Sunday, November 02, 2008

tea time I

    He had no idea how long they'd been there. Supper had ended and the dishes had been cleaned up long ago. Only a few cafeteria workers remained, straightening chairs and tables, cleaning counters, and prepping for the next day. Most of the other students had left, but the few that remained were all huddled together at one table. He reached forward, clasping his warm mug, and met the eyes of another young man across the table.
    "Doesn't it waste our time to argue about this?" he insisted. "No matter what we humans think, God is the only One Who will ever know what exactly predestination entails." The other young man shook his head and pushed his chair back with a loud screech.
    "You're wrong about this one," he argued. "I'll give you predestination—you made your point there. But this—evangelism goes along a completely different tack." Opening his mouth, he was about to reply, when he was cut off.
    "Does it really?" Her voice was soft and warm as the tea in his mug. He stopped and stared at her. Her eyes were earnest as she glanced back and forth between the two young men. "Just like predestination, only God really understands evangelism. I think . . ." She paused and stared down at her own mug. He leaned forward farther, eager to hear what she would say.
    "Yes?" he prodded. She swirled her tea a bit, then bit her lip.
    "I think it's something that should be argued about less and practiced much, much more." Her voice was firm, yet quiet, and he found himself admiring her self-assurance. Letting out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, he took a drink of tea and nodded.
    "You're right." He extended his hand to the other young man. "Should we call it a truce?" he said, grinning. After a moment, the other young man smiled, his expression wry, and leaned forward to shake his hand.
    "All right; we'll leave it at that, then." He shook his head, pushing his hands deep into his suitcoat's pockets. "Good discussion, though—very good."
    "As always," his opponent added. The girl across the table from him brought her mug up and took a sip of tea. As she did, he caught her gaze over her tea. Her eyes were warm, deep, twinkling. He found himself captivated by them, and wondering at the soul behind such eyes. She put her mug down, smiled, and looked away.
    Nothing, though, could erase that glance. He knew it in his bones. And he knew, somehow, that it was only the the first glance of many . . .

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