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Story: Slow Creep

Naresh walked slowly toward his store, pondering what to do. If he came clean to his wife, would she leave him for it, and take the kids? 


He wouldn’t really be too much at fault though, if you think about it. She hadn’t let him be intimate with her for years. How can a man be blamed? 


A memory flashed in his mind, her saying one day, in between the garage and the house, “You never romance me, Nuresh! Why would I want to?!”


But then you get this cute, eager teenager apply for a job. She has terrible parents, she’s lonely, asking if she can stay late to help you clean up several nights in a row so she doesn’t have to go back home to her alcoholic dad. And she even goes to get dinner to bring back for you two. And she’s wearing a tank top as she takes off her work shirt. He dug in his pocket to pull out his store key. “Hmm…”


Oh yeah he had taken it off the key ring to give it to her to let herself back in with the dinner last night.  It’s okay, he knew the code to get into the back door. He could get it from her today… unless she wanted to keep it… She could come late other days.


Had they really crossed a boundary, though? They had talked about sex alone in the store. And then he had put his hand on her lower back as they talked about the shelving display. She had looked up at him with her cute pierced nose, dyed black hair, and tiny frame. Then she had wiggled her hand into his pocket, getting very close.


But if he did have to come clean at some point, he didn’t really want to stop yet. Since he had already crossed a boundary, might as well see how much excitement he could get out of it without actually technically doing something worse. 


I mean how could someone blame him? He had lost all his guy friends when their church small group had kind of fallen apart a year ago. And his accountability brother had gotten divorced and moved to Maryland recently. He knew from church that a man is weak without his support system.


“Find some more guy friends!” His wife had told him a lot lately. “You’re getting too stressed at your store!”


Yeah, he was stressed. Another reason he had been weak.

 

She was 18, right? He asked himself again. Had he actually seen her ID when he hired her? She had said she graduated high school a couple years ago, didn’t she? Or did she drop out a couple years ago? 


He saw a shop on the same street as his had a window broken in. He thought how he needed to renew his insurance in case something like this happened to his store. But in order to do that, he needed to show proof he had paid rent recently. And he knew the old lady land lord for his store often forgot to ask for rent for months at a time. It had been since October. So he bargained that it was like money in the bank for now. 


He saw the blinds pulled down in his store’s windows. They had pulled them down as they “worked” last night. Suddenly he stopped. The door to his store was open. The key was left in the handle. She’s tricked me! He thought. His eyes were wide. She came in with those sketchy friends and must have stolen everything!!!


His heart was beating hard.  He hadn’t emptied the cash box for days. She could have stolen… probably 30 thousand. And they’d ask me how, and I’d have to say I gave her a key, and they’d ask why was I at the store with her late. What if she IS a minor?! The insurance, the Land Lord. His family. It would all come down. He was completely done.


He fell to his knees right outside the door in the dawn light and prayed. “God, I am so stupid. I’m so sorry. How did I let it get this far? I know I should have found a new accountability partner and shouldn’t have stolen looks and smiles and flirted with her. I should have paid the Land Lord. I should have paid the insurance. I didn’t think any of that was wrong, but now I know that’s what got me here.  


“Hey cutie. You okay?”


He looked up. She stood in the door with a coffee cup in her hand.


“Sorry, I left the key in the door. I was carrying breakfast in for us.” She pointed back into the store.


Nuresh looked up at her. He looked up at the brightening sky above her. 


“C’mon. We probably have 45 minutes until anyone shows up.” Her smile said sexual.


He took a deep breath as his head dropped. He felt the sidewalk on his palms. He nodded.


He got up to his feet quickly and pushed the door open wide. He got out of the way and said firmly, “Jenny, I need you to leave. This is wrong and I’m sorry I was weak and fell into this. I need to let you go.” 


She stepped out of the store, dumbfounded. 


He continued, looking at the ground. “I’m sorry. But I’ve been crossing boundaries I shouldn’t have been crossing for a long time. I have a wife and Kids. You’re a nice girl, and you cannot get in the habit of these things. It will ruin you and men around you. Please, you must go. And for both of us, please don’t come back. Goodbye.” 


She stumbled away down the sidewalk. Nuresh went into the store and went directly to the windows. He opened all the blinds and begged God to make the sun come in and fill his store with light again.


—-


When was the last time you messed up and really sinned? 


What were the little allowances that let that sin creep up on you? 


Are there little allowances that you should trim out of your life before you get somewhere like that again? How will you do it? Make a plan. Call a friend. Ask for help. Bring the light in. 


Raw Spoon, 4-19-2024 (on a plane back from Austin)

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These BLOGS are usually inspired by messages I (or friends) feel we have heard from God. This is the nature of our God. Listen for how he may be speaking to you.

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