Christ's Journal Part 6

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Someone laughed uproariously.

Ah, the strictures of the mind: without discipline we are weak. As a boy I learned values. I learned how to accept and how to refute. I remember holding a scroll against the light in the doorway of the synagogue: I noted how carefully each word was written. Pen strokes.

Such a frail thing, this wisdom.

I found other kinds of wisdom on a dune, at a desert pool, in an oasis.

Tevet 5

For days I have been trying to compose a meaningful prayer. I have trudged along the sh.o.r.e at Galilee; I have listened to the waves and gulls. I have tried to find words suitable for fisherfolk, villagers, countrymen. I walked the wadis, climbed the cliffs. I have lain in my tent and peered at the stars. I have repeated scriptures. Talked.

Last night, after supper, the words came to me:

Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,

Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespa.s.ses,

lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

for Thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory, forever.

When I repeated the prayer to Luke and Peter they were pleased.

Galilee

Tevet 11

A storm woke me as I lay in my tent. The wind was churning leaves and I walked to the lake to watch the waves. I felt cold but pulled my cloak around me and continued walking. Clouds were traveling fast.

When the rain started I retraced my steps. I heard voices and men at their oars. Waves were piling against rocks. The voices in the boat sounded familiar. Again the thud of oars. Yells. Wasn't that Phillip?

It was Peter. Through rain and spray I made out the hull of the boat; then I recalled someone saying they had to land a catch before dawn.

Someone shouted:

"We're sinking...we're sinking!"

I walked over the water toward the boat; it was difficult to see through the rain and spray. I recognized the boat. As I walked the waves calmed; the water was black underfoot. Two of our men had slumped over their oars. I shouted. n.o.body responded: they were frightened at seeing me. Peter cowered. I called again.

"Peter," I cried. " Don't you know me?"

"Is it you, Jesus?"

"Yes."

"Let me come to you."

"Come," I said.

He sank as he walked toward me and I caught his arm and steadied him and helped him climb into his boat. Luke welcomed me. The boat swung toward me and I got in and sat at the stern with Phillip. Everyone began bailing. The rain was letting up and I pointed to the sh.o.r.e. We soon beached her and everyone began to talk, telling his panic, that they had been unable to see; they crowded around me; they thought I had saved their lives.

Luke built a fire of beachwood and as the sun came up we had breakfast together-some of them singing, everyone hungry, the fish tasting marvelous.

"Mark broke his oar," Luke said and laughed. He was drying by the fire, his clothes steaming. He explained that they had been blown first one way and then another.

Nain

Tevet 18

This has been a beautiful week because I raised a man from the dead and made a blind man see.

At Nain, a small village, my disciples and I met a burial procession headed for tombs cut in the side of a nearby hill. A young man lay on a flower-covered bier. I learned his name from a man in the procession: it was David. He and his mother had been my friends for years. I recognized Athalia walking behind the bier, weeping. Aaron, her husband, had died recently.

It was a warm, still afternoon. The warbling of a bulbul seemed out of place as the procession pa.s.sed. As the bier sc.r.a.ped against a rock, as the bearers stopped, I approached one of them and asked them to wait.

"David...David...this is Jesus...arise..."

The disciples, astonished, bunched around the bier. I touched David, spoke loudly, shook him.

"David, you are all right. Your mother is here. Get up..." He sat up among his flowers and his mother rushed to his side. He recognized my voice and asked for me. I talked gently with him.

A happy procession. The bier was abandoned; someone threw flowers into the air as David walked...

I am overjoyed as I write. I see David and his mother kissing each other. Someone is singing.

From Nain I went on to see the daughter of Jairus as she lay in bed in her home. The curtains were drawn; the air was sick room air; flowers had wilted on her bed table; her dog cringed under her bed. I asked everyone to leave us alone.

"Talitha c.u.mi," I said. "Daughter, I say arise...you are no longer ill. The fever has left you." As I prayed I also thought of John and his death. This little girl was not to fill a grave. I bent over her and took her hand. I could see her rolling a hoop, laughing.

"Talitha c.u.mi," I repeated, and sat beside her, pressed my hand over her forehead, touched her eyelids. "Rise, my daughter...you must sleep no longer..."

Her eyes flashed; she was afraid because she had never seen me; smiling, I said:

"Your mother is outside your room...shall I call her?" She nodded.

Christ's Journal Part 6

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Christ's Journal Part 6 summary

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