Historical setting: 563 CE, on the Bay of Contabria (Biscay)
After a gaping silence after explaining who I really am and that I actually saw the execution of Jesus, Nic offers his thoughts.
“If you wanted me to believe all that stuff about the bible story you could have said it better. You could have said ‘some who were there saw,’ not ‘I saw.’ You have such a scrambled mind that is obvious when you say you were actually there and you knew Jesus.”
It’s hot and still. All clothing, even Nic’s iron shirt and leather gambeson yield under the sweltering calm of summer’s east wind, and are tidily packed away. The calming breeze strokes backwards across the westerly driven swells of the open sea. The crew, the captain, all are bared to our births by the calm — me, browning umber under the sun, and Nic pinking to redness. We are the full variety of shades of human.
Unlike the ancient times when birth-shades marked our tribes and tribes marked war-won rankings among humankinds, these hundreds of years after Jesus are becoming a holy swirl of tribe-less tan. The stark blackness of St. Maurice that once spoke of a people of great intellect, trade and wealth from the deep coast of Africa seems in these times, a blend into Alexandria’s tans, particularly when wed with the pallid Goths of northern lands. I would venture to guess in another century there will be no distinguishing of races.[Note from the future: He was wrong.] We will all be one people, as God sees us. But here I am, the olive Jew set against the pale Goth. What is there to say to find our oneness?
Nic is trying to listen to my feeble attempt to use reason to change his deep experience. He hears me argue scripture, I John 4:18 and then he hears my desperate prayer. I speak aloud: “Dear God, please release us from old fears and patterns of hate that our bond may be as brothers shared in your love. Amen.”
Yea, that prayer fell on his ears like a thud of blah. God, Nic and I all know we need this thing to work. But there is no reasoning to make imagined horns and armor void of human life simply vanish. Neither of us can say that these old hates don’t matter so the best we can do is curb our own rages.
Nic means to do that. He offers the common ground of his personal childhood experience with the teachings.
(Nic’s story is told Wednesday, July 29, 2020)