Joseph’s choice*

Joseph was given a dream.

That’s all. Just a dream.

Mary had a bloomin’ angel bust into her house to give her the news. But all Joseph received, was what could have easily been attributed to one too many glasses of smashed up fermented grapes before beddie-bye.

Joseph had to live his whole life wondering if that dream was a truth or not. If his “Son” was the result of the Lord’s plan, or just one ill-advised and possibly regretted interlude.

Mary has been honored ever since.

Given top billing right next to her Boy, in fact. Prayed to no less, by many who seem to think that J.C. made this an option, somewhere along the line within his three years of tutorials. It seems odd, given what little faith was needed on her part, especially considering the fact that she knew she hadn’t done anything, and again, there was that bloomin’ angel, standing smack-dab in the middle of her living room.

And Joseph?

Well, poor old Joe wasn’t even remembered by the Gospel writers. Nope, right after his part was played, he was unceremoniously escorted off the stage, never to be heard from again. We can assume he died – most do seem to go that way. But if he did while Jesus still breathed, we never even get to hear about his “Son’s” reaction. And if Jesus was the first to go, then Joseph’s tears and anguish were never written down for posterity.

Again, Mary rocks it within the gospels, right through to the bitter end. But Joseph is left forgotten. Ignored. And maybe even with his final breath, still wondering if the angel’s message was really just after all, only a stupid dream.

Georges_de_La_Tour._St._Joseph,_the_Carpenter

I’ve always had an affinity for Joseph.

Not only because we share the joy of fatherhood, but because I too have quite often felt – incorrectly or not – ignored in the whole scheme of things. Forgotten. Yes, even by J.C. As a result, for many years I’ve waved the Joseph flag to anyone who asked, simply because I felt that he needed to be defended.

I was wrong in thinking that of course. Joseph needs no more defending than his “Son” does. Joseph needs no adulation, similar to that being provided Mary by her cult, either. No, I believe that Joseph is just all right with the way things went.

Joseph – whether he truly believed the dream or not – chose to tell the angel that appeared in it that he would. Joseph – even if he was in the final analysis, history’s most gullible man – voluntarily put his life at risk then, and several times afterwards. All while defending a wife and a “Son” who weren’t truly his, just for his chosen belief, which truly was.

Again, we’ve no idea what sort of lessons Joseph imparted upon Jesus, nor how much of the Son of Man’s personality was weaned from the man who chose to believe in the Son enough, as to sacrifice his life for Mary and He. But when my children offer me the mantle of “Best Dad In The World,” I’m quick to remind them that – while I am honored – I feel that it’s actually Joseph who deserves that title. The man who gave all for his charges, and was then all but forgotten by the very ones who benefitted most from his sacrifice of ensuring that the “Son” (possibly of just a man), could live long enough to become the Son of Man.

Joseph was given a dream.

And he chose to believe that dream – to believe in those who were part of it. That’s a sort of faith that is stronger than reason, and that’s the sort of man I currently struggle to be. For my sons, my daughter, my friends, and for me.

Merry Christmas.

* My gratitude and appreciation to Rev. Ellen Brauza, who’s insight and wisdom served as the inspiration that finally allowed me to put down into somewhat coherent sentences the above trail of thought.

Love Is Stronger…

“We meet no ordinary people in our lives.”

~ C.S. Lewis

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 - please click image for more information

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 – Please click image for more information.

I believe that we find ourselves feeling the need to perform annually, rituals such as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, only because we continue to allow ourselves to live in a world where it is literally easier to take a God-given human life, than it is to permit them to simply live their own.

We find it easier to live in ignorance and hate, than we do in the Truth and Love.

Listen, I’ve no idea who I truly am today, but I do know that people – good people – have been brutally slaughtered, simply because they were not afraid of being who they knew they were. That is wrong, and that has to stop. And that has to stop now.

Love IS stronger than death. Isn’t it about time that we proved that idea to be true?

•••

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth — only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.”

~ C.S. Lewis

 

My Prayer…

eustace

“Please.”

The single hardest, single-syllable word I ever had to say.

“Please.”

Forcing it through clenched teeth. Reluctantly, quietly. Earnestly.

Please.

Alone. No other words allowed. No other thoughts entertained.

“Please.”

Just one word to net it all. One word to express the whole ocean of pain, sorrow, regret and yearning. One word only, in asking for intervention.

“Pleeeeaase…”

The breath catches. The tears break. Tumbling in an ever-increasing stream, as their weight pulls my body bluntly face-first to the floor.

“Please. Please, please, please, please…”

Bits of un-chewed food spit forth as I moan through my petition, increasingly acute.

“(Please, please, please, please, please, please…)”

Unable to breathe, the words are now uttered only in my mind, as the rest of my body heaves itself to release deep sobs, long buried by a soul afraid of it’s own life. It’s own potential. It’s own beauty.

Please.

There is no answer. There never is. But the sobbing slowly subsides, and The Darkness reluctantly retreats.

“Please.”

An unforeseen feeling of warmth, of comfort even, comes over me. A quiet yet strong voice – maybe of my own making, or maybe His – whispers to me, “Trust Me to handle this, and we’ll make it through. Trust Me to be in control, and I will walk you Home.”

Realizing it my choice to make, I think a moment, then utter,

“Please.”

This post is being brought to you by both a recounting of Real Life experiences, and by the WordPress Daily Prompt’s question of “Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself?” I would hope that in this case, the answer is clear.

Eulogy

It’s been 365 days now.

365 days of fun and fuckery, of love and hate, of life and death. Of things going terribly and irreparably wrong, of putting my best foot forward (without always knowing why or what for), and of things finally starting to look up.

365 days in which I was unable to share any of it with you. Being unable to ask you for advice (that I wouldn’t have taken anyway) or support (which I would’ve). I was unable, because even though you were “there” the whole while, you are still gone.

It’s been 365 days now. And I still miss you Dad.

as long as i'm singing

When I was a child, I remember occasionally have night frights that would awaken me, rigid with fear. I would then creep into my parents room, edging my way up to the corner of their bed, while looking intently at my dad’s chest. I would do so until I could confirm that it was rising and lowering with breath, and only then, would I be able to shake the fright and return to my bed.

A little over a week ago, I was reminded of this as I found myself doing very much the same. I stared intently at dad’s chest. This time not so much to confirm that he was breathing, but rather, because I knew it would only be a matter of time until he was not.

My dad was almost there. Almost home. And now he’s gone. His was a very small and private service, but he is…

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Are You Gonna Go My Way?

I liked this one.

I can’t be too sure that many more will. I hope you do, but you know, they can’t all be zingers.

Friday Fictioneers, HO!!!

danny-bowman

Copyright – Danny Bowman

Jesus???

Ain’t no flippin’ way you’re Jesus. That’s bullcrap!

Then why’d you answer? Weren’t you just now asking for some sort of sign; that I’d “call you?”

Well, yeah… but a phone?

Look, the device is obviously defunct. Inoperable. You’re pretty dense Dave, and I had to get through. Plus, I thought you might also enjoy the spectacle of it all.

I suppose…

I have been talking to you your whole life. You get that, right? You just never listened.

Yeah?

Yeah.

…Yeah.

So, do I need to perform these asinine tricks anymore?

No, we’re good.

Good. Now hang up and go your wash your hands. That thing is filthy.

•••

Tomorrow

If I turned off my mental radio and stopped, just stopped… If I stopped and really thought about it all, I would most likely burst into tears.

crying-girl

I would burst into tears like some sort of overly pampered priss, while flailing about in an impotent rage. Rage in all that has passed, and in all that has not. All that has fallen apart, and all that has stubbornly stayed put. I would mourn the death of innocence in two young lives, and the two open doors that I could not walk through alone and, as such, could not walk through at all. I would weep over the pile of bodies that 2012 is leaving behind, and the swath of aborted dreams that were mowed down throughout its three hundred and sixty five days and nights.

So to avoid this, I will not turn my mental radio off. I will instead keep the cacophony at ear-deafening volumes, while I snuggle my mind deep within the distraction and cool warmth of its noise. I will keep my rage directed towards nonsensical things, things hardly deserving the sort of hate to be bestowed upon them. And I will do so in the hopes that in so doing I can slowly bleed it out, run it dry. Empty myself of the stuff in order to fill the newly open void with something better. Something positive.

Before I do so however, I would simply like to add:

2013, I am ready for a fresh start. Please Jesus, please – I am ready for Tomorrow.

is Love alive?

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Please, appear. Just appear. It’s time.

Israel is so much larger, scarier than it was before, and we have become a disease upon ourselves. We rape what we can’t have, we steal instead of earn, we lord over each other with wealth, and possession, and finery. We chase success instead of satisfaction, we ravage instead of grow. We hurt instead of heal. We hate instead of love. We turn everything that is blessed into a sin. Simply because. Simply because the two basic rules you gave us, rules that even a small child understands, we have decided we can not – will not – accomplish. We will NOT love you above all else. We will NOT love our neighbor as ourselves. We will not, damn You. You, in Your wisdom, offered us a choice. We, in our willed ignorance, have made it.

Please appear. Please. So that we might finally be able to…

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

•••

ARGYLE: Mind if I play some tunes?

MCCLANE: How 'bout some Christmas music?

ARGYLE: That is Christmas music.

This is Christmas music… As “Christmas” as I’m able to provide today.