Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Today we have the fourth and final installment of Zach McMahan’s story, The Interview, to share with you all. If you missed the previous installments, you can view them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. We hope you have enjoyed reading it, and will enjoy this final edition!
The Interview (Part 4)*
Zachary J. McMahan
*NOTE: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is not intended.
“You touched on it earlier, but can you tell us more explicit ways your sisters have sponsored you in your walk with the Lord?”
“Well, again Grace is quick to come to my mind. Her joyfulness overflows into extreme enthusiasm and optimism that I used to find annoying.” I laughed while shaking my head at the thought of my cynical, former self.
Rachel smirked. She didn’t care for the joke but found it amusing to see me laugh at myself.
“It reminds me of the 1 Timothy passage that talks about how even young people can set an example for others. Grace’s practical, joyful application of her faith sets a great example and helps me further mine.”
“How does prayer play a role in the dynamics of your sibling relationship? And what are some good ways sisters can pray for their brothers?” Rachel asked her questions almost simultaneously.
“I think prayer plays a huge part in any relationship and I strongly recommend sisters pray for their brothers,” I implored, “But before getting caught up in too many specifics, I believe there are two major things sisters should remember when praying for their brothers. The first of which is God’s will. When Jesus prayed, He asked that His Father’s will would be done through Him. In the same way, our prayers should beseech God to give our sibling the discernment to seek His will and the desire to carry out that will. The second thing is commitment. Your brothers struggle every day to stay true to their faith, to their family and to their convictions. Keeping this in mind, go to God in prayer about those struggles, interceding for your siblings.”
“Although your pledge is to unconditionally love your sisters, what could they do to ease that task?”
“Hmm, good question.” I stumbled, noticing that question was not in my notes.
I scanned my paper calmly and subtly. Rachel had rephrased her question but providentially, my answer still worked.
“Something I would encourage sisters to avoid is discussing personal conflicts with their friends. The Bible tells us that if a problem arises, the first step is to go to the person involved and seek reconciliation. Friends are a gift from God, but slander and gossip are tools of the devil. It would mean so much to me if I had the opportunity to resolve an issue myself as opposed to hearing about the issue from an outside source.”
“Well, we are almost out of time.” Rachel said quickly, “Would you mind closing our conversation with a quick encouragement and give a battle charge to those watching?”
“Absolutely! I want to tell those watching right now that in an increasingly feministic culture, it is easy for young women to forget the differences between men and women.” I started, noticing a bit of shock on Rachel’s face. “In the end, your brothers will become men and you will become grown women.” I continued, seeking to make my point more relevant to the theme of the interview. “Many girls, while seeking the same opportunities and responsibilities as the mass male population, blur the beautiful line of separation between God-given roles.”
Rachel’s jaw dropped.
“I’m not advocating one is greater than the other; I’m simply saying that a man ought to be a man and a woman, a woman. Therefore, the biggest exhortation I can give to some girls is to stop trying to be your brothers or a perfect example of what they should be.”
I leaned forward and looked straight into the camera.
“What your brother really needs is you to support his manly attributes that may look vastly different from your own in prayer.”
I sat back.
“To other young ladies, I submit the encouragement to continue to pursue feminine qualities.” My appeal came with a different, softer tone. “There are still men searching for women who care more about starting a God-honoring legacy than starting and operating their own business. As important as commercial careers are, there are still those that realize the equally productive task of homemaking and raising a family.”
By this time, Rachel tried to hold back her signature smile.
“I can’t imagine the brutal amount of scoffing that is unjustly given to women who hold to the socially inferior view that mothers are just as important as nurses and doctors, but stand strong on that Biblical view.” My voice sharpened as I gazed into the concave lens. “Stick to your conviction and natural desire to bring glory to God through your future family.”
Rachel sat back in her chair with a thoughtful demeanor. Her eyes beamed as if to say, “More! More!” I also felt the urging to continue but I had exhausted all my notes. Now, I no longer spoke but instead allowed God to speak. Passion and confidence verbalized:
“Someday your brothers will become husbands…is that a good thing or a bad thing? Are you actively seeking to assist the growth of your brother in to a man? Are you teaching them to value your feminine characteristics or to expect sarcastic comments from you?”
The Lord controlled my actions simultaneously as I raised a hand at a time to illustrate opposite ends of a spectrum.
“How much better might your brother be if you spent less time talking to your friends about his issues and more time praying for his heart to grow closer to the Lord?”
I hesitated for a moment to catch my breath. God’s questioning preceded an earnest plea,
“I’m not suggesting you are responsible for your brother’s outcome, but I am saying that you have a huge impact on his life and you need to take advantage of that.”
I reached for the Bible on the coffee table in front of me and quickly flipped to Philemon. Reading, I continued,
“Although I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do what is proper, I instead appeal to you as a fellow servant of Christ:”
I closed the Bible and sat forward once more.
“Please, help your brother become the man God wants him to become.”
“It was such a blessing to speak to you today, Kyle.” Rachel stated with a chipper tone. “Well, that concludes our special brother, sister edition of Diamond in the Rough. Join us next week for more entertaining edification.”
The bright lights went out as Rachel finished.
“That’s a wrap, guys.” Thomas announced, “Pack it up.”
“So, that’s it?” I asked curiously.
I could hardly believe it was all over, and so suddenly. Something about the abruptness of the ending bewildered me.
“Yep!” Rachel replied, “Now the crew will edit the footage and prepare the interview for the show tonight.”
“What?!” I questioned, allowing my volume to go uncontrolled, “So the interview wasn’t live?”
“Oh no! There is other content left to be finalized and combined with this conversation before we air. The team will work all day to perfect the episode and then we will broadcast it this evening,” Rachel answered seeming surprised I didn’t know this information.
“By the way, what was that?!”
“What was what?” I quickly responded once again confused.
“Well, before we talked on camera, you told me that you weren’t prepared. You also told me that your relationship with your sisters was on the decline.” Rachel recounted, “But while we were filming, your answers seem completely scripted…in a good way of course. You had nothing negative to say about your sisters and, and…well, it just seemed to flow so smoothly?” Rachel finished her fast moving summary.
I smiled finding her disconnection of two situations kind of cute.
“In the green room…I had a chance to think about what you said” I explained, “and you were right. I wasn’t looking hard enough and I didn’t do much to improve my circumstances. Let’s just say, in the ten minutes I sat in the green room, God changed me and as crazy as it sounds, gave me the words I spoke today.” I summarized the best I could.
Rachel still appeared puzzled but chose to accept my explanation. She started to collect her notes and turn off her microphone receiver.
“I really appreciate what you said today…” Rachel mumbled without looking at me, “about those who wanted to become stay-at-home moms. Not many people stand up for us and applaud our desires so generously.”
She glanced over at me as she finished. I nodded to silently say it was my pleasure.
The two of us made our way back to the elevators. Neither Rachel nor I spoke on the trip.
When we reached the elevators, I decided to say something.
“Well, it was good to meet you Rachel and thanks for letting share some things on your show.”
The elevator doors slid open and I started in. Turning, I awaited her cordial response.
“I…it, umm.” for the first time she stumbled as she spoke. I wanted to help her but I didn’t know what to say. The doors started to close. I wanted to reach out and stop them. I wanted to tell her how much I enjoyed spending my day with her. I wanted to spend more time to with her.
She sighed as the doors blocked her face from me.
“Goodbye Kyle.” her saddened voice whispered.
Walking across the lobby, I remembered the receptionist. I stopped at the island she sat behind.
“I just wanted to stop and tell you that your friendliness this morning was a huge blessing to me. You represent the NBB very well. Keep up the good work.”
“Aww.” she started, smiling, “Thank you. I want to give God all the glory. He is the One who gives me my joy.”
I nodded in agreement; then, turned to leave.
“You have a great day!” I finished.
I continued across the luxurious lobby and noticed the uncomfortable bench I sat at earlier. I smiled and shook my head as I remembered the foolish things I thought sitting at that bench.
Never again, Kyle…never again. My renewed mind told me.
Laying my arm on the gold bar, I pushed the spinning door, but stopped hearing someone behind me.
“Wait!” a sweet, yet confident voice yelled, “Kyle! Wait, you forgot your briefcase!”
Recognizing her tone, I quickly turned around. Half way across the lobby Rachel raced to me. I closed the gap. There she stood with my bag in her hands. I gently took the brick to ease her struggle.
“I knew I was missing something.” I said with a smile.
She laughed, caught her breath and smiled looking straight at me.
“You know, if you are ever in town, be sure to stop by. We would love to have you again.” Rachel said with much more confidence than her previous farewell. “Have a safe trip.”
I drove the car down the steep hill and parked in our turnaround. The stillness of the night and the temperature of the Georgia air soothed me. I strolled down our winding sidewalk and pet the cats. The front door opened for me and Grace stood welcoming me in. I slipped my shoes off and Ann came in.
“So, how’d it go?” Ann asked.
“Yeah, how’d it go?” Grace repeated.
I smiled and gave them both a hug.
“Sit down and I’ll tell you all about it.”
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