A Story

The phone rang. Beverly glanced at the number. Daniel. She answered the phone. "Hey, what's up?"
"Hey Bev. I got a week off and a great idea. Wanna go down to Baja?"
"Sure. I got some vacation time I can take. Let's do it!"
Daniel explained, "The whales are down there having their babies. We can grab a boat and go see them. And I know a place where we can get some awesome margaritas."

Beverly and Daniel made their plans to drive down from LA to Baja California the next week. They had been friends forever, ever since they had met in first grade. They grew up together, each knowing all the other's problems, each watching out for the other. Yet there was nothing romantic in their relationship. True friends, that's what they were.

Daniel knew all about Bev's childhood. He knew how her mother had gotten messed up on drugs and had disappeared. He knew how her dad tried to hold the family together, but was barely making it through life himself. Dan stood by her through all of that.

Beverly talked to her boss about taking the time off. During the last year, she had managed to finish hairdressing school, working her way through doing waitressing. She had worked hard during the last year and was finally getting ahead. She had some money saved up, a nice apartment. Life was starting to become normal for the first time. No more craziness!

Friday night Daniel picked her up. "I got us a place to stay in Tijuana. We can have a couple of drinks and then drive the rest of the way tomorrow." Bev chatted excitedly while they drove South. She told him all about her week, and how she was looking forward to going out on a boat to see the whales.

"What if we can't find any whales?" Bev suddenly asked, her face falling.

Daniel smiled indulgently. "I wouldn't worry. There are hundreds of them down there by Guerrero Negro. They go down there every winter for the warm waters to have their babies." Bev grinned and was practically bouncing up and down her her seat.

They reached the border crossing in a few hours. The officials looked over their papers and waved them through with only a few questions about what they were doing and how long they were staying. They drove on to their motel and got settled in for the night. Later, Daniel came by and asked if she was ready for dinner and a drink.

"Yes, but I've heard it can be kind of dangerous here. I brought my handgun with me. I'll take it to dinner."

"What?!!" Daniel exploded. "Do you know what they will do to you if they catch you bringing a gun across the border? Don't you know how dangerous that was?"

Bev just shrugged. "I got away with it, didn't I?" Daniel looked worried, but knew better than to argue with her.

They went on to dinner and enjoyed their margaritas, talking quietly in the corner of the restaurant. Later, Daniel stepped outside for a smoke and Bev went along. It was getting rather late and the street behind the restaurant was quiet. As they were talking, a man came up and said something to them in Spanish, which they didn't understand. Daniel shrugged at him, and tried to explain he only spoke English. The man suddenly grabbed Daniel by the neck and thrust him against the wall, fumbling for Daniel's wallet. Bev screamed, but no one in the noisy restaurant heard her. She scrambled to get the gun out of her purse and shaking, told the man to stop. The man hit Daniel a few more times. Bev pulled the trigger and shot the man.

Daniel caught his breath after being choked and grabbed the gun from Bev. He knew there was going to be big trouble. The people in the restaurant did hear the gunshot and came pouring out to see what had happened. They saw Daniel standing there holding a gun and a dead man. The police arrived and took Daniel away. As he was leaving, Daniel told her, "Don't say anything. I got this. You go back home and live out your life happy, the way it should be."

Bev made her way back to the motel, crying. She called her dad and told him what happened. "What will they do to Daniel?" Dad explained that Mexican jails and courts were renowned for being harsh, and the outlook was not good for Daniel. Bev cried more, knowing it was her who was guilty. Daniel hadn't done anything!

The next day she couldn't think of anything she could do to help, so she followed Daniel's last instructions and returned to LA. The next weeks were torture. She couldn't focus on her work or anything else, she was so worried about Daniel. Why didn't he just tell them it was me who shot the guy?

After 6 weeks, they set the trial. Guilty of murder. The death penalty.

Beverly never saw her buddy again. But she vowed to make his sacrifice worth something. Her life must now mean something. She would help others as Daniel helped her.

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Not Just a Story

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."

Thus spoke Jesus. And that is what He did. Men sinned, and earned the death penalty from God. But Jesus willingly let himself be sacrificed to pay our death penalty. He died to save YOU. Please don't let his sacrifice be for nothing. Let your life now mean something. Live a life that would be pleasing to Jesus.