother delivered a mission, Charles knew it was very important and needed immediate attention. He sat down at his desk in his favorite over-stuffed leather chair and began to read.
I have given you a most urgent mission. Please read all the information before you answer. I know you enjoy reading, but this mission is more than a random story. Our relationship may be in jeopardy if you accept this mission and you will be apprehensive until we are reunited after its completion. I am confident you will complete the mission if you accept it but if you decline it, I will understand.
You will enter into an unsettling time on Earth. Life will be harsh and people unforgiving. People will seek you out to ridicule you for any reason. You must not listen to them, for all who try to harm you in any way will ultimately deal with me unless you judge them. Confusion will overwhelm you at times and you may think I have abandoned you. I haven’t.
You are sent to be a representative of me, among the people. This means no extreme wealth, pleasure or fame. This mission is one of the hardest to complete. Many have tried before you and failed. Many will try after you and fail. You will endure the most difficult time of uncertainty the world has ever known. But remember wherever love is, I am there, also.
You will work a job to survive. You will not have much time for rest. Friends and true companionship will be minimal. Cherish the good friends you have made during your life. Appreciate the little things you love so much, like the beauty of nature and good company. You will meet others like yourself that have accepted this same mission. Some will be less fortunate and some will seem to be without trials. Please do not judge by appearance. No person truly knows the trials of another.
Basically, you will be considered plain. Only the talents you’ve acquired during your life will make you special to other people. Do not look for handouts—they will rarely appear. Should you acquire large amounts of money by accident, you are to share among the needy leaving only enough for yourself to comfortably live.
People will be hypnotized by greed and material things. Countries will be at war, and many unconscionable acts of violence will be committed against its people. Brother will fight against brother and mothers will fight against daughters. It will be increasingly difficult to live safely. Disease will be widespread everywhere, keep yourself as healthy as possible.
Many people will attempt to coerce you to betray your loyalties to me and those you love. Beware of such people; nothing good could come from associating with them.
People will need encouragement and hope. I am asking you to give these to everyone you meet. Just be an example of someone who shares love and enjoys a loving relationship with their father. You won’t remember much of your cottage while on Earth but should you think of it, it will become a pleasant and familiar memory.
I will think no less of you should you decline this mission. I love you unconditionally.
Your Loving Father
Charles put down the letter and stared out the study window. He watched two blue jays build a nest. He saw a squirrel scampering up a tree. The wind gently blew the leaves in all the trees surrounding his cottage. Charles enjoyed the sound of leaves rustling in the wind. He had designed and placed a stream on his property last year. He loved to listen to all the sounds of nature. He loved his life and he loved living in the cottage. Charles smiled.
Father needs me to complete a mission. Charles walked outside and breathed in the fresh nature scent. He looked at every tree and animal. He focused on the stream. Everything was just the way he liked it. Charles looked down. He spotted a flat rock and threw it like a Frisbee toward the stream. It skipped off the water three times then sank with a “plop” leaving the usual widening rings from its point of entry. He won’t mind if I decline. Charles walked to the cottage door. He turned back, looked at his yard and sighed.
Charles had an unusually hard day at work. He stopped at his favorite local restaurant to eat dinner before traveling home. He knew all the waitresses at this restaurant and he always greeted them with a cheerful smile. He scooted into a booth and pressed his back into its cushion. It felt good to sit and relax. He scanned the restaurant for regulars but found none. There were only a few people dining tonight--a family of three, a woman in a wheelchair and a man at the breakfast bar. Charles was alone tonight, but he didn’t mind. He didn’t have very many friends but the few friends he had were valuable to him. He stared out the window. Thoughts of his dream cottage permeated his mind. “One day I’ll live in a cottage surrounded by nature,” he said to himself. “And I’ll design a stream to flow right beside it.” Charles often thought of his dream cottage, all its details were strangely familiar to him, as if he had owned one before. Charles shrugged and shook his head. That’s a silly thought. I can’t afford property like that. Still it was fun to dream and soon he was a million miles away from his ordinary life.
A siren whizzed by the restaurant window. Charles jumped. His attention turned back to the restaurant. He focused on the newspaper he clutched. He opened it and began to read.
Casualties continued to increase from the war in Iraq. Someone murdered an elderly woman and stole two-dollars she had in her pocket. Professional athletes were suspended for taking drugs. Fires and storms raged in different parts of the world. The stock market continued to decline, people continued to lose money. Gas prices continued to increase and many people will find it hard to survive.
“Hi. I noticed you when you walked in,” a voice said from the other side of the paper.
Charles lowered his paper and smiled. A middle-aged woman in a wheelchair extended her hand toward him. Charles grasped it and shook it.
“Pleased to meet you,” he said.
“I saw your beaming face and nice smile. You seem like a nice person and I wanted to meet you. I’m Anna.”
“Hi, I’m Charles Wilson.”
“Nice to meet you, Charles. What do you do for a living?”
“I work at the local shipyard. I’m basically a plain, old man who loves the Lord,” Charles said.
“Well, many people don’t have much to smile about these days,” said Anna. “When I see a smile as bright as yours, I take notice. It makes the world a little more tolerable—a nicer place to live. Thank you.”
Charles nodded, “You’re welcome.”
“I have to go,” Anna waved. “Maybe our paths will cross again.”
“They will,” Charles said. He smiled and waved. “They definitely will.”
I met Charles at Ponderay restaurant in Bremerton, WA. He was sitting alone and I watched him talk to the waitresses for awhile before I approached him. He was a very beautiful,nice, African-American man. I could feel his positive energy radiate across the room. He said he had great faith in God and although we spoke for just a short while, he made an impression on me that will last a lifetime. Thank you Charles.