Life’s journeys

The trickster and his 99 days Part 10

The Day of Triumph


 

Junior’s heart had barely recuperated when he got news that Big his brother was heading his way with four hundred men. His heart sank at the news. His heart beat racing a thousand miles per second. Soon to burst within him; anytime from now and pieces of his heart would gag him.

How much of this trauma can any human bear? Who looses his family and all his life’s possessions in one day? Who runs for his life with his twin brother in pursuit? It only had to him – Junior!

It was time to pay his debts. The music was here and so was his funeral. Time to pay back what was stolen. Junior was distraught. He split his family into groups, and sent each batch of caravan ahead of the other so that one group had room to escape if the other was attacked.

It was the final trick left in his hat. The last joker card. Junior was done. And for all the tricks left in the world that could possible come to his aid, Junior knew that Big could avenge the stolen birthright in one breath. He knew he could loose all he had with one snap of the finger. This time he admitted to the fact that his heart couldn’t take it. He had come to the end of himself. He had come to the end of the road called trickster. It was time to cry for help.

So alone and afraid, dejected and burdened. Junior cried out to the Samaritan who accompanies us all on our journeys. The one who comes in when you shut out the rest of the world. The one who always knows what you should do when you get to that bridge.

“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown me…save me I pray, from the hand of my brother…”

And when God showed up that night, Junior clung to him and wrestled with him, refusing to let him go until he blessed him. Until he rescued him from the fury of his twin brother Big.

That night would be the longest night of his life. A night when the deed that was done, but couldn’t be undone, was forgiven. The night of crossroads where the errors of the past were pardoned. A night when what was lost was restored. And even though Junior emerged limping on one foot, it wasn’t because he had been defeated, rather it was because he had triumphed over his fears and conquered.

Limping but reassured, Junior stepped out of the darkness into the light and into the waiting arms of his twin brother Big. The feud was settled. Fear had given way for love and even though destinies prevailed, forgiveness also prevailed.

Life isn’t only about the journey; it is also about our lives. How we are changing and who we are becoming. What we don’t let go and what we forgive. Ultimately it is about the unseen escort that comes along with us, uninvited but always present; the Good Samaritan. How much of our attention we give him is what majorly determines our outcomes.

Junior and Big will many days later, bury their old father. The twins and their families both grew into two great nations. Junior’s however would become one of the greatest and most blessed people on the face of the earth.

 

The End.

The trickster and his 99 days Part 9

The emerging man


The last couple of days had been hell on earth. The fear of losing his wives and kids to a wounded father-in-law. He had pursued them many miles after he heard they’d left without saying goodbye.

Junior’s heart split in two for he was terrified that in one night he was going to lose everything that had come to be the only thing that mattered in his life. As the lamented to his uncle, he prayed silently that the angered father and grandfather would be kind and not repay wrong with wrong.

So they settled. It was settled. The women kissed their father goodbye and he in turn kissed his grandchildren goodbye. And Junior’s heart softened with gratitude for being rescued from a cruel separation that could have maimed him for life.

His heart ached from the trauma, from wrestling his fears. He could literally feel the cuts closing up within him as peace returned to him. How did he become this person? Who is this person he is becoming? Junior wondered to himself.

Life’s bends and turns are not just bends and turns. They are the gentle winds or fierce blinding storms bearing just enough grains sufficient to smooth our rough edges and make us like the smooth pebble stones in the desert. So whilst we go on our journeys, we are changing and rarely do we realize that we truly are changing.

The Trickster and his 99 days Part 7

The Barren Bride


Junior is made to work another seven years for his true and only love Ruby. Seven years went by like a flash in the pan; they were the easiest seven laborious years of his life as long as he had Ruby by his side, nothing else mattered. When she looked at him, he felt his thick protruding muscles melt into warm springs. When she touched him, his lost his sense of reasoning. When she kissed him everything explodes into molecules of nothingness. When they made love, he wanted to disappear and become one with her spirit and she wanted to dissolve into a mist of passion and become the air that he breathed.

Yet there was pain. Yet there was emptiness. Yet there was no child for Ruby. And each time, it seemed the more they yearned the greater their fears that perhaps they were never meant to be. So she wept and begged him for a child. And he in turn, frustrated and choked by her pain, would curse his powerlessness to give her what she wanted. Junior knew that in all his mastery that there was only so much he could do. Ruby would mourn her barrenness alone with no help from prince charming. To make a child wasn’t part of his expertise.

Life eventually starts to take form when the heat is turned up, like batter in a pan. A few years earlier, the things we did and did not do, and the choices we made and did not make didn’t look like much. They seemed like dust particles dancing in open space, making no sense, having no meaning, until things began to heat up. Until stuff starts to happen and what seemed meaningless starts to ooze some kind of meaning…some kind of correlation…alignment. When discomfort rises, do we fight our way the usual way …or do we try to find out which way to go?

The trickster and his 99 days Part 6

The strange bride


 

Junior is staring into the face of the frightened weak eyed girl. The older sister to the girl he loves. The girl who had him working night and day in the fields of her father – his uncle – so he could pay her bride price. The girl who literally stole his heart and he would gladly let her have it all over again. And tonight, on his wedding night, after seven years if hard labor, even though it felt like seven days, Junior hoped that tonight he would melt into her bosom. Tonight he hoped to surrender what was left of his humanity to this damsel, the one his heart and soul pined for.

Yet here he was in bed with a strange bride on his wedding night. Where was the one whom his heart craved and his body yearned? Who would do such meanness to the heart to a man on his wedding night? Who would rip out his heart burning with desire and stuff the bloody vacuum with bile and thorns? What callous and icy deed, that one would play such games with a man’s destiny, his rights and that which is lawfully his.

Junior’s rage turned green; his hands stiff with pain and anger curled up into a ball of maddening craze as he tried to tell himself that this wasn’t happening to him. He never got played. Rather he was the master of the game. He never got burned. Instead he did the scorching. He never saw this coming, this wasn’t right. He was the invisible one.

So Junior stared into the frightened face of the weak eyed girl. A shadow of his damsel. A mock-up of the ravishing image of his beloved goddess. He looked into Leila’s questioning eyes, begging him to show so much as a pinch of what he felt for her little sister. Yet when he had her, all he could think of was Ruby’s dazzling smile, her dancing eyes and her skin soft like wool, her scent like aloes. So it was that all night he drowned himself in hallucinations, in a myriad of hues, lost in a lucid dream, he moaned all night, Ruby… Ruby… Ruby…

Again another heart is rent. Another spirit broken. Another used and tossed aside like a piece of rag. Junior can’t be bothered. He’s been tricked. It was all he could think about. This wasn’t right. He was going to get even. Someone was going to pay dearly for this.

The trickster and his 99 days Prt.4

The dream


Junior is lying awake on a bench, his head propped on his backpack, a little awe struck. This surprises him because he was never one to be moved or taken by surprise. He brought the surprises into the mix. He is genius. He is the badass. So you can imagine his shock as he sat there awed and bamboozled by a dream. No it wasn’t a dream. This was a vision. His mother talked about his grandfather seeing and talking with God directly. He felt that must have been cool. He imagined they happened in dreams but his mother said those weren’t just dreams. She called them open visions. He wondered what those were. Now that he thinks of his own dream, he thinks he may have just had an open vision himself.

He jumps off the bench he’d been sleeping on. He paced the concrete floor, replaying the images in his head. He looked across from where he stood and saw the streetlights that ran along the highway. That was how far the staircase in his dream had stretched. Only this time, it went up into heaven. It was made of gold and on it he saw angels ascending and descending and at the very peak was God himself. At that moment Junior stopped pacing. He thought for a moment.

Did God talk to him? What did he say? He tried to still his breathing and his heart beat. He wanted by all means to recall what it was that God said to him in his dream. He waited…nothing. Junior’s heart ached. Deflated and defeated, he slumped back onto the bench. He shut his eyes tight and like a dark veil was thrown over his head, Junior suddenly began to feel that he was traveling blind. For the first time he felt a little unease which made him uncomfortable and weirdly, a little afraid of the days ahead. The more he tried to still his heartbeat the faster and harder it raced. What did God say? What did God say? He wasn’t going to move an inch until the message came back to him. The vision continued to play on his mind – the golden staircase and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it. Junior could see the growing orange glow of the awakening sun, rising in the horizon. He should be on his way, and get on with his journey but he wouldn’t. Not today. Not without a word from God.

To be continued.

The trickster and his 99 days Prt. 3

The journey begins


Little brother, Junior, has packed a backpack and left home. He’s free!! He is prancing and frisking along his path. His mind is full of all kinds of wins, big wins. First he remembers that fateful day, the day he tricked his brother and made him relinquish his birthright over a bowl of casserole. Now who does that? How dumb can you get or dumber if he must. Big never ceases to amuse him he thought.

Next up was father’s blessing. Even though mum had volunteered the heist, Junior thought it was brilliant, he couldn’t have had it another way. A small smile forms at the corner of his lips as he thinks of the many times he’s been smarter than Big or had outdone Big. Now he will gracefully accept the conclusion that the only thing he wasn’t better at with Big, was to be bigger than Big. He had to give him that even if that was all there was. Being big was all Big had going for him.

As for Junior, he was the wise son. His mother often told him that. You will go places, she used to say, crooning her many praises. And here he was, out on the road. Behind him was a childhood that was quickly fading with the dusk. Ahead of him was the highway that led to endless possibilities or so he thought. He had great expectations. He braces himself and hits the road. He wonders at what exploits he will manifest in his new destination. He smacks his lips with cruel delight. He could feel his ego swell in his tight little chest. It felt like it would explode. He shook his head one last time and muttered to  himself. Mehn!! He was good! Even if he said so himself.

And so the deed was done. One little sleight of hand and a series of cascading events follow. Brothers are at war. A home is rent down the middle and a youngster sets out on an adventure with nothing, not a clue nor a care in this world… nothing but his big ego.

The Story continues…

The trickster and his 99 days Prt.2

The Blessing


After a time and a season, the boys’ father, who happens to be blind in his old age, sensed that the gates of time were shutting against him and that his days will come to an end soon. So he called his firstborn son and asked him to prepare a savory dish for him so he could eat and bless him.

By evening the blind old man ate a savory dish, which was unbeknownst to him made by his beloved wife. Then laying his hands on the little brother who was disguised as the big brother, he blessed him with all his heart.

At that instant the deed had already been done. The somewhat meaningless exchange had after a time and a season taken effect. Little brother had earned both title and entitlement. Big brother was too late. And this time he truly should have sort to die but he braced himself and consoled himself with the thought of taking little brother’s life.

Meanwhile the beloved mother will again give another wise counsel to her younger son, “Run away to your uncle’s house. When your brother’s anger subsides, I will send for you.” Then again life happens. When we think we are taking a break, when we feel we are buying ourselves time. Life actually happens. Our journey unfolds. And whether we like it or not, the days are counting and in only a matter of time, gates are shut close and others open.

To be continued.

The trickster and his 99 days

The Exchange


I’ve read a lot of stories about travelers and of all the stories I’ve read, this is my most loved and my only favorite.

Once there lived a young boy, full of life and loved by his mother. He always seemed to have his way and whatever he wanted he got without much hassle. An enviable trait you’ll say.

One fateful day this ruddy chap would trick his brother into passing onto him his birthright as first-born for the savory price of one steamy bowl of porridge. His brother thought it was a ridiculous joke since he was famished and nearing death – according to him. So with one swing of his strong arm, he says “What use is a birthright to me if I die of hunger! You can have it! Give me the bowl of porridge before I quench!”

At this point we both know big brother never quenched neither did he die. I mean life has thought us not once that hunger never kills anyone. And like the many sporadic events of our lives that seem to spring up from nowhere life happens. We forget the seed we have sown. We forget the oath we made. However so carelessly we forget that the deed has been done.

So little brother gives big brother a bowl of porridge and in exchange he earns big brother’s birthright. In the end, there was an exchange at the ‘feasts of porridge’. An exchange that will send ripples of tremor across generations yet unborn. An exchange that would set big brother on the edge and little brother on a journey of a lifetime.

Stay with me. There’s more to come. We have only just begun…

Missing Angels

At every one point in time there is a way

However when we aren’t looking we miss:

An answer

A helper

A provision

A spring

If only we will look closely to the nuances of the moment

If only we believe, we will see angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man

Precious Cold Hearts

I want so much more than anything to let you in

I find that each day I make it my lot

I want so much for you to stay with me

I find that together we can be warm and share our heat

I want so much to make these moments last forever

I find that with time you shiver and soon you’re gone

I want so much to light a fire and keep it aflame

I find that it is not in our power to make these stone cold hearts flesh

I want so much to find the Lord of our hearts as only He can light the fire that never dies

 

Life is about a series of journeys and as we travel through life we encounter people, series of people. We find that often we fall out and when these things happen we are helpless. Until we seek to find God, our maker, who through Christ can give us a heart like His own, we never know how to keep our hearts from going cold when we want so desperately for it to be red hot.