Who do you turn to online?
Who do you turn to online?
Race may be an artificial construct created to differentiate people based on skin color, but the racism it created in order to then discriminate based on the artificial construct is very real.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.Edward Mote, “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” (1834)
As a kid I said stupid things. Saying it would be good for everyone to have the same skin color was one of them.
Tobias rushed up to us.
“Did you see what he did? What he did for me?”
“Yes, Tobias,” said my friend Joseph. “We were there, we saw, and now we have heard it from you. Repeatedly.”
“Isn’t it wonderful?”
“We’re very happy for you, Tobias,’ I said, clapping him on the shoulder. “Very happy.”
“I can’t wait to tell everyone. Everyone!” he called over his shoulder, as he turned and trotted off to a new of people gathered at the well.
“I wish he’d stop,’ Joseph said. “He’s making me ill.”
“Come now, Joseph. You worried as much about Tobias as any of us. We grew up together.”
“Yes, yes. As you said, I’m very happy for him.”
“You don’t sound happy. Can’t you rejoice in his healing?”
“It’s all right for you, Nico. You still have your boats and your fish, but what of me? I am ruined.”
That much was true, I thought as I looked at the empty slopes leading up from the waters of Gennesaret. Two of Joseph’s swineherds sat on a rock halfway up the hillside. Tobias followed my gaze.
“What am I supposed to do with them? They have families to feed and I have no work to give them.” His shoulders slumped as the breath left his lungs.
“Do you think they can handle a net?”
“Net?” He raised his eyes to mine.
“Two of my crew left with that Jewish miracle worker, Jesus. I’ve had to leave one boat dockside for lack of hands.”
“They know pigs, not fish. Still they’re strong and willing.” He looked back at his men and the corners of his mouth drew up slightly. “If you don’t mind raw recruits, I will be grateful if you take them on.”
“Consider it done.” I laid my hand on his arm and drew him with me to walk along the shore. “Now what should we do about you?”
“Me? I’m too old to be one of your deckhands, Nico.”
“You? You don’t even like fish, my friend. No, I was thinking of pigs.”
“My pigs are gone. You saw it. Driven mad when Tobias’ demons entered them.” His body shivered at the memory. “And the noise. I’ve worked with pigs my whole life and never heard such squealing. It sounded like a thousand slaughterhouses.”
We’d come to the very place his herd had rushed into the water. The ground still bore the marks where their cloven hooves had sliced through the soil, a distinct footprint visible here and there. Joseph looked from the disturbed shoreline out over the water. Then—to my surprise—he chuckled.
“I wonder if your fish are feeding on my pigs.”
“If the fish are fatter, I expect a percentage of your profits.”
“You joke, but you may be on to something.”
“No, no. As you say, I am joking.”
“I’m not. Come with me.” I turned back to town.
“Wait,” Joseph called. “Now where are you taking me?”
“To the banker.”
“I have no money with the banker any longer.”
“No,” I said, “but I do.”
“I am not taking your charity,” Joseph said, yanking on my arm and bringing me to a halt.
“I am not seeing him about charity, but business. I am going to invest in a new herd of swine.”
“You are? What do you know about raising pigs?”
“Nothing. But I’ve heard there is a master swineherd looking to start anew.”
“What are you talking about, Nico?”
“You and me, Joseph. We are going into business together. I will secure a loan from the banker, you will buy pigs, raise them, and make a tidy profit and then repay the loan.” I place a hand on each of his shoulders. “I don’t see what’s so hard to understand. It’s rather a simple business plan.”
“You would do this? I will get my livelihood back?”
“It seems fitting. After all, Tobias got his very life back. In fact, once we’ve completed our business with the banker, we should find our friend and ask him to tell us more about the life he says he has found in this man Jesus.”
“If you think there is wisdom to be found with Tobias, who am I to say no to my benefactor?”
“Not benefactor, but friend and neighbor. This is one of the things I want to talk to Tobias about, to know more of this good news of love the Nazarene has been preaching.”
How old are you? Whatever age, you’re at a great age for Jesus to love.
Making things worse is one of my fortes, unfortunately.
“Come, let us reason together,” says the Lord.Isaiah 1:18
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” (Proverbs 27:5.)
The virulence of evil spreads, but it doesn’t prevail.