My Silence with Eashoa
The men spoke to me and my companion in a language I was not familiar with but some how could understand. They asked if we were from Cyrene or Ethiopia. I wanted to say America but I knew I was far from home and I knew I was in a different time period. I am African American, I thought. But my people didn’t as yet exist in that context.
I knew it was a dream.
Yet every thing was deeply vivid and real.
I didn’t want to spoil it by accidentally waking up and thinking my way out of it so I tried to focus on every detail.
I noticed the olive skin of the people around me, in comparison to my chocolate tone.
I noticed their dark black hair and beards.
The cloaks, shawls, and skull hats.
I was in Israel.
This was ancient Israel.
There was a celebration of some sort.
The smell of spices and cooked meat was in the air.
There were flutes, and drums echoing with the singing.
There was dancing and laughter.
There wer at least two hundred people.
People were chanting and singing foreign words that I somehow could understand.
The song lyrics spoke of the goodness of brotherhood.
I answered the man’s question.
I mentioned that I was from far West.
He repeated a word for “Cyrene”.
I just smiled and nodded.
He asked me if I would like to meet his teacher.
He said that his teacher was well known and had just provided wine for all of the guests in attendance.
In shock I blurted out “What is your teachers name?”
Confidently the man said, “ Eashoa”
“Eashoa” I said back to him.
The man acknowledged.
I immediately began to feel very hot, even light headed.
I was about to meet Jesus.
I looked at my companion,
“Do you believe this?”
My friend nodded in silent confidence as if they knew all along that this was going to happen.
I guess this was the sort of dream that ran like a movie; where the characters were privy to things that the audience was not aware of.
The men guided me through the crowd to a man who was standing in the middle of a large encircled group of people.
I could not see him at first.
Just the people around him.
“Jesus is short” I thought.
As I got closer it became apparent that he wasn’t necessarily short, just hidden by the crowd.
As quickly as I approached, the face of an austere man was revealed in the middle of the crowd.
He had the look of wisdom and burden.
He had raven black hair tightly curled, and a thick beard.
He had a slim, yet stocky build.
His gaze softened as he spoke, almost as if he was smiling.
The austerity left.
His eyes were kind.
There was a reddish brown hue to his olive complexion.
As if on que, and as if it were a movie, the way all dreams do the people around him disappeared and it was just me and the one called Eashoa.
The one I knew as Jesus.
My thoughts were everywhere and nowhere.
I lowered my eyes at his gaze which locked with mines.
I raised my eyes again and met the soft welcomeness of his gaze.
His eyes were calming.
They were different colors.
One was dark green and the other black.
He looked like a black and white photo of Yung Pueblo that I’d once seen.
Maybe this was my subconscious projecting what I imagined Jesus would look like.
One by one I thought of the things I wanted to say to him
I walked away from discipleship to you a few months before.
I dont believe you are God. I don’t even know what God is. I only have ideas of what God could be.
When I think of you I only think of a human being, but not all encompassing Being itself.
Your followers have done so much good and so much evil in the world.
I don’t think you came back from death
I don’t think you will ever personally come back to make the world right.
I believe you were executed by the State and nothing more. I don’t believe it was for my sins or anyone else’s. I think our cleansing and healing are up to us.
I don’t know if what is written about what you said is really what you said.
I don’t know if what is written about you is what you really did.
I have no way of verifying.
I think your devoted followers who lived and walked with you experienced a psychosis in their mourning after your death.
I do believe they think they say you.
I don’t think they actually saw you.
I have no way of verifying this.
I believe that even though we live in the same world at different times, that we were still worlds a part.
I dont come from a culture that has a five thousand year old earth with a single pair of first parents.
There are w number of civilizations older than the nations of Israels ancestral origin myths.
I believe the story of Israels first parents was the way a people in exile imagined their own existence being alienated from their own land the way Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden.
I walked away from faith because I could not validate the traditions and institutions that emerged from your mark on the world.
I had to choose my own path; a path not dictated by superimposed narratives that said I must have a certain mental affirmation on things I often doubted.
All of these thoughts stirred in my silence.
I lowered my gaze again.
I also realized I couldn’t and wouldn’t say any of these things to him.
I began to think about how this one man has conquered the hearts and minds of over two billion people throughout time.
Whatever my doubts, they didn’t take away from who he was and what his life impressed upon existence.
So I was silent.
I wanted in that moment for this projection of this 1st Century Itinerant Jewish Teacher to tell me my choice to leave him was valid.
That I was enough.
That my humanness was divine all its own and that I could trust intuition, self guidance and chose a life of compassion and responsibly on my own without his memory navigating my inner world and lifescspe.
I wanted these things deeply. I found myself praying to this man who I had stopped praying to only months before shortly before Easter.
I returned my gaze and Eashoa walked towards me.
Eashoa embraced me.
In a moment. I heard the chirping of my phone.
I was back in my hotel in SeaTac Washington.
My roommate still snoring.
5am wake up call.
Time for work