Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3945)

Sitting Five

Iz and Pal huddled and cried for a solid hour, shivering, sobbing, trying to speak, but diminishing to painful sighs and groans.

Bruised.

No father ever knows how deeply the rejection goes into the soul of a son who wishes to disagree but is cast into the role of the delinquent prodigal.

Night was falling—a desert night, black and chilly, clear and cold—the human blood still boiling from the day’s heat, but the skin releasing its warmth, beginning to freeze body and then, soul.

There had been no time to build a fire, so the two boys entwined inside the tent for heat and comfort. They whimpered and shuddered.

At length, Iz spoke. “Pada isn’t always that bad.”

Pal was speechless, unwilling to agree, yet not wanting to begin a useless discussion. Iz continued. “No, I mean it. He is a good man. He just has never understood my ways.”

Pal inserted, “Our ways.”

The boys soon discovered that having no fire allowed the creeping, squeaking, squawking and wiggling living organisms all around them to remain unseen, but certainly lively. The desert at night was terrifying. Some conversation was needed to keep them from thinking about the legendary, man-eating sand worm.

“Why do our people hate each other?” Iz asked.

“I don’t know,” said Pal, because he didn’t.

Iz objected. “‘I don’t know’ will not keep the conversation going and keep our minds off the bugs and slime.”

Pal growled, “I think your father thinks I’m bugs and slime.”

Iz attempted to soften his tone. “And what would your father think of me?” he asked.

Pal did not hesitate. “Probably just slime. Jew-boy slime.” Pal peered at his friend in the darkness. “Our skin is not different.”

Iz moved closer, agreeing. “No. In color, we could be brothers.”

Pal continued. “We eat, drink and live in the same places.”

“That’s right,” said Iz. “You don’t get pork, either, do you?”

“Nope,” said Pal matter-of-factly.

In the brief moment of silence between them, there were more buzzes and cackles in the surrounding bleakness. Iz inched even closer to Pal.

“I could never hate you,” he said.

“Why would you want to?” asked Pal.

“They want me to,” replied Iz, aggravated. “Because your God has a funny name.”

Without missing a beat, Pal replied, “And your God has a common name.”

Iz found this funny. “Maybe we could solve the whole thing by coming up with a new name for God that would please both of us,” he suggested.

Pal laughed. “One day in the desert and you’re ready to rename God.”

“How about Frank?” offered Iz.

Pal nodded. “The Americans would love it—and it sounds honest.”

Two friends giggling. The best sound ever.

Iz paused. “I need to tell you,” he said, “we’re almost out of water.”

Pal slowly shook his head. “Not a good thing in the desert.”

“What are we going to do?” inquired Iz with a slight creak in his voice.

Pal sat up on an elbow and said, “I think we should take this tiny tent down, and wrap ourselves in it for warmth, to keep all bugs and snakes far, far away.”

Iz eagerly agreed and the two friends turned themselves into a living, human cocoon. They tried to continue their conversation, but words began to fade into dreams. Dreams were displaced by moments of recollection—only to be interrupted by the sounds of the night creatures.

Iz dozed off, thinking about water.

Pal fell asleep, wondering where his family was.


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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3931)

Sitting Four

It was nearly dusk when the aging patriarch stumbled upon the make-shift camp of the two escaped lads–one his son.

Early in midday, a bus-load of tourists had spied the site as they journeyed and had casually, almost jokingly, remarked upon their return, to the townspeople, about the two boys they saw perched in the desert.

In the early afternoon, Jubal’s father was contacted by friends who knew about his missing son. He decided to follow the directions and retrace the bus route, to see if he could locate his wayward lad.

While the father was climbing the hill, still a good distance away, Jubal recognized him. “It is my Pada,” he said to Amir.

“Pada?” asked Amir.

“My name for my father,” Jubal said nervously.

Amir patted his shoulder. “You knew he must come.”

Jubal replied, half laughing, but mostly terrified, “I was hoping it would be yours.”

Amir shook his head. “I don’t expect him. He would never pursue me in the desert.”

“But he loves you?” asked Jubal.

Amir rubbed his chin and said, “He knows he made me and he takes that quite seriously.”

Jubal gazed at his father, who was now close enough to make out facial features. “What am I going to do, Pal?”

Pal did not know. He said quietly, “We’ll just have to take it as it comes.”

Jubal’s father stopped about a dozen meters away from the camp and beckoned to his son. “Jubal! You will come here right now. Stop this nonsense and pray to God that I will find it in my heart to forgive you of your insolence.”

All the words collided and exploded in Jubal’s head. God. Forgive. Come. Here. Nonsense. And even though Jubal was not sure what “insolence” meant, the tone of voice told him that his father considered it a great sin. Jubal felt his muscles tighten. He jumped up instinctively, in a ritual of obedience, but Amir grabbed his arms, pulling him back to the ground.

The father continued with renewed vigor, stepping closer. “I am not speaking to the wind,” he bellowed. “I have told my son to come to my side and return with me—now.”

Jubal sat, fidgeting, heart racing, mouth dry and his hands shaking. Pada moved closer to him.

Amir spoke. “Dear sir, we mean no harm. We are just boys on a journey of sorts, enjoying each other and the beauty of nature.”

The older man snorted like a bull. “You are certainly right about the ‘boys’ part,” he spat. “And little boys do not belong in the wilderness. They should be close to home where they will be safe.”

Jubal winced. Memories flashed into his mind of arguments with this man, where logic and reason were soon replaced with insult, then intimidation. How many times had he cowered in fear? How many occasions had he nodded in agreement when his heart screamed dissent? How often had he felt the hand strike his cheek in anger as he recoiled, submitting?

Amir spoke again. “We will return when we return.”

The hulking presence advanced more quickly toward the lads. Iz and Pal interlocked their legs and arms, becoming one flesh.

With a final lunge, Iz’s father reared back and slapped his son. Pal squeezed closer to deflect some of the blows. Pada continued to smack his son over and over again, until he finally stepped back from exertion. The brutal insanity of the moment hung in the air with a frightful wheeze and a pending sob.

Iz screamed, “Pada, please stop hitting me!”

The old man, panting, replied, “You will come home with me.”

“I won’t. Not now,” said Iz.

Pada glared at him. “What are you trying to do?”

In a tearful voice, Iz replied, “I just want to be with my friend.”

Pada reached out to grab his arm. “You are embarrassing our family, and you, young man,” he said, turning to Pal, “you are a disgrace—leading my fine son astray. It is the way of the heathen.”

Iz screamed, “He is not a heathen! And he did not lead me astray. He is Pal, my friend, and I am Iz—his friend.”

Pada stopped pulling and demanded, “What is this Pal and Iz?”

Iz wanted to explain but as he looked into the unflinching, unyielding face of his father, he chose silence. The old man raised his hand once again to strike, and Pal leaped to his feet, holding the grenade in front of him. “Don’t touch us!”

Pada paused, gazing at the weapon in Pal’s hand, alarmed, but more amused and perplexed. “What’s that?” he asked scornfully.

Iz eased to his feet next to Pal and answered. “It is a grenade. I stole it from an Israeli soldier.”

Pada shook his head. “And what do you plan to do with it?”

Pal replied, “Nothing if you will stop beating us and leave us alone.” He choked back tears.

Pada struck another threatening pose. “I don’t have to leave my son alone, you little pagan.”

When Iz heard these words, he snatched the grenade from Pal’s hands and moved toward his father. Pada backed up in respect to the weapon. “You don’t even know how to use that, do you?” he challenged.

Iz chuckled. “And that would be a good thing?”

The father remained motionless, exchanging glances with Pal and Iz. “If you kill me, don’t you kill yourselves?”

Iz’s eyes filled with tears. “I haven’t lived long enough to miss life, but you—you are old and have many more memories to lose. Don’t test me, Pada. Everything I believe in is right here. I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong. I don’t care. I’ve found a friend. If I go with you, I will never have that friend again. If I stay here with him, all I lose is you.”

The old man peered at his son, not certain of the boy’s motives, but definitely convinced of the intensity of his emotions. He pointed a finger at Iz and threatened, “I will be back, with the police.”

Police? Iz and Pal hadn’t thought that far ahead. But now it was more than a boyish prank.

They just might have to decide whether they could live or die with their decision.

 

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Jesonian … December 23rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3530)

jesonian-cover-amazon

A baby being born in a sheep stall in Bethlehem of poor Palestinian parents is not difficult to believe. After all, poverty extracts much of the comfort of good cheer.

Maybe the angels seem a little far-fetched to you (but you know how it is with stories about your young’uns.)

Believing that a year-and-a-half later, a troop of astrologers made their way into town to proclaim this child the hope of the world and the King of the Jews does seem highly unlikely–yet there are always people who have their eccentric ways and live them out because they have enough money to fund them.

Comprehending that there could be a leader of a nation who was so insecure that he was frightened of any competition, and scared a young family away, fearing for their lives, does not seem improbable. Matter of fact, it could be ripped from the headlines. One more refugee family ending up in a foreign land where they have neither kin nor kind is certainly well within the grasp of reality.

Having that young boy return to his alleged home town at age seven, carrying all the trappings and mannerisms of the heathen, would certainly make growing up difficult, not to mention the colliding wills of an every-growing collection of siblings.

Thinking that this boy would have no interest in carpentry, but instead, a precocious passion for humanity and the things of Spirit, is not implausible. After all, he’s the ugly duckling, whom we assume might one day become a swan. He grew in wisdom and stature, and even though he was a foreigner, gradually gained the favor of his neighbors.

It’s not difficult to believe that he lost his Papa, his only real connection with the village of Nazareth, and like many young men, launched out to find some purpose, ending up at the Jordan River, interacting with a wild and wooly cousin named John.

You can certainly believe he got baptized, and probably went out into the wilderness for a while, just to find himself, coming back with claims of interfacing with the devil. You might even forgive his youthful explanation, knowing that to some degree, we all wrestle with our demons.

But the story stalls.

He is rejected by his home town, moves to Capernaum next to the Sea of Galilee, encompassed by a sea of apathy, picks up some friends and followers, and starts traveling the countryside. It is hit-and-miss at best.

It is at this point that many folks who consider themselves to be intelligent and reasonable become cynical about a miracle-worker who calms the waves and casts out demons. But to a certain degree, even those sardonic souls might be able to explain away this and that, but still maintain their interest in the story–especially since he begins to hammer away at religion, loses the favor of the crowd and opens the door of the hierarchy to plot against him, find a betrayer, try him, beat him, nail him to a cross and kill him.

If the story ended there, the baby born in Bethlehem had a life that was a complete failure. His friends are scattered in every direction, his movement was about to become a joke–a piece of farcical history.

So this is where faith comes in. That’s right–you don’t really have to use much to this point. You can just glide along with the story, picking and choosing at will.

But the tale that unfolds, spoken of by those who claimed to be eyewitnesses, is that this baby of Bethlehem rose from the dead.

Now … faith is in full function and also full demand.

Did Jesus of Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth, Jordan River, wilderness, Capernaum and Mesopotamia end his life as a failure, beaten down by his critics?

Or did God, the power of the Ethos and the Spirit of the Universe, choose to resurrect him to give the message one more chance?

It’s a very important decision.

It changes this story from a baby shower to a heaven-ordained miracle.

For as we know, several weeks later, a hundred and twenty people in an Upper Room believed it was true. Twelve disciples gave their lives as martyrs, insisting they had witnessed a resurrection.

And at last count, 2.2 billion humans still living two thousand years later have taken their faith beyond the crib, past the crypt … and placed it in the Christ.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 8th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2958)

PoHymn June 8th

The I’s Keep Coming

I was raped

I am a rapist

I killed a gorilla

I aborted a fetus

I laughed at a vicious joke

I told the joke

I preached a sermon

I am a sinner

I am a virgin

I am promiscuous

I am a liberal

I am a conservative

I cheated on my taxes

I pay too much tax

I am saved

I am lost

I am Muslim

I am Hindu

I hate Jews

I despise Palestinians

I am a Christian

I am an atheist

I love animals

I butcher cows

I bully weaker folks

I pee in the pool

I am an American

I want to kill all Americans

I am a terrorist

I am terrified

I am a racist

I am considered inferior

I am a man

I am a woman

I want to die

I am dying

All God’s children

No respecter of persons

Papa’s love

Mystifying

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G-Poppers … December 4th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2772)

Jon close up

 

Come listen, my children, and you will hear

How we’ve learned to hate and live in fear.

G-Pop wonders.

Will his children fall victim to the negative pundits who spin every news story into a situation which cannot be resolved, lending itself to despair?

Does G-Pop have the fortitude to step in and say that our problem is not as complicated as presented by those who seemingly make a living out of baffling us?

There are three approaches to people. If you use the wrong one, you can end up with disastrous results. Finding the correct attitude is the doorway to the possibility of peaceful coexistence.

Even though this week, two people took guns and killed their neighbors, hundreds and thousands did not. That seems to be lost in the discussion.

Do we really believe that the millions of us who would not harm anyone cannot effectively address the tiny handful who are determined to be destructive?

It all revolves around our approach. Here’s the first school of thought:

1. People are good.

For you see, if people are good, all they really require is praise and encouragement. Yet I will tell you, people are not innately good. Every thing born with an appetite over-consumes. Human beings have too many lusts, apprehensions and greedy moments to ever be classified as good.

Therefore praise bolsters the insane while often being insufficient for the saint.

2. People are bad.

If this is true, they should be punished. They should be degraded. They should be viewed as expendable.

Religion and politics certainly cannot survive without maintaining the philosophy that human beings suck. Once we believe that “bad” can wear a human face, killing it off can almost seem heavenly.

3. People are people.

They’re not just good, they’re not just bad. Having consumed the knowledge of good and evil, they are constantly torn and teased with the options–without ever arriving at a true conviction. So praising them will be fairly unsuccessful, and punishing them will limit their scope for angelic deeds.

Because people are people, they need to be motivated.

You can’t simply make new commandments, new laws, new restrictions and think you’re going to stop the bad part of people.

Likewise, you can’t assume that every mortal is filled with demonic proportions, and should be locked away and disconnected from their passions.

We need to be motivated.

  • Why should I love my neighbor?
  • Why should we encourage the Jew and the Palestinian to get along?
  • Why should we take care of our children?

Give me reasons that have benefits and I will listen. Give me demands with no obvious personal value, and I will rebel.

G-Pop hopes his children understand. People are not just good or bad. This thinking leads to a dead-end of discouragement.

People are people.

So be prepared to motivate them–or stand back and watch as they choose good or bad, solely based upon convenience.

 

 

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Jesonian: Three Women…May 3rd, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2571) 

triplets for jonathots

Hagar was an Egyptian.

Sarah was “Mama Jewess.”

And Mary of Nazareth was a Palestinian virgin.

Although these three women are truly the intricate figures for a trio of religions, the doctrines of Muslim, Jew and Christian all still seem to be a little tilted towards male supremacy.

Hagar and Sarah were the wives of Abraham. Having two wives was just the beginning of his sorrows. They became jealous of one another and Abraham felt compelled to make a choice, rejecting his first Baby Mama, which turned him into the initial deadbeat dad.

So when it came time to birth a Savior, God decided to reject Abraham or any of his lineage to bring about the miracle.

On top of that, neither an Egyptian nor a Jewess were selected to fill the auspicious position of Mama Messiah.

God overshadowed a Palestinian virgin from Nazareth. It was a common joke that “nothing good could come out of Nazareth,” and certainly, Galilee was no breeding ground for prophets.

To further establish his point of separating the state of His affairs from the Middle East theocracy, God had His son spend the first 5 or 6 years of his life living as an Egyptian.

Yes, Christianity was meant to be a separate faith–non-Abrahamic–in order for us to minister to the squabbling brothers and sisters in what is deemed to be “The Holy Land,” as they continue to struggle in their ongoing custody battle.

So isn’t it ironic that for some reason, the more fundamental portions of the “Jesus faith” want to side with the Jews, and are then astounded that the Muslim world is offended by their favoritism.

Let me give you a quick numerical study:

There are 2.2 billion Muslims in the world and 14 million Jews.

I am not insinuating that our Jewish brothers and sisters should be given less attention–just that our Muslim family members should be more obviously included.

Jesus was not a Jew, and if he was, not a very good one–because his brethren killed him for poor attendance and unfaithfulness.

Jesus was born of a Palestinian virgin, spent his early years in Egypt, rendered unto Caesar, welcomed the Greeks, and now gives a hug to the entire world.

We do a disservice when we go to Children’s Court and testify for Sarah over Hagar.

 

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Jesonian: Galilean… March 22, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2539)

Iz and Pal

His critics called him “a Galilean.”

The word means very little to us. But in the time of Jesus, it communicated volumes.

Once your enemies could establish you as “a Galilean,” any number of other insults were available and could be unleashed in your direction without fear of contradiction.

Galileans were people who lived in Palestine, separate from the greater favor of God, with those who dwelt in Jerusalem.

They were outsiders.

They were lesser.

They were cursed by birth, to be relegated to a second-place position in all aspects of life.

After all, the Pharisees made it clear that “no prophet could come from Galilee,” and since Galilee was devoid of prophets, Galilee had to submit to other, more spiritual regions for its faith and hope.

Yes, once the cynics were able to call Jesus a Galilean, soon popping from their lips was the word “ignorant.”

  • He didn’t know his letters.
  • He didn’t know how to properly clean a cup before drinking.
  • Coming from Galilee, it was well-known that he was a sinner.
  • And if he was able to free people of their oppression, it was only because he was in cahoots with the devil himself.
  • Following the reputation of all Galileans, he was “a drunkard, a glutton and a friend of the outcast.”

Shouldered upon him was the burden of generations of bigotry, which still exists to this day as the Jews and Palestinians struggle for a piece of land that is really not much bigger than the state of New Jersey.

We probably find this practice of relegating certain virtues or vices to a particular region to be beneath our intellectual standard.

Yet if someone tells us they’re from the state of Texas, we envision cowboy hats, guns, bigotry, cow-roping, rodeos and backward politics.

A Californian is burdened with the notion that he’s from the Left Coast, is a hippie, smokes marijuana in church (if he ever goes there) and advocates free love.

Florida is for old people, and New York is for crime and gangsters.

We’re often very proud of the fact that we do not follow much of the superstition of those “Biblical fellows” we read about from so many centuries ago.

But because a group of bigoted, religious people were able to oppress Jesus of Nazareth by calling him a Galilean and assigning him all the foibles attributed to such a creature, rather than them being illuminated by the light of the world, they chose to snuff it out.

Even today we have a religious system which is intent on proving that Jesus was Jewish, when the Jewish people were convinced he was Palestinian.

Amazing, don’t you think?

He was right:

“Foxes have holes, but the Son of Man truly does have no place to lay his head.”

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Published in: on March 22, 2015 at 1:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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