The blessing bowl and the fear XXX

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie

My sweetheart pressed on cruise control and, just like everyone else, we drove away from Medicine Hat. "Nice gesture from that turkey," my sweetie said, and I thought, "you should know what a scary thing it is." "That you get such a beast for free," she continued. "Yes," I agreed, "that's quite something." I did not want that beast in my house, I resolved, not after it had spoken to me.

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"I'm not so fond of turkey," I began, "and it was free so I am not too sure about the quality." "We will never finish together," my dear agreed. "Would you mind if I gave it to my sister as a gift," I asked, "she always has people from the church over the floor." "No," my sweetie answered. "Then at least that beast has served a purpose." "Nice," I thought, "I've dumped it and I can immediately see my sister."

It was a relaxed ride along the prairie, everyone kept to the speed limit and as a long colored train we all drove on cruise control towards the East. Next to us a real train came by, there was no end to it, like all trains in the prairie states they are not meant for passenger transport. It is mainly grain wagons that go to the large silos. The train was clearly faster than we were and we saw it later in the distance against a slope. A tunnel started at the head and a communication mast at the tail.

My love set the day counter to zero when we arrived at the mast and told me when we were aware of the tunnel, "I can't believe it, that train was approximately one kilometer long." "We don't give away turkeys in Europe," I smiled, "nor do we have trains of a kilometer in length." "And unfortunately we have a blessing scale here," I thought, but I did not say it.

The state border was marked by the provincial flag of Saskatchewan.

 

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The corn stalks were of course represented in the flag. A herd of bisons along the side of the road looked at us in surprise, as if they had never seen cars and gazelles were grazing in the distance, a moment later we arrived at the exit for our village.

I left that unholy turkey in the trunk and when the rest of the groceries had been cleared, I took over the keys from my love and headed for my sister.

She was happy to see me and she had Father Peter visiting with two elders, one of the elders had half Indian characteristics. A Bible lay open and I asked, "I am not disturbing," realizing that of course I was. My sister gave me a kiss and said, "No, silly boy, we are just about to have some tea, would you like a cup too?"

"Blessed are those invited to the table of the Lord," said the Indian elder. "And he is here," I asked, and I kept the rest I wanted to say to myself because my sister gave me a dark look. "Where two are united in his name," the Indian said piously, pointing to the open Bible, "the Lord is in their midst."

 

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"Right," I said, "it always feels good to be welcome." "Are you coming for the Bible study," Father Peter asked, whom I had always liked. "No, father," I answered truthfully, "I came by to give my sister a turkey and ask for some things. "That's nice," said the priest, "it's nice to think of your sister." I nodded.

"I'll get the turkey out of the car before it thaws out," I said. "Then I'll pour the tea," my sister said. When I arrived at the car, I shoved the unholy bird into a shopping bag and walked to the door, half and half expecting a warning voice to sound from the bag, but the turkey had already expressed its message and I would not forget it.

There was a cup of tea in front of an empty chair and I sat down at the table. My sister took the shopping bag and said, "That's a good-sized one." "What did you want to know," she asked when we were all having tea, "something about the village?" "Maybe so," I replied, "could it be that Jewish attributes ended up here in the village, relics or something." Father Peter looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, "not specifically Jewish, let's say about their religion or culture, but some attributes that had to do with their former country."

I did not want to seem eager and first took a sip of tea. "What do you mean father," I asked? "Where the library is now," said the man of God, "was first an early Christian congregation. It was a coptic church. In our church, in the side nave, a piece of old stained glass has been placed that has been donated by them. " The side chapel is no longer really used, except for baptisms. "

"Father," I asked, "I am not so informed in churches and all, what should I imagine from Coptic church?" Father Peter gave me a friendly look, "I'll enlighten you," he laughed. "The word kop is an Arabic corruption of the Greek word for Egypt: Ægyptos, originally Hoet-ka-Ptah (home of the ka of Ptah), the name of the great Ptah temple in ancient Memphis, the city of Ptah." "Right," I said, but I didn't know anything yet.

The priest's eyes glistened, he clearly came to his hobby horse, church history. 'For the Copts the' Flight of the Holy Family to Egypt 'is, Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus, of great importance and according to them the holy family has been in Egypt with the midwife Salome for three and a half years. According to Saint Luke, Egyptians were present at Pentecost and established Christian communities in the year 33 when they were back in Egypt. According to tradition, the Christianization was done by Marcus.

Marcus established the "seat of Alexandria" and became a martyr there on 8 May in the year 68. With a rope around his neck, he was dragged through the streets until he died. His body was buried in the church of St. Mark in Bucolia. In 828 his body was taken by the Venetians, but his head  remained in Alexandria. "

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"So there is an Egyptian Christian church," I asked in disbelief, I had always assumed that Egypt was a Muslim. "Ha ha is there a Christian church," the priest said full of fire, probably older than Rome, she has about 11 million believers in Egypt. "Amen, the Lord be praised," said the two elders almost simultaneously.

"That church had fewer and fewer followers and finally had to close, father Peter continued. They were also very much out of touch with the community. The men in turban and the women in black, gloomy clothes. "So the few remaining members went to the churches with their sacred treasures and gave them to their Christian brothers before closing their church.

We received the fire-painted piece of window. I just said that the head of St Mark's head would have remained in Alexandria. " "Yes," I agreed, the priest had said so.

"Copts have that a bit," smiled the man of God, "they turn a body part into a relic. We could have gotten a finger from Paulus de Hermite, also known as Paulus from Thebes, but I really didn't like the idea. The Lutherans now have that,  as I understand it. So we took the piece of window and some pottery. "

I was suddenly full of attention. "Father," I asked, "what is depicted on the piece of window?" "The damnation and the first indulgence of guilt," said Peter. "I don't follow you, father," I said, "what does that mean?" "Pontius Pilate who washed his hands in innocence," said the Anglican priest. "Good grace," I exclaimed,  'Pontius Pilate!' "Yes," said the priest, and the pottery completed the still life.

"What kind of pottery," I asked while I could barely control myself. "Symbolically, I suppose," said Peter, "a jug was placed on a table in front of the window and a bowl to wash your hands in." It was as if lightning struck me. "And that was brought by ..." I asked? "The last two nuns of that church," said the Lord's servant, "then the demolition company came and later the library was built."

 

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My head was spinning and puzzle pieces just fell into place. "Sweet Brother would you like some more tea," my sister asked again with more emphasis and I realized that she had already asked. "Excuse me," I said, " I was lost in thought, just a little sip," and I held out my mug. I looked at the Indian elder, "what can you tell me about Little Big Horn?" "I am a Christian," said the man, "I am no longer in the Shaman, and this is a Christian gathering," and he crossed himself.

I emptied my mug and looked at Father Peter, 'thank you for your explanation, it was very enlightening. I kissed my sister, waved half to the two elders, and walked to the front door. Tomorrow I would pick an Indian in the Jasper's where they always gambled and drank. I had the idea that I had taken 7 miles with 1 step. I knew the feeling, I had taken control of the situation. " "You really think so," asked the raw gravel voice between my ears.

 

also read 31

 

San Daniel 2020

 

sources:

  • (en) W. H. Worrel, A short account of the Copts (1945)
  • (en) E. Rochie Hardy, Christian Egypt. Church and people (1952)
  • (en) O.F.A. Meinardus, Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity (1999)
  • (de) M. Cramer, Das christlich-koptisch Ägypten, einst und heute (1959)
  • (fr) S. Chauleur, Histoire de Coptes d'Egypte (1960)
16/02/2020 19:39

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