Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WILD (11/16/17)
TITLE: One Wild Ride
By Christine Bauthier
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“Thank you, Andrew.”
They were interrupted by a little girl who ran squealing to Jesus, put him between herself and her brother, and clung to his leg. The boy stopped at a distance while Jesus picked the little girl up to comfort her.
“Samuel, bring me your lizard.”
The boy reluctantly approached, expecting a rebuke.
Jesus put his free hand around the boy’s hands and accepted the tiny reptile from him. “Deborah, do you remember what God said in Genesis when he made the animals?”
“It is good!” Samuel quoted proudly, relieved not to be in trouble.
“It’s unclean!” Deborah protested.
“Only when it’s dead,” Jesus replied, “Some unclean animals are dangerous, but this one isn’t. Have a look: I won’t let him touch you.”
The lizard sat without moving on Jesus’ open palm, too relieved after it’s captivity to do more than breathe and blink at his surroundings.
Deborah regarded his scaly body and the toes and tail that were thinner than grass. It was amazing to think that such a delicate creature could actually be alive.
“Do you know what he eats?”Jesus asked
Deborah shook her head.
“He eats bugs to help keep your house cleaner. Would you like to touch him?”
Deborah turned her head into his shoulder, clearly refusing, but no longer as afraid. Jesus kissed her hair, put her down and returned the lizard to its captor. “Samuel, go show her how he can run up the wall of the house.”
Samuel grinned and raced with his sister back to their house.
“His mother won’t appreciate that,” Andrew remarked.
Jesus smiled impishly and shrugged.
“Where are we off to this time?” James demanded.
“There’s a man in the Gerasenes who needs me.”
“Not that creature who lives among the tombs!”
“Not exactly,” James backpedaled.
“You won’t see your mother and brothers first?” Andrew deflected. “They were a bit put out when you wouldn’t see them earlier.”
“They’re worried about a lizard while I’m dealing with Leviathan. I’ll catch up with them later.”
Jesus made himself comfortable in the stern of the boat. The winds were calm tonight. He let the fresh air and rocking of the boat lull him to sleep.
He began to dream of a day long ago. When the creatures of the sea sprang to life, and the birds of the air filled the skies, one beast dominated the waters:
Hatched from eggs laid in volcanic soil, the long lithe beast was flexible and scaly as a snake, but with legs like a lizard, it would occasionally clamber up on land. Energetic as an otter, it would gouge out slides in the rock with its massive bulk; reshaping the coastlines with each trip back into the sea. The camouflaged pattern of seven heads on its colorful scales helped it ambush prey, which it toyed with before consuming. Its gigantic size alone left mighty men hypnotized with dread when encountered on land. One belch of its methane-laden breath, ignited by an electrical impulse reduced dry vegetation to ashes, and hidden prey was stunned…
“Master wake up! We’re going to drown!”
Eyes groggy with sleep, then temporarily blinded by a flash of lightning followed by the darkness of a cloud-cloaked night, Jesus soon realized the tossing of the boat was not the result of a frolicking sea monster gone extinct ages ago. The spray from the Sea of Galilee was mixed with buckets of rain and wind blown sand that stung and abraded soft human skin. The waves tried to slap the deck clean. The men had tied themselves to the groaning timbers and were bailing for all they were worth. The grip on his arm would leave bruises. These were the men he was training to fight the proverbial Leviathan of spiritual evil that remained in the world. They had a lot to learn.
The Father’s purpose would not be thwarted by a little wind. Jesus stood up and greeted the storm as if it were an energetic dog welcoming its master.
“Shalom! Be still!”
That beast of a storm instantly flattened itself on the surface of the earth, with only the slightest quivering of the water to reveal the wake of its power.
Jesus turned to address the storm in his disciples; all of them pale in the moonlight, wide-eyed, soaking wet, shivering, and panting from fear and awe. “You know who I am. Where is your faith?”
Author’s note: This is a fictional retelling/ paraphrase of Mark 3:21, 4:35-5:2/ Luke 8:19-27 with influence from Genesis 1:25, Leviticus 11:29-31, Psalm 104:26, and Job 41.
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