Since its Christmas, I thought I post this mini Novel

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    Dec 22, 2010 1:10 AM GMT
    Nicodemus the Pharisee sat in a large room in Jerusalem, along with 119 other people. Next to him sat a Canaanite woman with her daughter. As they all sat in silence, the woman began to shudder, and the Pharisee gently placed his hand on her shoulder to comfort and encourage her.

    Nicodemus was an old man now, a devout Jew and a teacher of Israel. He grew up to know the Torah off by heart, as he was taught by his father, himself a Pharisee. Not only did he know the Law so well, but was able to recite the full story of the conquest of Canaan by the fledgling nation of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, Moses' successor. Back then, the Canaanites, who were the original inhabitants of the land, were driven out and killed because of their unholy and unclean living.

    So to Nicodemus, the Canaanites and all other Gentiles were seen as unclean, and any Jew who happen to touch a Gentile was defiled, and had to undergo a purification process. How much worse then, would a Canaanite woman be in the company of male Jews! Even Nicodemus considered his own wife a his property, barely above that of chattel. The Canaanite woman, then was considered much worse - an abomination to all Jews.

    The woman herself took some comfort from the hand on her shoulder. Her home town being Tyre in Syria, she recalls approaching this Man, who was born in Bethlehem, grew up at Nazareth and made his way to her region, calling himself the Son of Man. After watching him perform miracles, she asked him if he would heal her sick daughter. He called her a dog. Yet he shone so brightly with benevolent holiness that she could not defend herself by declaring that she wasn't a dog but a woman, and should be treated as a woman. Instead, all she said was that even the dogs feed of the crumbs that fall from the master's table. That statement seemed feeble, yet it brought praise and her daughter was healed.

    As she remembered this man, her daughter, noting her distress, called out "Mummy!" and the older woman began to cry. The Pharisee continued to stroke her shoulder gently with his hand.

    After her offspring was healed, she couldn't stay in her home town any longer. Instead, taking her daughter, she made her way to Jerusalem, only to discover that the Man she so wanted to revere was killed by crucifixion, and so she also heard, risen from the dead.

    All 120 men and women sat as one, under a deep conviction, in that room. When before, mixed gender worship was unknown in Jewish society - men and women always met separately, now they were all as one, the direct result from being under the Shadow of the Cross. Under the Shadow, all felt deeply unworthy before God. Social class, education, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, wealth, professionalism, family heritage, and yes - sexual orientation - all were turned to dust. Nothing was of any importance now. Under the Shadow of the Cross everyone was totally unworthy and they all knew it. Only the mercy of God matters, which the Shadow represents.

    Nicodemus looked up to the ceiling and then turned to the woman he was comforting. He embraced her as she lay her head on his chest.
    "Madam," said he, "where are you staying?"
    "In the tavern on the other side of town."
    "Then please stay at my house, both of you, at least for a while."
    "Well, thank you Rabbi! That's the most generous gesture we ever had in our lives!"

    In the row in front, one man turned to his companion and said,
    "Sir, for many years I have hated you as my brother, the son of my father, because of your orientation. Now I'm so sorry. Will you forgive me?"
    Yes, I forgive you. Since I met this Jesus Christ, I have never been the same."
    "Come, let's us both go home."
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 22, 2010 4:31 AM GMT
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    Dec 22, 2010 1:58 PM GMT
    Thank you for posting that. It is so utterly appropriate given that this is one of the most important times for Christians.

    It's passage-inspired stories like this that reaffirm my belief that The Bible, aside from it's religious importance, is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature ever written.
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    Dec 22, 2010 4:08 PM GMT

    Matthew 15:22-28 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

    ...and so Jesus, who was NOT infallible, learned from a woman, a woman that his society taught was less than a man. A woman of canaan who was considered no more than an animal.

    Note her daughter had to be cured of demons, rather than mental illness. There was no such thing as mental illness. Schizophrenia and the like didn't exist. It must be demons.

    An interesting tale, but a tale only from a much monkeyed-with book.

    -Doug, a christian

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    Dec 22, 2010 10:59 PM GMT
    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for your reply.
    The story was of my own imagination, based on Acts 1:13-14, but what took place in that room makes the story very plausible. Notably the presence of both men and women committed to prayer, something in itself contrary to Jewish society then as now. (At the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the plaza fronting it is divided into male and female sections by a fence - today in the 21st Century).
    The above posting is a development from the original blog I posted recently on myspace:

    I wrote it after experiencing friction among people I know who are regular church-goers. Middle class folk who feels ill at ease when dealing with the working class, emphasis on one's degree level of education when chatting up the girls, resentment and unforgiving at me for lacking patriotism, rejected by one at Facebook for my combined lack of stoicism and a high level of education, and by another for having a "bad vibe" (i.e. for being myself rather than wear a mask of conformity), and being a target for backstabbing on suspicion of being Gay.

    The 120 in that room demonstrates that the "Shadow of the Cross" is the greatest leveller other than death, and strips away any self-justification and bias against one another and binds them together with a new definition of life.

    My greatest wish is to let the Shadow fall on me, and to all those who profess their faith in Christ.

    Only then will the earth itself tremble!
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    Dec 23, 2010 9:59 PM GMT

    Well, let's not hope for earthquakes, but instead an astonishing empathy that leaves none unloved.

    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, NotThatOld! icon_wink.gif

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    Dec 23, 2010 10:24 PM GMT
    And a merry Christmas to you both.
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    Dec 24, 2010 1:31 AM GMT
    NotThatOld saidAnd a merry Christmas to you both.

    Thanks NotThatOld, and a Happy 2011 to you!

    Here's a clip from one of my most fav tales. The expression that crosses the main character's face when he sees who gave him water, and the expression on the centurion's face when he confronts the man who gave water is very moving to me.


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    Dec 24, 2010 2:33 PM GMT
    Yes I know that take.
    I have a DVD of Ben Hur at home.
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    Dec 24, 2010 3:32 PM GMT
    It's a great story. Say, why not add some emotional flavour into your story? Invite the reader in, so to speak?