bjm21

Bobbie Jo Morrell is a mountain woman, poet, writer, leather crafter, rustic furniture builder, cat owner, technical writer, website designer. She says, “Colorado’s Front Range, with the smell of pine trees in the cool air of morning, is my home.” Her blog address: http://soulscompass.blogspot.com/.

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deeper warrior 12Chapter 9: Original Documents, Jesus Edition

Christine bounced into my room and plopped into the semi-decrepit armchair.

“I have an idea.”

I pushed aside my microbiology notes without much regret.

“Let’s read the book of Matthew together,” she said. “That way you can read about Jesus, and we can discuss as we go. What do you think?”

I considered. Things were getting kind of bogged down in Proverbs, so maybe something new would be good.

“OK. When shall we start?”

We started. What a story; I mean, I’d heard a lot of the general idea of the story all my life, right? But I was startled by the same thing as when I read the Old Testament: the story came to life just as in Tolkien’s world. Prophecies were fulfilled, prophecies were spoken; fish and bread multiplied profusely, mysteriously; people of all kinds were healed; the hero walked on the boisterous sea as though it were the smoothest highway.

This Jesus guy really seemed to know who he was and what he was meant to do—and turned the world upside down with grandiose ideas like “Blessed are those who are persecuted?” “If you lose your life, you will save it?” “The greatest is the servant?”

As the climax approached, I began to see what kind of story it really was: a bold rescue mission deep in enemy territory. Real danger—torture and death—was necessary to forge the passage out of the prison for those trapped. And I also began to see that I was one of the prisoners that Jesus had gone to such lengths to set free.

There he stood in the dark tunnel, a sturdy bearded carpenter with his bloody hands held out to me, saying, “Come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” But it didn’t look like rest; it looked like torture and death. I felt panic rise inside me.

Like a cornered animal, trapped, I was stuck on a high razorback ridge with a terrifying choice set before me. I would have to descend one side or the other. My choices? Both were full of enemies like fear, unbelief and pain. One side, the darkness I knew: isolation, alcohol, despair. The other side even more unpredictable, an unknown odyssey into a new world: the hope of the possibility of hope.

I didn’t think I could stand returning to the old void, cold and desolate. But the thought of the darkness of hope paralyzed me. Like jumping off a cliff into a Kansas thunderstorm just because some disembodied voice whispered to me, “I will catch you.” Yeah, right.

Life and school went on; I attended classes, worked on assignments, took tests. But inside I huddled shivering on an icy mountain pass staring down into two black pits on either side.

story by bobbie jo morrell, all rights reserved

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