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.
“…I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you…”
Like tiny trickles of water Junior remembered the words of God just as he’d heard them in his dream. He was grateful and deeply thankful because at that moment every bit of God’s promises returned to him.
His heart swelled with joy as he mused over the words of the message. He too had being considered worthy to hear the voice of God. What an honor. First he received the blessing of the firstborn. Now he will enjoy the rare privilege of hearing God just like his grandfather. Junior’s heart swelled the more as he thought of this awesome encounter.
“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven”
Junior marked that route and made a vow to God. He promised to give God a tithe of his wealth if God would be with him.
“If you will be with me and watch over me on this journey…”
Junior recognized the privilege of having the invisible companion – the guiding light that accompanies us on our life’s travels. Junior in some deep-seated thought was in agreement that being cunning wasn’t enough to get us through our days. And having had that encounter in his dream, he came to the conclusion that even though he may have a destination in mind, it wasn’t in his power to ensure his safety, provision, and success.
So in spite of his self-conceit and arrogance Junior believed however that he couldn’t do it all on his own.
Taking one quick glance at his map, Junior prepares to hitch hike to the Shepherdsville, a small countryside town where his Uncle lived.
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…
At every one point in time there is a way
However when we aren’t looking we miss:
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
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.
You revel from feast to feast
Your voice is loudest in their midst
You boast of your thriving camaraderie
You are celebrated by all and sundry
You are accompanied by the strongest and the toughest
When the day is over and the night begins to crawl in
You are surrounded by all your worries
Your heart is heavy with discontent
Your mouth sour from too much wine
You nurse your deepest pains in silence
You ponder your day in sobriety
You suddenly realize that all along it’s been just you on this lonely road
There is an interesting story about a man on a journey from Jerusalem to Jericho. Along the way, robbers attacked him; they stripped him, beat him and left him half-dead. Other travelers encountered him but refused to help until along came the Samaritan. He took pity on him and went to him. He treated his wounds with oil and wine and bandaged his wounds. Then he put the wounded man on his donkey and took him to the inn where he cared for him for the rest of the day. The following day he gave the innkeeper some money and instructed him to ‘Look after him’. As he was about to leave, he promised he’d return and pay up any extra expense.
What moving story about love, compassion and selflessness. I have a theory and that’s what I’m going to be sharing with you this December. I do believe that like that man, each one of us is on a lonely journey at some point in our lives. In fact I do believe that our journeys, however crowded, are still lonely and even though we may not know it, we are actually traveling solo. And that on these solo journeys, no matter how far we travel, I believe the Samaritan comes along.
Have you ever wondered about how you survived the darkest seasons of your life? How badly you were broken and down trodden yet you survived. You woke up one morning and there you were, bandaged and cared for with no clue how you pulled through. How that everyone who mattered had deserted you and you were left confused and distraught.
You take one look at yourself today and you know you would be a fool to deny that at some point you weren’t really alone. That in fact you were never alone even though it seemed you traveled solo.
So join me as I explore the mysterious working of the Good Samaritan and how all through time, the Lord God has remained an ever-present help in trouble. I am a living testimony and phase after phase I can clearly trace the footprints of the Samaritan in my life’s journeys. As we move along, I hope that you too would be able to make that discovery for yourself.
Read Luke 10:30-35