Jesus in our time – 17

Jesus in our time – 17

Book of Remarks Chapter 1, verses 14 through 31

And after the chilling out of John, Jesus came to Southwestern Idaho, proclaiming the good news of the reign of God, and saying — “Fulfilled hath been the time, and the reign of God hath come nigh, reform ye, and believe in the good news.”

And, walking through the Balcony Bar & Nightclub, he saw Susan Florenvalle, and her husband Ambergris (“Amble”) Whistletown, watching a drag in the midday mountain air, for they were young and liberal, and Jesus said to them, “Come ye after me, and I shall make you to become catchers of he, she, and they;” and immediately, having left their beers (or whatever it was they were so desperately clutch-stooping over), they followed him.

And having gone on thence a little, Jesus spied Thundration (“Tun”) Whistletown and his business partner Archangelbert (“Arch”) Skullvalley as they nursed their IPAs while gazing out onto the confluence of West Idaho and North 8th (restaurants sprawling out of quaint brick and/or stone buildings onto wide multicolored [all dark shades] brick-paved sidewalks) from the balcony at one end of the Balcony. The titanic (original, immortal sense of the word) editors of the timeless (literally: as in prior to timespace) Skullyvalley After Whistletown Bookmakers (SAWB) were hanging in the wide afternoon (3PM when the sun’s up until 10PM) summer air, refitting various narratives. And immediately Jesus of Nazareth (“Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’ or ‘God is with us'”) called them; and — strapping partially-edited manuscripts onto the scrawny scaly legs of carrier pigeons that shot eagerly out (wings flapping, down-shedding) to carry their masters’ half-baked schemes and rolling dreams to the SAWB staff in the SAWB Building in Somewhere Sometime Wallstreet, Isle of Manhattos, NY, USA — Tun and Arch went away after Immanuel.

And they go on to Capernaum, and immediately, on a Saturday midway between five and six in the afternoon, having gone into the restaurants bars coffee shops and common spaces, he was teaching, and they were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as having authority, and not as the pundits.

And there sat in a medium-priced American restaurant a family man (there with his pregnant wife and their two young children) with an angry clenched heart. And he cried out, saying, “Away! What — to us and to thee, Jesus the Nazarene? thou didst come to destroy my proud certainties and the self-righteousness of my revenge; I have smelt thee who thou art — the Holy Peace of God.”

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silenced, and come forth out of him,” and the festering hurt and its constellation of resentments and rages tore him, and cried out from the wound in his pit with a great voice, and came tumbling forth out of him, and floated over the red square ceramic tile floor as a cloud of shifting shapes, foul odors, violent shouts, scared whimpers, and wrenched sobs.

His life was there for all to see. The story of a boy’s broken hopes, a teen’s insecure settlement into the life-path offered by his church, a young man’s pride at conquest and success — a thread of unawareness ran through the whole, one heard saw smelt and felt how much he’d never admitted to himself, of need greed hope fear disappointment regret. The man — clean-cut and wearing nice blue jeans and a dark-yellow and -blue striped gator-logo polo shirt — was not embarrassed, but leaned back in the hard wooden chair, shoulders relaxed, mumbling to himself, “I do love my wife, my children, my friends, my family, my life, strangers, and all — I do, though I’d not known it, having convinced myself that grabbing was love and shoving aside wisdom,” and related self-revelations, which mixed with the ding, clatter, and bread-and-meat odors of the restaurant.

And the restaurant-goers were all amazed, so as to reason among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new teaching is this? That with authority also the shattered-glass Hurt in a human’s pit he commandeth, and it harken and heed and spill its secret confusions out upon red-brown matte 3″ square restaurant floor tiles, where — like vampires in daylight — they shrivel and die, never to muddy another conscious space again!”

And the fame of Jesus (who they called the Christ because in a spiritual crisis he had no equal) went forth immediately to all the region, round about, of Downtown Boise. And immediately, having come forth out of the restaurant, smelling of hamburgers and beer though they’d not eaten or drunk, they walked to the house of Susan and Amble, with Tun and Arch, and the mother-in-law of Susan was lying fevered from inter-dimensional travel — having slipped too quickly from the Magic Lands where Susan grew up in a dirt-road suburb of the cobblestone market-town of Potatoland — and immediately Susan rushes to her, and says she should’ve said she was coming, and that she mustn’t dimension-jump so quick and on a full stomach, and Jesus nears, lays hold of her hand and raises her up; and the fever left her immediately, and she was ministering to them — saying Susan looked thin and Amble tired, that the publishing Titans were driving them too hard, and that Jesus wouldn’t have the strength to save any souls if he didn’t get a little food in his belly.

And Tun and Arch, publishing titans (literal “titans”: gods, born and mostly dwelling, before timespace) stood off a little too one side, feeling awkward — what with Susan’s mother (like Susan, a beautiful troll woman, lithe and shapely, a little on the tall side for a female Valley troll [like 4’10”]) scolding them for just trying to run a profitable and eternally glorious publishing house the best they know how; and what with Jesus whom they call the Christ so One with the one true God, greater than all humans and gods — what with this constant (itchy, sore, and annoying — like a scab over a not-quite-healed wound) reminder that being too blessed and immortal to concern oneself with mortal woes is a characteristic of mere gods, not of The Great God, not of I am that Am.

Arch said to Tun, “The way I see it, everybody just does the best they can, given where they’re at.”

Tun said to Arch, “For sure! What else is it gonna be? We can’t all be born as God’s own begotten Son.”

Jesus, hearing them, said to them, “Here is where you are wrong. All can and must be born as God’s children in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is for this that I have come.”

Tun said to Jesus, “What about stopping Donald Trump and the Trump-infected GOP by helping the citizens of the United States of America remember they already share Reality and thus can and should share reality and thus can and should gently nudge their shared nation away from lies, corruption, and meanness, and towards honest conversation, equality and justice under the law, and procedures, rules, and norms that assume we are all in this together and can all win together?

Arch said to Jesus, “Yeah, like the campaign posters say.”

Jesus laughed and said, “That too. Do you think the posters a little long-winded?”.

Mrs. Flordevalle said, “I say, if they aren’t going to take the time to read our posters, we don’t want their vote!”

Bartleby said, “Spoken like a political strategist from a magical land where benign rules are benignly enforced by benign magical fiat.”

But Mrs. Flordevalle was busy poking Susan’s side and hips, and explaining to her only daughter — whose abandoned her for this dubious fellow and his harsher, more fractured and dangerous, more tenuous, most dubious reality — that children don’t just need love after they are born, they need love before they are born, that they might be born, and born well and happy; so she didn’t hear Bartleby’s critique of her critique of their would-be voters.

Author: BW
Editor: AW
Copyright: AM Watson

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