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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It Takes a Knife… February 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2139)

Bowie knifeSelfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy.

Trying to avoid being overly dramatic and resisting the temptation to fall into the cliché of deeming them the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” let me just choose to refer to selfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy as the Four-headed Buffoon.

Of course, no one would admit that our country is plagued by this off-key quartet. So we have come up with different names for the vices:

  • Selfishness is disguised behind self-esteem.
  • Prejudice is marketed as cultural pride.
  • Politics is pushed onto the unsuspecting public as “the great debate.”
  • And apathy is perhaps the worst of all because it hides behind the beauty of “family,” leaving behind the needs of others.

Can I tell you what I’ve learned over my forty years of traveling the country? Railing against the rabble is similar to spitting in the wind and picking off a scab before it heals. It all comes back to haunt you.

So my way of resisting the short-sightedness of selfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy is to bring a knife–something to cut through the foolishness.

For instance, I don’t want to argue with you about what’s selfish. I just want to joyously, almost comically, pursue generosity. And I’m talking about silly giving–a quarter to a kid on the street, a dollar to a street-corner beggar. Anything to cut through the delusion.

Likewise, I don’t want to jump into the argument of race, creed–or sexual orientation, for that matter. I just travel around proclaiming, “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Slice, slice. You can sort it out from there.

And politics is simple. I don’t follow any party–you are in danger of becoming drunken on the liquor of self-satisfaction. I talk about what’s best for the heart of human beings. You know what happens? Sometimes that’s conservative and sometimes it’s liberal. Get my point?

And I take out my great big Bowie knife of being interested to overcome the cloud of apathy that darkens our skies. Yes, I spend an extra minute asking one additional question of another living soul about his or her dreams instead of merely focusing on the weather or “how are the kids are doing?”

It takes a knife to cut. And if we’re ever going to trim away the foolishness of selfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy, it will take the sharpness of generosity, knowing that NoOne is better than anyone else, bringing true emotion and being interested in life … instead of acting like a damn tourist.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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