Post #17.11, Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Historical setting: 564 C.E. The Gaul Side of the Pyrenees

         August is telling of his becoming a hermit monk. “I wandered alone until I found a quarry for my stonework and I made my cave near that place, so my prayers could be my artwork.  Yet, even now I think often of my father and wonder if he is searching for me.”

         Brother Joel again, reaches to touch the hand of Brother August. “So here it is on earth, the same as it is in heaven. You don’t know if the longing you have for family is your own yearning for them, or if it is your father’s; just as you wondered if your solitude was for you, or for God’s sake. All this wonder about whose need it is you are answering is found in listening to the Spirit. When we are one in the Spirit the question of ‘whose obligation do I answer?’ is moot. Like the creek flowing out of its banks these structures of duty that separate us from the flow of God’s love are washed aside, and all that we have is the love of God, and we were taught to pray ‘as it is in heaven, it is on earth.’”

         August’s hidden hope is exposed. “I think of Joseph in Egypt, how by dreams and wonders he came from the pit to become a governor distributing grain in famine. I imagine myself like that, giving nurture to my brothers in their suffering a spiritual famine. If only they would realize they are starving I could offer them the Good News of Christ.”

         I feel like the rub of the brothers’ distain is August’s imposition of virtue. I offer my opinion, “In the Joseph story he didn’t force the grain sacks on the brothers. They had to feel their own hunger then they came begging.”

         Nic amends,  “Imposing a valuable cup, yes, but Joseph didn’t force the grain on them.”

          “I hear what you are saying.” August answers, “My family is surely not begging for a spiritual rescue.”

         And my own Jewish inheritance of the Joseph story doesn’t even end in such sweet resolution. I hear it as the scroll that explains how the Israelites got themselves into slavery in Egypt in the first place.

         I speak my so-called wisdom. “The story is as it is. The meaning of it depends on where one chooses to end it. Is it an amazing synchronicity, or the root of brotherly enslavement?”

(Continued tomorrow)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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