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Twisting all the bad things into good

Mar 7, 2012

THE PATRON SAINT OF. . .WHATEVER. CHAPTER 12:1-45 Shortest Chapter and Verse


                      If a bird sees a trap being set,
                      it knows to stay away
                     But these people set an ambush for themselves;
                     they are trying to get themselves killed.
                          Proverbs 1:17-18

FRIDAY 9/10/10
       1  Nobody gets this.
           They only act like they do.
      2   Everyone is confused.
           They just pretend to understand.
           I'm the only one who knows what this is all about.
      3   This is not a movie.
           It's not even a book.
           This is gospel.    
      4   It seems simple enough. It's not.
           These words lend themselves to different interpretations.
           It all depends on the reader.
      5   Some see this story as being about one person.
           Others see in it something bigger.
      6   Some twist these words into blasphemy.
           Same words. Same story.

      7   Everyone thought he was dead.
           They were right. He was.
      8   They knew that people do not come back from the dead.
           They were wrong. He did.
      9   Nobody believes in miracles.
           Not until they see one.

            Jesus arrived four days after Lazarus had died. When he got there, he witnessed Lazarus' sisters and friends overwhelmed with grief.
            Jesus wept. 
            When he was taken to where Lazarus had been laid to rest, Jesus told the people to remove the stone that covered his tomb. Jesus prayed aloud and then ordered Lazarus to come out. Lazarus, resurrected from the dead, emerged from his tomb still wrapped in burial linens.
            John 11:35 is "Jesus wept".
            This is the shortest verse in the Bible.

    10  "Jesus wept" is not a movie.
            It is the title of a P.M Dawn album, but this was not about music.
            This was supposed to be a movie title.
            There was no winner in this round of Pictionary.

    11    Jesus was a crackhead.
            Maybe that's why he didn't follow the rules.
            I think that he just didn't know any better.
    12    I liked Jesus.
            Everybody liked Jesus.
            He was a nice guy.
     13   Sparky called him Jesus because he walked around the rec room in his hospital gown with a Bible in his hand. His real name was Reggie. Reggie was not allowed to eat with us. He ate alone in the rec room. He was the only one who was not allowed to use the phone. I never understood the reason for his punishment. As far as I knew, he never caused any problems. That's why when Jesus asked me to break the rules, I didn't hesitate. He asked me to call his sister and ask her what time she was coming to visit him. When I asked her, she didn't know what I was talking about. I told Reggie that she was not feeling well. She would not be able to make it today.

    14   "Praise Jesus", Sparky says.
            Reggie stops walking and looks up from his Bible.
            DJ turns in her chair."Reggie, why don't you play a round with us?"
            Loretta and Monica tell him that he should play.
    15    Reggie smiled at the invite and closed his Bible. "Yeah, I'll play".
            I do my part to let him know that we're happy to include him.

    16   For five minutes, we sat at the table, racking our medicated minds trying to guess the title of a movie that was never made. Jesus isn't much of an artist. That may be the only thing we have in common. On a white dry erase board, he drew a green face with a few green tears under both green eyes.  
    17    I quickly call out, "The Crying Game".
            Reggie shakes his head to indicate that the 1992 movie with the girl who was really a guy is not the correct answer.
    18   "Boys Don't Cry" is my immediate follow up guess.
            The 1999 Hilary Swank movie where she plays a guy who was really a girl is the wrong guess.
    19    Nobody has a clue. Nobody but me.  
    20  "Crybaby" I say.
            The 1990 Johnny Depp movie with the social outcasts, but no transgenders, is also incorrect.       
    21    Reggie uses the green marker to tap the tears on the face.
            No shit, Reggie. I see the tears, that's why every one of my  three guesses were movies with the word "cry" in the titles.
    22    Sparky speaks up. "Tears of the Sun?"
            Reggie shakes his head.
    23    I offer up, "A Cry In the Dark".
            Wrong. I do take advantage of this rare opportunity to use my Australian accent to mimic Meryl Streep crying out her famous line, "A dingo ate my baby!" Nobody knows what I'm talking about. Well, it's famous to me.

    24    After we all give up, Reggie reveals the answer.
           "Jesus wept", he says with a smile.
    25    Everyone is lost.
    26    Monica pretends like she should have guessed this,"Ohhhh".
            Loretta does not play along. "Is that even a movie?'
    27    Jesus now looks as lost as the rest of us.
    28    For Christ's sake, I speak up.
           "Jesus wept is actually the shortest verse in the entire Bible".
            He nods in approval at my knowledge of Scripture.

     29   The game goes on.
     30   In the beginning, it was fun.
     31   That initial enthusiasm wears out. When it starts to get old, we find that we are only going through the motions in an attempt to pass the time. After we've all taken a few too many turns, we're finally over it.

     32   Reggie is already back to reading his Bible.
           "Hey, Jesus," Sparky says."How 'bout spreading the word?"
            Reggie looks up. He doesn't know if Sparky is being serious.
            Before Sparky can say he's joking, DJ speaks up.
           "Yeah, Reggie. Why don't you read us something?"
            Sparky gives me a look to show that he's sorry he asked.
            Reggie asks,"You really want me to read something?"
      33 "I'm sure we could all use some inspiration," says DJ.
      34  Reggie seems a little hesitant. As often as he reads his Bible, he's never spoken to anyone about it."Okay," he says. "Let me find something".
            Sparky looks at me again and rolls his eyes. "Something short, Jesus".
      35  Reggie never takes offense to anything. He just smiles.
           "Okay, Brian." Reggie continues searching until he finds what he's looking for.
            Sparky shakes his head at me while we wait.
           "Alright. This is from the Book of Romans", Reggie says.

      36  Reggie is not a speed reader.

          "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good."

      37  Reggie makes this sound like a tongue twister. 

          " As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

      38  He stops stumbling.

          "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me."

      39  Reggie closes his Bible.
            He doesn't look to see our reactions.
            I do.
      40  Nobody shows any reaction.
            Nobody looks at anyone.
            Nobody says anything.
            Even Sparky is at a loss.
      41 "Thanks, Reggie", DJ says. I've never heard her speak so softly. She leans in towards him. "That was really good". She sounds as if she is trying to encourage a scared little boy.
      42  If Reggie wasn't black, he would be blushing. Even though he has not raised his head, I know he's smiling. I wonder how much time has passed since someone gave Reggie a compliment.
           "Nice work, Reggie", I add.
      43  After a few seconds, Reggie whispers,"Thanks". I can't tell who he's thanking, because he hasn't taken his eyes off his good book, the only one I imagine he's ever read.
            Either nobody knows what to say, or, like me, they are letting Reggie enjoy the moment.

      44  Sparky breaks the silence.
           "WELL, HALLELUJAH!"

      45   Jesus laughed.

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