My Mother had a knack of setting us against each other! Unwittingly I think this was the best life education I could have had. How to resolve family conflicts, how to swallow words that would add petrol to the fire, how to deal with seeming fickleness and injustice, and knowing my Mother had the ability to find any weakness and 'press the button' to get me in a sobbing hissy fit. The word spoken in anger, even self righteous defense is no help to calming the seething waves of family tempest.
I do have a significant help these days by taking the Bi-Polar medication, and yes I have a coffee beside me! I am thoroughly enjoying it! It doesn't last long in the cup, but I seem to be fuelled by it until late in the day!
I wonder if everyone needs to stop drinking tea and coffee for a few days, as I am sure it adds fuel to the fire of surpessed emotion. I know the middle east drink a lot of very strong tea and coffee, Perhaps that's why they are such a firey lot? It's also drunk very sweet, so I suppose that has an effect with the tobacco sheesha as well. I love all the tea and coffee rituals, but I suppose they aren't very helpful when everyone needs a clear head, and to calm the voices of inner passions.
I will stick to my resolve that I will only drink decaff through the week though, I need a bit of self discipline now and again! Speaking of which I think those who have the ability to stop, and really listen to what other people are really saying sometimes is a gift that is earned through a troubled life. Really listening to other people's hurt is a difficult thing, when we know we ourselves are the cause of that hurt, and the injustice they suffered.
In a sense we have all stolen each other's God's.
Perhaps if we did not value oil and the petrochemical industry so highly, we would not have had wars over oil. The sad thing is we blurred the boundery and called these wars out on 'family' political and religeous grounds, just as Jacob and Laban did.
Laban did not want to lose Jacob as the means of his wealth and prosperity. Rachel did not want to lose the spiritual basis of her own life, in holding on to her Fathers 'idols'. Jacob, heaven forbid that the truth was found, that Rachel wanted to hold on to her Father's 'household' beliefs over Jacob's one God, would have broken Jacob's heart both in his loss of her, and her deception both of her father and Jacob.
Rachel played a very dangerous card in that emotional storm. Laban lost all that he held dear, and yet although he and Jacob could not agree on the name of the pillar I suspect he already knew Rachel had stolen the idols, as if memory serves she hid them in her saddlebags and sat on them. In true sherlock style, he knew if they were anywhere, they were in the place he had not looked.
He decided that he did not want his beloved daughter put to death, and his son in law's heart broken. I admire Laban's courage to face up to his own losses, and acknowledge that Jacob had no part to play in stealing the household gods. After all Laban knew his daughter Rachel, and what she was capable of, even if everyone thought butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. Rachel was the theif, and Leah the schemer.
Perhaps in one sense we should be sorry for Jacob that he also was unaware of the deception. There are none so blind, as those blinded by love. None so feirce to defend the object of desire, and none that can endure the loss of family corruption, when their heart is turned to obey God, and living within his protection. It is difficult to imagine how powerful those familial emotions must have been in those moments of self recognition, and self deception.
That the pillar remained nameless is the testemony to the unspeakable truth. That which we do not wish to be set free from because the loss to our lives would be too great to countenance.
I was given a Quran many years ago after meeting a beautiful lady getting off a bus. I was lost. I also needed to find my brothers house, and knew I had to wait two hours before he would be home. This lovely lady asked me into her home, and made me welcome and gave me tea. We sat and talked about God. She told me before I left there was nothing about my own faith that contradicted her Moslem Faith.
When asked to describe Jesus, the best way I could think of was to use the Candle sitting inside a lovely glass vase on her table. I said that to me 'Father God' is the light, the very flame of the candle. Our lives are the wax and wick. The Glass Vase the magnification of Jesus Christ of the light. That for me one can't exist without the other. She said I was realy a moslem then!
My own understanding is that Jesus is the person who opened the door for me, to becoming a believer in the one God. For me there is a point that we must also become as unclouded as the glass that magnifies that light, so that we do not obscure God. Only God knows this process, and how, with our submission to his ordinances he will uncloud our own life to reflect his brilliance. We ourselves may never know what one chance conversation may bring into our lives in the way of blessing.
I never read the Quran, because the first night I started reading, (I tend to read scripture before bedtime so I can sleep on it) I dreamed of Jesus. He came and put his hand over the open pages of my Quran. He said, 'This is not for you'. So I did not read any more. I treasure having my copy, and I wonder what I might find there, but I have never been tempted to open and read further. The one I have is an English translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. I treasure it as a precious gift.
I am going to make a dress for my Husband's Aunty today, so I mustn't waffle on too much about thinks in my head, or I will never get it done.