Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (10/02/14)
TITLE: Childish Thoughts
By Kon Michailidis
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I have wondered if some of my understanding as an adult about the Kingdom of God was made easier by some seed experiences in early childhood.
My parents were slaves to the Germans in Germany in the Second World War. The end of the war provided an escape from slavery. In preference to returning to the intellectual slavery of the Soviet Union plus the certainty that execution awaited my father, they chose instead to come, via Greece, to the free land of Australia. Where, in the most timely manner, I was born.
WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS AND LIVING IN BOOTHS.
I recall the small community of gypsy-like migrants who erected tents in what was marshland. The same area is now prime real estate where people build their dream mansions.
My memory of all this is not of homes, but of happy people and potatoes and onions which they fried in oil on a large pan on a small methylated spirits burner and then all shared.
"Son, check the post box, the rabbit may have left something," my mother said.
I went go to the front gate and found a paper bag containing half a salami or cheese sandwich. I was so delighted and excited by this gift from a magical visitor!
My dislike of salami sandwiches never stopped me from enjoying this supernatural food.
That this happened after my father returned home from work never entered into my calculations.
SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND DEFEATING THE GIANTS.
Our Russian next door neighbors were like family. They had a small shed in the backyard. It was always out of bounds for me because it was where 'Baba Yaga'* lived.
These neighbors would taunt me by reminding me of her. It frightened the 'proverbials' out of this little boy. These days they would call it emotional abuse.
THE SONG OF MIRIAM
My mighty, conquering hero father would come to my rescue at these times and reassure me that I had nothing to fear.
In my comical, broken, childish Russian I would say to these neighbors:
Baba Yaga she came and I was 'fraid,
But Daddy shooed her away.
VISITATIONS FROM ANGELS AND THE PREPARATION OF THE FATTED CALF.
My parents tried to adapt to the way Christmas was celebrated in Australia as well as maintain the old cultural ways. Therefore Christmas was a haphazard affair in our family.
The visit of Father Christmas greatly perplexed my little mind. It also created the greatest feeling of awe and wonder when it happened.
He was tall, had a wispy, white beard, strange, short boots and arrived out of nowhere to appear in our kitchen. Perhaps that was because I was distracted when he made his entrance.
I only remember him coming once or twice. He asked if I was good. Hugging at my mother's leg, afraid to look up, I nodded and sheepishly replied, "Y...e...s".
I was terrified. But how I loved him!
I so wanted this wonderful man to stick around and talk with me over the bottle of coke we left him on the table with a note.
Unfortunately it was not to be. My divine visitor had to rush home next door.
DYING TO SELF AND OVERCOMING AFFLICTIONS.
Eugene the next door neighbor had a black Holden FJ sedan, with lovely red leather seats. In those days seat belts were rare and not required by law. One day he drove me somewhere and he must have braked suddenly. I was thrown forward and was small enough to totally disappear between the front seat and under the dashboard. Without hesitating, as if on springs, I bounced back up and sat on the seat.
Eugene turned to me and asked, " What happened?"
"Nothing," I replied.
Eugene laughed about that for many years. Not at me falling down, but at my response.
Apostle Paul wrote: 'When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.' (1Corinthians 13:11 ESV).
Like a mountain stream that remains as part of the river and the child remains in the man, I suspect our thoughts of childhood remain - and not just as memories, but perhaps as templates for the future.
*A witch in Russian folklore.
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