Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 21) Tied … September 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

Really weird dreams.

Ever since Sunday, Meningsbee had been plagued by bizarre nighttime visions, each one nearly sensible and then suddenly making a left turn into Wackyville.

In one of these nightmares, he saw young Hapsy, trapped in a glass ball, rolling down the hill toward six-foot-tall bugs with hammers in their claws.

In another one, he dreamed that Patrick Swanson was water skiing on the Sea of Galilee, throwing fish at nearby peasants.

He also had one with Sammy Collins passing out candy bars shaped like Jesus for what he assumed was communion.

But the strangest one of all was seeing himself crawling on the dirty floors of the big city mall searching for pennies, which he then gingerly picked up and ran over and dropped into the tin cup of a blind man who greatly resembled Stevie Wonder.

Meningsbee recognized the problem. It had happened to him many times. Surrounded by people in need, he began to absorb their pain, feeling it was christ-like to express compassion. He was not only losing sleep, but also the hope and optimism necessary to share the power of faith with the living souls around him.

Opening up the Good Book, he happened upon the story of Jesus casting the demons out of a man who claimed the name “Legion.” On this particular reading, his focus was riveted on the closing exchange between Jesus and the man. The one who was once named Legion begged Jesus for permission to come along on the journey.

Meningsbee understood. You couldn’t blame him. The most exciting thing that had ever happened to this exorcised soul had come, and was now about to be gone. All he had left around him were people who thought of him as a crazy man, who certainly would not be quick to forget his gruntings, growlings and groanings.

The logical thing was to go with Jesus. Sit by the fire. Remember the miracle and attempt to resume his life in the midst of his benefactor.

But Jesus said no.

That’s right–Jesus turned him down. Jesus told him to go back to his own people and friends and tell them what good things God had done for him.

A noble answer for a noble cause. But there was something Jesus didn’t share–if you’re going to help people and continue to be a touchstone of gentle comfort to the world around you, learn how to be tied in without being tied up.

Truth was, Meningsbee knew he could spend his whole life just working with Hapsy, Matrisse and Kitty. He could cordon off the next six months to try to make peace with Sammy Collins and Patrick Swanson.

Yes, he could pick up pennies and try to enrich the prospects of the blind beggars around him, or he could take a tip from Jesus and be tied in but not tied up–allow himself to be human with the people but not swallow all their fears.

There is a point when a teacher needs to assume that the lesson has been taught, and open the door to new students.

Otherwise, he is no longer a teacher.

He is merely a caretaker for a handful of misfits he refuses to let graduate.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 17th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Do you want to have children?

 

Dear Man: No, but I’d like to have a family.

 

Dear Woman: What’s the difference?

 

Dear Man: Huge! A family is a group of people sitting around the living room, all of which have been potty trained and know the working end of a Kleenex, enjoying pizza night and watching Disney movies.

 

Dear Woman: And children would be…?

 

Dear Man: Creatures who suddenly appear, squalling and pooping everywhere, trying to control the environment.

 

Dear Woman: That’s pretty negative.

 

Dear Man: I’ve always found it better in life to work backwards from negative to find positive things, instead of leaping in with happy-go-lucky, to later retract your statements because of the abundance of weirdness.

 

Dear Woman: I would like us to have a baby.

 

Dear Man: You see, that’s the problem. Vestiges of male chauvinism and female oppression lie dead-center in the middle of this process of procreation. It’s further accentuated by the new domineering attitude–especially in black and Latino communities, which portray women as “Baby Mamas,” and these conquering studs spreading their seed across several different mothering units.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. That’s harsh. Maybe even racist.

 

Dear Man: Sexist is worse than racist. I don’t care if you’re black, brown, or whatever color you are–if you’re treating the mother of your children like she is a nanny, then you’re wrong.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I wanted to have children together.

 

Dear Man: But what does that mean? In our society, we have single moms, but single dads are kind of a joke. In other words, if a man stays home and decides to take care of his children we think he’s a lazy bum, but if a woman does it, she’s a responsible female who has made a positive choice for her youngsters.

 

Dear Woman: I can see that. But how would you rectify it? I mean, what would you do to even the playing field so men and women can be perceived as partners in this project of birthing and raising a child?

 

Dear Man: Get rid of sentimentality. Mother’s love is not stronger than father’s love–not in our species. A woman getting tears in her eyes because she’s thinking about her children does not mean she loves them more. You love them more if you work with your partner to turn them into decent human beings instead of rapists, serial killers, televangelists and politicians. And not necessarily in that order.

 

Dear Woman: I think I understand what you’re trying to say. You want me to be as invested emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you are forced to be physically.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. The same amount of effort it takes to transform my body into a birthing machine is the same kind of commitment I want both of us to have, to change ourselves into parenting units.

 

Dear Woman: So what would you change?

 

Dear Man: As I said, get rid of the sentimentality about mother’s love being superior to father’s love. Then involve the man in the process of the conception, birthing and raising of the child as an equal participant, not merely a bread-winner. And stop putting special significance on one sex over another when it comes to the care, maintenance and maturing of the child.

 

Dear Woman: I agree with all of that.

 

Dear Man: Maybe you do. But that will mean that most nights you’re not going to be able to go off with your buddies and watch the game, but instead, stay home with your child and me, watching the game on TV, laughing and doing puzzles.

 

Dear Woman: I can do that. Matter of fact, when you explain it this way, it seems like the way it should be. But because we want to maintain the superiority of the man over the woman, we manufacture this false sense of “ultimate motherhood.”

 

Dear Man: Absolutely. I don’t mind having children with you if we can change diapers, change attitudes and change directions as parents together.

 

Dear Woman: Most people will think that’s weird.

 

Dear Man: That’s why most people have children that are out of control instead of offspring they can be proud of.

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