Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whacks, Scars, and Roads in California

“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16

I don’t know anything about being Jewish. I’ve never had a Jewish friend. I’ve never known any Jewish families. I’ve not ever stepped foot inside a Jewish synagogue.

But, I do read. And the author of the most recent book I read was Jewish. She shared little tidbits about her faith along the way, although they weren’t really relevant to most of what the book was about.

One of the little tidbits she shared was the story of your bashert – your soul mate – that I liked very much and will paraphrase her telling it here.

Before your infant soul is sent down from Heaven to make you into the person you are to become, an angel meets with you and takes you on a mini-tour of what will be your life. One of the things the angel shows your infant soul is the person you will marry – your bashert. Then the angel strikes you under the nose, making that little valley between your nostrils and your top lip, and erases your infant soul’s memory of this tour. However, just enough of the memory remains so that later in your life, when you meet your bashert, you will recognize them.

I thought this was a very sweet way to explain to your children what that little dip under your nose was from. I also liked the thought of the angel whacking us. Good to think that there are angels like me in Heaven.

This pretty much ends my knowledge of all things Jewish.

I liked this story too, because it reminded me of a little thing my stepdad’s family did with the kids in the family.

When the kids were babies, someone (usually my stepdad’s brother) would say, “Show me where the Indian* shot you!”

And the kids would hold up their shirts and show them their bellybuttons.

*Remember, I’m Indian. Not trying to offend the Indians. Just a cute little story about the bellybutton, ok?  Don't kick me out of the tribe.

And that reminds me of a guy I used to work with, whose boy had seen pictures of the parents without his being in the picture because they were taken before he was born.

“Where was I when this picture was taken?” he would ask.

The guy I worked with told him, “California.”

The child eventually made up the story of how he lived and worked on roads in California before he was born to his current family. It helped him feel like he had a life of his own and hadn’t missed out on anything the family had done before he was born.

May all the stories we tell our children always be with the greatest intentions. May our crazy family traditions and stories expand their love for us, and for Jesus, the one whose stories are always true.

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11:18-19


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