Joseph.   2 comments

He was big for a kid with an unusually large shaven head and funny looking eyes. He was pretty ugly; at least that’s what we all thought back then. His rosy red lips drooped and he drooled, a lot! If he got excited he had a loud deep out of control laugh. He was monster like, he was Joseph!

It was four decades and a handful more years ago. I lived in Khandallah, Wellington, way up in the hills near Mt Kaukau. I was playing cricket with Joseph’s brother for the Onslow cricket club and Joseph played too. He was quite good. In hindsight he did very well for his disability, very well. But it was better not to applaud him too much when he batted, as he would get overly excited and always go out!

I never knew what his medical condition was, but it was enough to suffice as a kid that he had a loose screw! Kids can be pretty judgemental. Things haven’t changed much in all those years, kids can be mean, but so too can adults. It’s human nature to reject the weak and unusual.

You may’ve read about another Joseph. Perhaps that’s who this Joseph was named after, that is, the Joseph in the Good Book, the son of Jacob. The guy who was thrown down a well by his brothers, his very jealous brothers and who many, many years later, after much hardship, rose to become the second most powerful person in Egypt next to Pharaoh.

Can you relate to either of these Joseph’s? I can, both of them, since they both had lives filled with much hardship and persecution. While as a boy and even as a much younger adult I will admit that I looked upon certain groups in society with contempt. Thus I can understand why even adults I know today, do it to other people? I can still turn the other cheek by and large when others treat me like a Joseph because I know they do it both out of ignorance and immaturity. There, but for the grace of God, go I!

Often such people had a hard childhood, they were beaten, they were bullied, they got themselves in trouble, and they got themselves in with the wrong crowd. Makes it easy for me to understand why subconsciously perhaps they devote much of their adult life, getting even, the rebel in them becomes the default setting. So I feel sorry for them, but I do have a bottom line. We live in a modern society where abuse is becoming less and less tolerated. Physical, sexual or verbal forms of abuse. Hopefully the next generation will be freer from the bondages of abuse of the previous many generations.

Why am I even bringing this up? I think it is very important. It is very easy in life to play the self righteous bigot or uninterested third party and not go the extra mile in life and not be the Good Samaritan. Can you think of any situations in pigeon racing where it’s all just ‘too much effort’ with certain people, we/you/I view them as a ‘wasted space’, a ‘rotten egg’ or an ‘absolute shit stirrer’? Should it be any different than situations on the home front, with our partners, children, grand children? Do we give up with them? Not easily!

My late father, Don used to tell a story when I was a child. He was a very good story teller, full of jokes and real meaning. It was about grace. Many of you will know that I love the Lord and although I’m not a ‘Churchie’, I’m a keen believer in the ‘Great I Am’. However, I also believe in the ‘Big Bang’ and the basic tenants of evolution, as Dad used to say ‘the primordial soup’.

Dad’s story was in this case about communion. It might be ten years or so since I’ve had communion, but I think that Dad’s story’s key line was ‘take it, it’s for sinners’, and Dad, in the story, would say it three ways. The first might have been in a very judgemental and harsh way, ‘TAKE IT! IT’S FOR SINNERS!’ The second in an offhanded, insincere way, ‘Take it, it’s for sinners’ The final way was in a soft, mellow, loving and gracious way, said in a way knowing we are all sinners, ‘take it, it’s for sinners!’

Whatever way we look at each other, whatever spiritual belief we do or do not have, if we can look at others humbly with love and grace often, then we are going down the right path and the rest is up to God.

Does this help us fly pigeons? Well, if we are at peace with ourselves and the ‘Man upstairs’ and every endeavour is made to love not just our ‘neighbours’ but also our ‘enemies’, then that abundant life which He talked about while here on earth will be ours not only in this life, but also in the next. Surely, isn’t that 1st prize the ultimate one?

Will there be pigeon racing in the next life? I truly hope so!

What do you think?

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Posted January 2, 2014 by ferguselley in Food for thought

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2 responses to “Joseph.

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  1. Well said Fergie,as for the poor unfortuanates among us, as an old Scotish mate of mine used say, there Peter but for the Grace of God go I.

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