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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Story Week 3 Extra, This Year In Jerusalem

Passover Week arrived, my heart filled with hope. Perhaps, this will be the year my life will mean something to someone. Jerusalem’s walls are bulging with guests from all over the country, even more this year because of the man Jesus.

Ding, ding-aling. “Listen; someone’s come into the shop.” I whispered to the lump next to me. “This might be my call. Help me roll just a bit to the center, will you?”

“C’mon, Junior, you’re forever thinking it’s your call. Relax; when it’s your turn, it’s your turn.”

“Push, can’t you? Now, a bit to the left, I’m almost there.” My friend barely bothered, but it was enough. I was dead-center and waiting.

At last the Master, joyfully whistling, passed through the brightly colored curtain separating us from the storefront. Tipping a tad, I saw his huge, weathered hand reach into the large wooden bin. Oh no, not over there; over here. Please just look at me; I’d be perfect. I strain to have the Master hear my thoughts. He turned towards me, his thumb brushing my side. Finally, it’s my turn; my life will mean something this year.

As quickly as my hopes had sky-rocketed at the Master’s touch, they plummeted. The slight whoosh of cool air meant only one thing; the more impressive chunk had been taken instead of me. Would my life ever mean anything?

“Shalom, Isaac! What brings you back to my shop? Another unexpected guest?”

“Shalom, Abraham! Not one, but four more guests, important men from Galilee. My Master commanded me to plead with you for another set of four silver cups.” Hearing the exchange on the other side of the curtain revived my hopes. Four cups! I simply must be one of the four. Important men, he said. Yes, it’s my turn and I’ll be impressive as a challis in the hands of one such man.

“I see that look, Junior. Forget it. The Master will choose a large lump of silver, insuring the same quality and color for a set. Just relax. Your turn will come. You’re too small for four cups.”

I had to try. Pushing, shoving, all the while grunting and groaning, I finally made my way back to the top of the pile. Not a second to spare. My breath caught as the warm sensation of his gentle hand engulfed me, lifting me up to his eye. “Hmm, you’re a nice piece of silver. With a bit of work, I could make a beautiful…but, for such a family I’d better not chance the silver match.” The tender way his hand placed me back in the bin did nothing to soothe the painful rejection.

Late in the day, a young maiden’s voice broke the stillness in the storefront, calling the Master away from his workbench. Concentrating to make out her quiet words, I missed the familiar flap of the curtain. Next thing I knew, the Master lifted me out of the bin and placed me on his worktable. I glimpsed the poorly-dressed girl before she left. Everything happened so fast. A poor family? I would be placed at the table of a poor family for the Passover meal? It’s not what I’d envisioned for my life; I so wanted to be held by an important man amongst the religious leaders. Then, my life would mean something.

The intense heat of the white-hot fire startled me. As the Master worked, preparing me for his most elegant mold, I made myself focus on the family to which I would be given. Children? Oh, I did so hope they had children. Their lively voices made every meal a feast to be celebrated-- how much more the Passover. Yes, a family with children would be a good home for me. The Master’s hands smoothed and rubbed away every imperfection on the silver challis I’d become. Indeed, I was a sight to behold, if I did say so myself.

The laughter of children rang out, as the young maiden carried me into her home. Soon adult hands whisked me off and up steps. Men surrounded the table, speaking animatedly to a central figure, a Teacher.

After being filled with a rich, red Israeli wine, I was placed in his hands. I was astonished at the gentleness of his strong touch. When he stood, all speech ceased. Lifting the cup, the Teacher spoke.

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”(I. Corinthians 11:25 NIV)

Sojourner’s Note: Fifteen years ago, at a time I was feeling dreadfully insignificant, I cried out to the Lord. “I just want my life to mean something,” I pleaded with my Creator. Instantly, the above story jumped into my thoughts. From that point on, I was confident of one very important truth: God has a plan for each and every life, even when I feel like a raw lump of silver.

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