Jack, awakened from sleep by a lightning storm, rose and began typing this story. The story. We all have them. These days, fascination with heroes and villains and other’s stories given to us by actors and people we have never met, give us an excursion into a falsehood of story. Illusions of post modernism, to replace our own. Our own valid stories that get buried in entertainment and the latest gladiator. We are lost and adrift on a wave tossed sea, all the while believing in a screen writers fancy with words or a man that can do things we cannot. Adopting a cheap and false story that we believe we need.
Jack, fully awake now, remembers his story of adventure, loss, romance and treachery. It seems like a good plot for one of those movies. Instead of being prepared by strong men, Grandfathers and fathers, it was a familiar story now for many of the worlds lost children.
Jack’s last memory of his Grandpa was the man, lost in dementia, peeing on the living room curtains while Jack was in the basement, living in his mother’s inherited house. Fresh out of the 6th fleet. Now replacing the sounds of creaking metal and rushing waves with a washing machine and Grandpa’s old Chevy in the garage. No love lost either. An elder that should have taught Jack a carpenters trade. He didn’t know that was his life work, to love Jack.
Jack made his own way, creating his own stories of adventure. More akin to a brigand or a pirates desperate bid for value and purpose. Smuggling, guns and carefree use of narcotics without the age old, correct up bringing of being the village carpenter. Cabinetry and a small farm. Middle ages security and an inheritance for Jack’s children. A firm belief in the giver of life and the yearly cycle of Advent and celebrations of rescue from our Lord.
Rescue indeed. Jack’s heart had turned to stone when he was ten. His father had left and his mother’s lover had moved in. He was a Swedish immigrant and the reason his father left. There was a honeymoon planned and it was to be a trip to the old country across the sea. The plan was for Jack to stay at the Grandparent’s home in Golden Valley during the honeymoon. Jack came home from school and could not find Timothy, his beloved cat that slept with him. His mother came home and told Jack his Grandfather had killed the cat because it would not work for them when Jack stayed at their home. Jack began to ideate suicide, he learned how to tie a hangman’s noose. To firmly set that Stone heart, there was no honeymoon and the Step father stopped in Jack’s room one night and sat next to Jack on the bed, naked. Jack leaped up and ran out the outer door of his room to the garage. Screaming in fear and rage.
Jack’s heart was set on survival mode. There was no lighthouse on that stone. For seventy years. Last night as Jack prayed for direction for the next day, Jesus asked Jack if he would like to have a heart of flesh. Again, tossing and turning with the storm raging outside the house and inside Jack the promise of life started to take hold. The small changes Jack has been experiencing were now brought to light. Small cracks of that chosen stone revealed earlier that something was going on. The heart transplant was revealed and Jack wanted it to happen right away, that night. It was also given to Jack to begin the forgiveness of those two men. Not instantly but now the compass was seen and the course set. Next port of call, freedom from hatred and fear.
“He made me alive, when I was dead. He raised me up and seated me with Christ. It’s by His Grace that I am saved and it’s through faith, the very gift of God” (Justin Rizzo) Jack’s savior knows betrayal and forgiveness for men do not know what they are doing. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator