Sunday, April 5, 2015
The Sunday Series: April 5, 2015
Sunday April 5, 2015
The closest thing I have, that I think are god-like is my parents. When my father died when I was 21, it was not only a shock of losing a parent, but realizing that a god can die. It was at that point in my life I realized that I couldn't count on a higher being or a person to help me out. If anyone is going to pull myself out of trouble, it will have to be me. One tends to surrender to a higher power. Whatever that means to that person, but for me, that strikes me as a very dangerous position to be in. Faith as a noun, is a thing that one believes in. I understand the need to believe, and also to be part of something bigger than you. Religion and family are such a grouping where one hopes to find comfort and hope. Of course, there are even conflicts in both groupings, which do not make it either an enjoyable experience or give one a sense of security. Throughout my life I remain outside the two categories, due that I find them both faulty as institutions and over-all, leads to either a controlling factor in one's life, or a game of loyalty. In the city where I live, Los Angeles, I feel that there is a huge presence of gangs. I think of gangs as a family. Usually there is a parental figure - or a father figure. One joins the gang, either due to previous family practice, or the need to be part of a bigger group or family. The Los Angeles Police Department is another gang. It operates on the same plane as a criminal street gang. But this is not the subject of my essay here, it's the return of Jesus to our planet on this Easter Sunday.
There is a man who has lived on the vacant hill next to our house for the entire past week. He has a full beard and longish hair, and wears mostly a dirty white robe, whose fabric seems too heavy for this warm season. He has nothing except a lamb that he carries around. Often the lamb fallows him around, and both creature and man rarely communicate with any other. He basically sleeps on the weeds, using the lamb as a pillow. I have seen people with their dogs, but never have I seen a man and a lamb together. It makes me feel funny about the wool sweater I have in the closet. I hope to never wear it in front of this lamb.
Today it's Sunday and it is Easter, and one could easily presume that this gentleman and his pet are part of the holiday. There's a church down below the hill, and occasionally the patrons of this specific church stand behind the fence that divides the property between the land owned by the Department of Water and Power and the church. Over the years, there have been disputes between me, DWP, and the church whose responsibility to clean up the mess that is left here by visitors, homeless people and various gang members. Today, all eyes are on our current guess resident and his lamb.
I can clearly understand someone who wants to help Jesus, but don't fully understand why anyone would want to 'serve' Jesus. If one dares to approach him, he does preach to you - and I once asked him why doesn't he just write it down, that way people can read his views at their leisure. It seems he doesn't work that way, which for me is unthinkable. Because I like to write, and to this day I rather communicate to people either through a letter or e-mail. For instance, I don't like the telephone. Or to be lost in a conversation with someone. But Jesus (the historical one as this fellow) prefers to dictate their belief through the art of oral narration. I got the feeling, knowing that I write, would want me to take his dictation down, but that's silly. There are computer apps and programs that can do that, if he had a computer. Alas, he doesn't. He just has his lamb.
All of us, meaning the neighborhood came to the hill this Easter morning to see what will happen with our guest and his lamb. We were all shocked to see that Jesus dug a hole it seemed, overnight, and at the moment, he is roasting his lamb over a flame and coal. First of all, this is obviously a fire hazard, and second, being a vegetarian I was very much turned-off by what was taking place in front of me. At first, I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought maybe he purchased or someone donated some big hunk of meat for him. My eyes and brain started to work together, and then I realized that the head attached to the rest of the body was the lamb. The creature's face was still recognizable, and had fur still, even though burnt, you can make out the features - but the rest of the body was just meat. The smell was horrible as well. I don't understand why Jesus had to do this on our hill on what looks like will be a beautiful morning.
Jesus had paper plates, and he started to cut the lamb into pieces and placing it on the plate, and he went out to the small crowd and offered each person a plate of lamb, with lemon on the side. He came up to me, but I turned down his plate, but I was very polite and told him "No, thank you." What I did notice is that the crowd that was around became very supportive of our Jesus, and the doubters became if not a friend exactly, at least showed some support. As I stood there, I didn't feel like I was part of the family, so I went back to my house and played the vinyl version of Steve Reich's "Four Organs" on headphones. For one, the music sounds better on headphones, and second, I didn't want to share the music with the outside world.