Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Joseph, the all-comely
As you can see, today's drawing is of Joseph of the coat of many colours; or, as some know him, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"!
What follows is my account of the story of "Joseph, the all-comely". While my version is not exactly as the story appears in the Book of Genesis, I will try not to add too many extra insights!
At the time the story begins, Joseph is the only son of Jacob (Israel) and his second wife, Rachael -- the love of his life. Consequently, even though he has had 10 sons by his first wife (whom he was forced to marry by her father) and two of her handmaidens, he loves Joseph the best -- and he lets everyone know it. This is very unfortunate because it means that Joseph is something of a spoiled brat who lords it over his brothers. Joseph is, at this point in his life, a rather obnoxious young man.
On this significant day, Joseph, wearing his coat of many colours which his father had had made especially for him, is sent to his brothers by Jacob to find out how his brothers and their flocks are doing. His brothers were all working hard taking care of the many flocks of sheep that their father owned while Joseph got to stay at home and "play". As if that weren't bad enough, when Joseph arrives at his brother's camp, he felt the need to tell them about a dream he had recently had in which he sees all his brothers bowing down before him as though he was a king.
The brothers were so fed up with him by this point that they decided to kill him, but his older brother, Reuben, convinced the group to dump Joseph in a dry well nearby and leave him there to die. This they do. However, maybe because they were feeling just a bit bad about their actions, they decided to remove Joseph from the well and sell him to a passing caravan as a slave. Once they had done this, they then take the coat of many colours and dip it in goat's blood to show to their father -- suggesting to him that Joseph must have been attacked by a wild beast and devoured.
Joseph, meanwhile, is taken to Egypt where he is sold as a slave in the household of a well-placed government official by the name of Potiphar. I won't go into detail about how Joseph ends up in jail or how he is released after being the only one found who can interpret a powerful dream had the Pharaoh; however, I will note that by the time all of this has occurred, Joseph has become a man of humility, having compassion for others. His experiences had molded his character in such a way that he has become a totally different person than he had been as a young man -- a much better person.
Thus, because Joseph was able to interpret the dream (thanks to God having given him the ability to interpret dreams), he is appointed by the Pharaoh as the man who will see to it that Egypt is prepared for the famine that the dream said would occur in seven years. This makes Joseph the most important man in Egypt after the Pharaoh himself. Eventually, Joseph's family, having reached the point of a serious lack of food in their own land, decide to come to Egypt to request food for their many families. His brothers arrive in Egypt and are sent to Joseph as he is the only one who can decide if they will be given any of Egypt's stored food supplies. So occurs the very event Joseph had dreamed about as a boy. He is sitting on a throne while his 10 brothers kneel before him. They do not know it is their brother, of course.
We can see what a different person Joseph has become by the very words he will eventually say to his brothers when, after a series of events, he makes himself known to them. They expect to be treated harshly, to say the least; however, Joseph speaks to them the words written on the icon above: "Do not be afraid... even though you meant to do me harm when you sold me into Egypt, God intended it for good -- to preserve life."
How about that for growing into a person who, after all he had suffered, is now able to see the Will of God in everything that happened. As St. Paul said, "all things work together for good to those who love God."
Now, that is my version of the story and I am stickin' to it!
Now, for three new Polar Bear photos.
I received a gift box recently of note cards made available by the Sierra Club (giving me note cards is rather like carrying coals to Newcastle as the saying goes). Anyway, three of the photos they used were ones which I found very appealing.
You know by now the pleasure I get from pictures of Polar Bears. While I know they are wild animals and wild animals are not really "cute", Polar Bears seem to me to be rather like domestic cats -- always doing funny things, especially when it comes to sleeping positions!
So, here are the photos:
This is a typical, sweet picture of a mother with her two cubs. Polar Bear cubs are so appealing to me with those beautiful white coats and black, button eyes. Also very appealing is the way they hide within their mother's body while peering curiously out at the big, exciting world.
Here is a beautiful close-up of a sleeping bear. The paws are somehow very appealing to look at even though we know that if one of those paws (with those big nails) took a swipe at us, we might be hurt rather badly! I hear that occasionally tourists up north forget that Polar Bears are wild animals just because of their "cuteness" factor and end up having to be rescued putting themselves and their rescuers in serious danger.
This final photo is a beautiful one of a resting Polar Bear (perhaps watching for fish to swim past in that clear water below). I imagine that if there is no action after a few moments, he will fall asleep while the sun warms his backside. I know these bears are cold climate creatures; however, they are also warm-blooded so I have yet to figure out how they can fall asleep while resting on ice floes! Oh, well, each to their own.
Speaking of sleep, Suki gave up trying to get me to leave the computer and go and feed her and is now sound asleep nearby. I am sure, however, that at the very least indication of movement on my part, she will be up and headed for the kitchen!
I am doing as well as I can. These days I do find everything a bit more difficult. I am hoping that my doctors will be able to come up with some way of helping me to repair the damage done by the fall I had 5 or 6 weeks ago now. I should be getting the results of the latest x-rays today or tomorrow which will, hopefully, give me some idea of what the next step will be.
May the peace of God be with us all.