The robes were all assortments of sizes and multi-coloured fractals. They lay at my feet seeking my evaluation, my blessing. Their owners were gearing up for a matter about which I have only read. Would I do more than watch? Should I? Would I want to? Never in my lifetime would I have expected to see this. Well, I have seen it attempted and not too long ago. In fact, we are here right now because this fellow is a follower of that insurgent. We couldn’t ever seem to find the right moment for that one.
I heard what they heard; I pulsed for what they pulsed; to-be-sure, what we were about to carry out was sanctioned. This was not toho vebohu; it was not promiscuous. And we do not discriminate either. It’s all-or-nothing with G*d and it’s we versus them. Well, him, that is. Did I even catch his name? He did drone on a bit before the teeth began to grind. Some of them take their passion for Torah a bit far actually chipping off flakes of enamel. I’m a Pharisee, too –don’t get me wrong, but I like my smile.
What was his name? I think it was Greek. Stephanos, maybe? Wreath; honour; reward. And he’ll get his. We will see to that. He will be sent to his reward and how. Soon he will be face-to-face with Adonai Sabaoth and there will be a reckoning…
I’d always imaging a stoning a bit differently: not so much an outlet for wrath as it is a vindication of high-handed disobedience. I had always felt that were not compassion and regret or even conviction present, then it missed the mark itself, becoming sin. Some have scoffed that stonings were preventative medicine, but—and I have to be frank—it’s kept me honest. I wonder if that should be enough. One man kept from vice and indulgence is one less stone to throw, I suppose.
It’s all business for me, a transaction. Quid pro quo. You mess with my G*d and you die. It’s nothing personal. But I am not to throw a stone today; today I am the keeper of robes. I can’t even see with the crowd before me and not that I’d want to. I’m actually a bit nauseous when it comes to blood and brain matter and bowels and vomit. Some of those guys don’t have the stomach either, but that doesn’t stop them. Better down and in than up and out, I say.
Until now, I guess I never gave it much thought how large a stone needed to be for maximum effect. Kind of like David’s battle with Goliath. Ever think about the size of the stone? Again, it wasn’t something I had ever really considered. But when I was a boy I remember visiting family and one of my father’s cousins had brought a plethora slings with him, knowing from past gatherings how many children would be there. One of the nicer days he took us out for a go at it. The physics that were involved astounded me. First of all, when he picked up his first stone I was akimbo because I thought surely it was too large and I said so. A knowing smile crossed his face.
He then took that moment to do something I don’t think he would have done had I not spoken out. He asked me to select a stone more appropriate to my assessment. I did. He smiled again. Taking my “pebble” he began to swing the sling and almost immediately it fell out of the pouch. When it did stay in he had to swing the sling so forcefully that the rock would fly out indiscriminately before he could even launch it. Without demonstrating the next lesson he merely explained, Now, it’s the same with too large a stone. Select one too large and you will have to exert more energy to project it the distance it needs to go. Both extremes are not ideal. You have to get it just right.
So he let us loose lining us up with enough space between we didn’t clout our neighbor upside the head. Again, I was astounded at the physics of the whole ordeal. It wasn’t like using a bow and arrow, just draw back and let loose a straight shot. I found that when I tried to line up my swing with the target as if I were aiming a bow, my shot missed to the left instead of directly in front of me. Adjusting myself, I found that my shot would err to the right when I let loose to early. So I had to determine not to let loose too soon or late but just so. That “just-so” happened to be when my sling was parallel to my body on the right side as I was right-handed. The trajectory then would carry the missile at an angle in a direct line with my target. It took my many tries but I landed one squarely in the middle of our esteemed terebinth tree and I felt as though I had felled my own giant with that shot.
So the stones used today happen to be quite the small boulder, almost cornerstones for a child’s play house if that is even a concept one might conceive. It is amazing to me how we are able so easily to surround this man in vindication but the other one eluded us so. How comes that? How is it that he, the leader of this small sect, was able to walk straight through our mobs at times. It was as if…as if, what? He had someone looking out for him?
The crowd recoils and ejaculates simultaneously with a loud inhalation. That must have been the first stone. I hope it doesn’t take too long. I mean, I hope he doesn’t suffer too much. Id never say that out loud, though. He is still speaking. Incredible. It sounded like he was quoting from Daniel. Something about the Son of Man and the right hand of G*d. The Ancient of Days as Daniel records it.
But, how could that itinerant be the Son of Man? How could he be alive to ascend? I mean, I know what the rumors say but as far as I have heard, no reputable mouth has confirmed those rumors. It’s always and only his disciples. I suppose had one of us seen the so-called resurrection or even the ascension. Seeing the ascension would imply a resurrection, would it not?
To Be Continued