Copyright c 2014 Frederick Rodgers. All Rights Reserve.d
Abraham shifted his position; he was stiff and cold from the long night of watching his father’s sheep. As the youngest son the night watch was his responsibility, at least it was until he married. The thought of marriage brought the beautiful Miranda to mind, his neighbor and the love of his life. At fourteen she was nearing the time when her family would select a suitable union. There was only one year between them and Abraham hoped her parents saw him as an acceptable match. He was quite tall and his smooth olive skin was unblemished. Long black hair and deep brown eyes had many a village girl shyly admiring him. He never noticed them; he only had eyes for Miranda. Of course, he realized the important question was, did she love him? Abraham wasn’t sure, he believed she liked him and often she walked beside him to the temple. She was indeed a stunning beauty, her long silken hair danced about her head as she walked and those sparkling brown eyes were etched in Abraham’s minds eye. Her beauty had not gone unnoticed by the other young men in the town; some would stop and stare as she passed by. However, he was more concerned about the Roman soldiers who leered at her when she went to work at the kitchens of the Consulate General’s residence.
Through his sleepy reverie he became aware that the sun was at last creeping over the horizon, its warming rays slowly spreading and reaching across the silent land. The sheep too began to stir knowing the rising sun meant feeding time was near. Abraham watched the changing shadows slowly moving across the surrounding hills as the sun climbed higher in the ether sky. Soon his older brother would arrive to take over and Abraham could run home for breakfast. In the early morning silence he stood and stretched his tired and cramped limbs. That was when he heard it. It was a strange sound not metallic or solid more like a soft plop. He looked around for the cause but nothing stirred the land was absolutely silent. There wasn’t a living soul in sight. He strained his eyes shading them with his hand in the gathering sunlight. There was no movement across the barren land. Nevertheless, he was certain he’d heard something.
Suddenly a glint of light caught his eye just a few yards from where he stood. Whatever it was it was sparkling in the bright morning sunlight. Abraham felt an irresistible compulsion moving him slowly and cautiously toward the mysterious object.
It just lay there on its side in the sandy soil not moving. He had never seen anything like it before. The unfamiliar shape and seemingly transparent material appeared not to be of this world. Abraham was scared and hesitant at first then he slowly bent forward and lifted the strange object off the ground. The surface was cool and smooth to his touch and unlike anything he had ever seen before. He could actually see though the material although the vision was somewhat distorted. The object was comfortable to hold in his hands, a square shape that tapered to a narrow end or neck with a hole at the top. It must surely be a container of some sort maybe designed for carrying wine or other liquids. Sniffing at the hole there was a strange and unpleasant odor like nothing he’d ever smelled before. There were strange markings and unfamiliar writing that he could neither read nor understand. Near the center there was what appeared to be an emblem. A flat red square with a figure of a man centered squarely below it. He appeared to be striding across the vessel dressed in the oddest of garments and carrying a weapon of some type. It was the most beautifully crafted container he had ever seen. Yet, Abraham’s hands were trembling, what evil magic had caused it to come to him? There was no one in sight the place was completely deserted. How could it possibly just appear in this spot? Was it dangerous or sinful? What would the High Priests do? Would they punish him for sinning and touching this aberration of evil?
He wrestled with the decision of what he should do, take it home or perhaps just bury it and say nothing. At that moment he heard his brother Isaac calling out as he crested the hill to the fields. Isaac was three years older than Abraham but not as tall and a little on the heavy side. The girls didn’t look at him as they did his younger brother. Abraham quickly tucked the object in his loose fitting robe hiding it from his brother. They greeted one another and Isaac handed his brother a freshly baked piece of bread from their mother’s kitchen. Abraham thanked him and turned quickly for home hoping his brother didn’t notice what he was hiding in his clothing. Heading down the hill to his home he wondered if he should tell his parents. Of course, he knew he had to, the strange object was with him and he couldn’t possibly keep it hidden at home. Entering the house his father looked up waiting for a report on the well being of the flock. Abraham removed the container from his clothing offering it to his father to inspect. “What is this son? Where did you get it?” his father asked as he turned it over in his hands. “It just appeared in the field this morning father; I think it is an evil omen”.
“Nonsense’’ said his father “this is some new type of vessel for wine, probably something new from the Roman capital”. “It certainly didn’t just appear, you were probably asleep when some drunken soldier dropped it” Abraham knew not to dispute his father and said no more about it. His mother took it and placed it on a ledge over the cooking area, “it will be good to keep oil in,” she said.
Stay tuned for the next chapter on the 4th May.
God Bless and keep reading