Wednesday, April 4, 2007

My Name is Onesimus. 2

(read part 1 first)

I so desperately wanted to plunge my knife into his breast but the look in his eyes caught me in a way I cannot describe. What I saw shocked me. I expected rage, anger, fear…I was not prepared for what I saw. I had not prepared myself for this. I saw…no I experienced, love, bursting forth from his eyes. He reached out his hand and took my knife. He was such a little man and yet I yielded like a little child.

He reached up and put his arm around my shoulder and guided me into his house. It was like I was in a trance. He had me sit down and then went away. I couldn’t move. He came back quickly with a pitcher and basin and knelt down to wash my feet. My mouth was open but I could not speak. As he washed my feet he was asking me if I had come a long way. I nodded. He then took me into his tiny kitchen and began to pour out soup and bread. He said his wine was not the finest but what was his, was mine to enjoy.

Tears rolled down my face. I thought I had heard a horrible lie but now I knew that this man truly believed in a different kingdom. He said eat and although I really was starving, I only wanted what this man had. What kind of power did he possess? I thought he was weak because he was arrested. Now, I wanted to join his ranks of insurrectionists. I prayed that he would allow me to join with him in his plans for this new kingdom.

When I finally was able to speak, I asked him bluntly if he was the leader of some new rebellion? He laughed uproariously at my question. He said he would let me know everything in the proper time. When I finished eating, he asked if I was well and where I was staying. I couldn’t answer, but simply hung my head. He said he needed some things from the market and asked if I would be willing to get them for him.

He must know I am a slave and yet he did not command me to do this. Instead he took out a coin and gave it to me to go to market for him. How could he trust me with his money? He knew I had come to kill him and now he trusted me with money. He hadn’t even asked me why I sought his life.

This was the strangest day I had ever experienced. Here I was, a runaway slave, bent on murder, being handed a coin, from a man that should be dead. What else could I do? I took the coin and went to the market.

While there, something gripped my heart and told me to run as far away as possible. I knew I couldn’t kill this man but he still did not know who I was. The thought passed as quickly as it came and I returned to Paul with the goods.

By this time another person had joined Paul in his house and they were laughing when I returned. I’m sure he had told him of how I had come to kill him. I was afraid once more and my feet wanted to flee. Instead I handed my bundle to Paul and he invited me to sit with them. The newcomer introduced himself and I was even more dismayed, for he was a citizen of Rome. After stating this, he got up and got some wine for all of us. What magic was going on here?

Paul asked for news from abroad and was delighted that many were joining with him in his cause. They didn’t ignore me nor did they fling questions at me that I dared not answer. I continued to watch but most of what was being said was incomprehensible to me.

The man, Jason, got up to leave, for he had business to attend to. He said he would return tonight with others. He gave Paul a hug and then he shook my hand. I had never shaken hands with a Roman citizen in my life. Did he not understand my place?

Paul then beckoned me back to the kitchen for more soup and some of the fare that I had bought today. When I had my fill, he directed to me to a cot in the back corner of the room. He said he had letters to write and wanted me to simply rest.

I slept like a child without a care in the world. When I awoke it was evening and others had joined Paul once again. Paul introduced me as his new found friend and the others gave me warm acceptance.

I sat and listened as they talked with great excitement. I heard the word kingdom repeated several times but I did not hear words of war. Instead they talked of a man from some backward country, called Judea. They said his name, Jesus. Was this the leader of the rebellion? No, of course not, they said he had been crucified.

They asked Paul more things about Jesus and he told stories that were obviously fairytales. But, now I understood. Paul was using this man’s supposed miraculous life to launch his own campaign. What a genius. He was using a dead man’s name to build his own band of followers.

I could stand it no longer and I burst out that I wanted join them in their insurrection. There was silence for a moment and then laughter burst forth.

Click here for Part 3.

1 comment:

Ashleigh said...

I must far these are some of my favorite entries to read.

Then again...the Bible is fascinating all on it's own to a relatively new Christ follower such as myself. This just gives it a little something extra...