Christian BoyLove Forum #55817
Apologies to all you good people for being away for so long. I was flamed by one member the last couple of times I posted and for some reason it really made a mental block for me. Hugs and blessings to Cat and Godspell for helping me get over this.
The author of this story, Christiaan X, has recently started the Church of Jesus Among the Teachers, a social network in the www ning com system of user-made social networking sites. Its meant to be a place of worship, meeting, and Christian contemplation for boylovers and their supportive friends who accept the basic principle that the Bible doesnt condemn same-sex sex acts per se within loving relationships . (The church does not by any means extend this principle to advocacy of free sex with people under the legal age.)
This is a private, invitation-only network and at the moment, its just open to people who have a record of posting on BL-oriented sites, including this one. If youd like to be invited, please send Christiaan your email address and a couple of links to posts in cblf or other sites giving your clear viewpoints on something BL-related. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Christiaan just doesnt want to invite potentially hostile people such as wiki spooks to the site during this formative period, hence the request for some evidence that youre a member in good standing of our community.
About the story, he explains that he understands that this world will never know what Jesuss inner thoughts were, including whatever his sexual feelings may have been. But as Christ shared all our worldly temptations, it is not impertinent in loving spiritual fiction to imagine he shared something with each of us here. He has put this story in the public domain and has asked that if you like it, please do as I am doing here and pass it on.
Josh, the Street Kid (a short story based on Luke 2:41-52)
The Bibles version: Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, and when he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did. After Passover, they left to go home, but the boy stayed behind in Jerusalem. They didnt know it. Thinking that he was somewhere in the caravan, they travelled for a day and looked for him among relatives and friends. Not finding him, they went back to Jerusalem to see if he was there.
After three days of searching the streets they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him found his understanding and his answers astonishing. When his parents saw him, they were amazed, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been worried sick and we were looking everywhere." He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didnt you realize that I have to be in my father's house?" But they didnt understand this at all.
He went back home with them to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
Jesus advanced in wisdom as he grew and found favor with God and the people around him.
Luke chapter 12 (paraphrased by Robert-I)
My Version: Politics, politics, theres always trouble in Palestine. But, say what you will, its beautiful in the spring here. Passover is a wonderful time of year. Flowers are still out, trees are flowering or even starting to grow fruit, the air is sensuous. The people may be plotting against the Romans, but the farmland is at peace. All the freshness hits me hard because it reminds me of my young friend I had staying with me once, my little three-day friend Yeshie. He was a whole springtime for me, in 72 hours.
Theyre calling him foreign names now, like Jesus, but when I knew him, he was still little Yeshua from way up there somewhere half way to Syria. Joshua, basically, to give his name in full. God is salvation, it means. Joshie, Joshy. Theres no nickname fond enough to express the way I felt about the kid, and I still feel that way today, all these years later. Hes long dead now and quite the historical celebrity. Even though hes still with us all, in a way, they all secretly wish theyd known him when, and they are right. He was one of a kind. The fact that he stood on this dusty floor right here, in his bare feet, is something special. Especially since he was looking me in the eye as he stood there. And he liked me.
He first showed up at the temple looking like a street kid, wanting to talk to people and maybe get some of the free food from the sacrifices. Well, some of us who worked there were just bemused or even annoyed, but for a lot of us, he made a big impact. He could argue like a doctor even though he hadnt reached manhood yet. I mean, he was only 12 years old. Grey-bearded old guys would make some sort of grand pronouncement about scripture, and he would just dig in and work them around until their eyes started to spin. He didnt seem to like people getting all stuffy about things, so the people who said you HAD to do things this way or that would get the business if there were any verses that could loosen them up. But he was a nice kid, you know, not a fanatic of some kind. He just knew his stuff. Yet he had a lot of questions too. Good ones.
The question he asked me, though, was kind of personal. He says to me, Youre a little more holy than some people around here, arent you?
Why do you say that? I asked, I dont claim to be a prophet.
He poked me in the gut. Kheleb lyehovah, he says, which means, all fat belongs to God. Ha ha ha. Hes quoting Leviticus 3:16 at me. Its supposed to be about what parts of the animal get burned on the altar, not about my oversized midriff. Still, his little joke gets a good laugh from me. Youre a devil, I say with a smile (Noooo, he says silently, shaking his head with his eyes to the ceiling), and besides, Im not a sacrifice. My fat is staying right here for now. Didnt you dedicate yourself to God when you joined the Temple? he asked. Of course I did, I say, so youre telling me I AM a sacrifice? But at least Im not about to be roasted.
I havent started asking you questions yet, he says, you might start to feel pretty roasted when I do.
There was something about him that was so wonderful that I gave in to impulse.
Josh, I said seriously. Where do you live? I really wanted to make sure he was OK.
Up by Tiberias, he said. We were down for the holidays. By down, he meant in Jerusalem.
Where are your folks? Are you staying with some relatives?
My dads house is good enough for me, he said very seriously, and he gestured around us at the walls of the temple court. Now, this really caught me by surprise, and I reacted.
I grant that God is a father to our people, but that doesnt mean we can all just move into the temple! And anyways, we dont call Him abba, dad, thats disrespectful.
He IS my own father, says the kid. So I can call him dad.
Oh boy. This kid is in trouble. What an idea.
Where are your parents or your other relatives right now? Who are you staying with?
Um... I asked them not to go back north yet but ... hmm, family stuff, work to be done... no time for me to come here ... I couldnt leave! I think everyone thought I must be with some other uncle and they all took off. But Im fine, dad is looking after me.
Josh, we dont appreciate people flopping out here around the temple complex; its true, there are lots of beggars who do it, but you dont belong out there.
He looked a little offended but I pressed on. We have to get you back to your folks somehow. In the meantime, I invite you to my house, I said.
He understood this formality very well. Thank you, he said, and that was that. He was my guest. A little bubble of ecstasy started expanding inside my chest.
You see, one of my secrets is that, well, boys have a powerful effect on me sometimes. I am a dedicated servant of God and I try to keep it under a stone, but with Josh, I was just beside myself. My stone was shoved aside. I just wanted to see him well fed and bright eyed and comfortable.
Not that he was the best looking lad I have ever seen in my life. Brown hair, brown eyes, looking a little on Syrian side, you know, just slightly haggard, cheeks a little drawn; but by heaven, somehow that didnt matter at all to me. He did have some muscles, which I soon found out were from helping around his dads wood shop his other dad, that is. And, yes, I know I always tell myself not to be distracted by trivialities like looks, but in this case, perhaps he could have been as ugly as sin and it wouldnt have mattered to me, I dont know. I loved him to bits right from the moment he said thank you. It was just something about the look he gave me. He had chosen me somehow.
I have never married, which raises a few eyebrows around the temple, but anyways, Im pretty good at fending for myself, so I had an excellent lamb stew on the go already at home and I brought Joshie back to get his share. I didnt get my holy gut by starving myself.
He was hungry, too. And thirsty. I have to admit I poured him two fingers of red wine, partly for good health and partly just to celebrate. He got the most lovely rosy blush on his cheeks out of it. And I guess it loosened his tongue, since after 20 minutes of not saying much, he blurted out:
You like boys, dont you?
Holy smokes, I was stunned. I dont know how many shades of color I turned. Ah, I generally... get along with people, I said.
Dont worry, he smiled, dad told me a little something about you.
I just stared at him.
Im going to have kind of a hard life, he said distantly, eventually.
He thought for a few seconds.
Im not going to get married, he said. My dad feels responsible for the way this world is and he says I have to learn how tough it can be. And this ones really tough, I can feel it. He says Im going to be like you, and I already know hes right. I like boys too.
We dont talk about such things, I said hoarsely. Boy, was this one a riderless chariot. The last thing Id need would be for him to plunge into the temple tomorrow and announce that we both liked boys and his dad had told him so. How he guessed was beyond me, but enough was enough.
Im not going to say anything!! he retorted, fondly scolding me. You worry waaay too much. And my dad comments are just between us, OK?
He had a little smile on his face, and all of a sudden I trusted him. I would have trusted him with my life from that point onward.
And what he said turned out to be true. He had his teeny looking buddy Yohanan with him whenever he could in his last couple of years, and now we all know that those two were snuggled up against each other at their last Passover seder together, before that sad time that followed. A lot of the writings about Joshies life that were going around didnt say much about his special friendship, but Yohanan finally wrote something up himself and luckily people began to accept it. They call him by his Greek name now, Yoannis, John that is, since he lives up in Ephesia with Mariam, Joshs mother. Things got a little too hot for Joshs close friends to stay around here after the new religion got going. I could only stay myself because I was considered too old to get into trouble.
After dinner, we were sitting out on some chairs in front of my door and getting philosophical he was quite intent on learning as much as he could about us temple people. I said, you know, theres one scripture that I have to admit bothers me. Its the one in the book of Kings where Elisha the new prophet is heading over to Bethel and a mob of little boys comes to tease him.
Yes, says Josh, go UP, baldy! they yell at him, telling him to go get taken up into heaven if hes supposed to be a such an important prophet. Since the news was already out that Elijah had been taken up, and the kids thought it was a fairy tale.
Elijah, you probably know, was the older and presumably hairier prophet who was the mentor of the bald Elisha. He didnt die, he was drawn up directly into heaven.
Well, I said, really, do you think the Lord might have been a little, um, overly sensitive on Elishas behalf when he had two angry mamma bears come out of the woods and tear up 42 of the little boys in revenge for this tease? I mean, I have a bald patch too, but if you called me baldy, I could survive it, believe me. And so should you, I think.
I dont know any more actual history than anyone else my age, Josh responded like a self-conscious straight-A student, but heres the way I see it. Suppose a priest somewhere made a little torah-school tale about Elisha, a story he could use to straighten out badly behaved kids. In that case, it all makes sense. The boys are being seriously nasty, and they also reject the truth. They think real miracles of Gods love are just junk stories. Well, nature itself turns against boys like that, if they stay that way. They stay vicious and love cant reach them. Everything good is just some sort of a baldy to them they like insults. They tear each other up and their lives tear them up. Mother bears only have a fit when theyre defending the young against danger: nature is tuned to react that way. The boys poisonous attitude it destroys more young people than anything else. So the little story is just a childrens version of a real story that happens over and over. And then, over time, when someone is collecting Elisha stories for a book, it gets in with the history. You know, I dont think dad is so hung up about whether every piece of history or other human stuff that gets into the torah is just as it happened. He inspires people and they mess about in their human way and get illuminated and write, really, beyond what they are capable of. But dad doesnt proofread their history on the way by. Or their nature knowledge. I mean, praise God, all you sea monsters. (Hes quoting Psalm 148). Its a cute thought, but people who have been to the beach havent seen any dragons out there singing hallelujah in the waves.
Sea monsters may praise God just by flashing their scales in the sun, I mused, but its true Ive never seen one, though I grew up near the coast.
And so on it went. My goodness he was lovely to talk to. I gave him my guest bed that my mom used to use and when he dropped off to sleep it was like an angel of light was singing all through the house. It was just my imagination, of course, the world looked normal if you squinted, but when I stopped paying attention, everything glowed a little, all around me. And my heart ached in a good but violent way, with pure love pounding through it like a river breaking a dam.
I would have stayed up looking at him all night, but I thought it was rude. Given how few hours I knew him, I should have done it. Have you ever seen perfect? I closed my eyes on it.
But I got up early the next day and had a good breakfast ready for perfect before it woke up. OK, I mustnt call him it any more, even for the sake of a witticism. He was so very him, so very boy.
We didnt hash over the bible at breakfast. We talked about his home town, his mom, his carpentry, his little donkey hed trained and so on. Yes, he studied when he could, he could read Hebrew though he spoke the normal language, Aramaic. Clever lad he spoke a fair bit of foreign language, too Greek. But then, he had friends with names like Andrew. Greek, that one is, Andreas. It should be Adam, which also means man. Some parents are so impetuous. Whats the world coming to when Jewish kids have names like Andrew? Anyways, he lived out in the back country, a long walk away from civilization as we know it.
I had work to do at the temple but I spent as much time with him as I could, and he soon became known as that kid of Zachariass among the staff, especially among the Levites. Some of the priests deigned to notice Joshie and others avoided him; just a couple joined his crowd of friends. The market people selling pigeons and other sacrifice animals in the forecourt were very brusque with him, shooing him and his little discussion group out of the way to set up their tables and their pens and crates of noisy livestock. I took to getting food for him so he wouldnt have to make a nuisance of himself testing people for his dads generosity.
The second night I did spend quite some time looking in the open doorway and watching him sleep, and I think I saw every one of the ultra-fine, silvery down hairs on his cheeks and his upper lip. It was a few days after Passover, which is on a full moon, and the moon was still big and bright. The yellow silver light fell across him like an extra blanket. He stirred a couple of times in dreams and the mm of his high pitched voice, saying something in the dream world, seemed to tune the music of the whole universe. Thats how it felt to me.
It all came to an end with a bang and a howl on the fourth morning. Suddenly a frantic woman, followed by two haggard looking men, came bursting through into the second courtyard, the Court of the Women as we call it, and there was a great shout as they saw Joshie there debating with a bunch of the torah school people. Mariam, his mom, was shouting at him, Thank God! Oh! Yeshua bar Yasap (Joshua son of Joseph, his whole name), what in the name of heaven are you doing here????
And he pipes up, Oh mom!! Im sorry, but what are you so worried about? Dont you know I have to be here in dads house?
You could have heard a pin drop in there if it wasnt for all the animals bleating out in the next courtyard.
Mariam, though, was still in full swing. She started up again. Have you lost your wits? How could you, son, how could you DO this to us? What in the name of heaven got into your mind? We were worried sick, just sick! You dont just walk out on your family! Dont you understand we love you? And here you are hanging out like a beggar, probably picking up leprosy by sleeping on the ground like a tramp here, and oh... her voice broke and tears streamed down her face.
Mom, mom, mom, I am very sorry, please dont cry... its not so bad... I just had to be here, I just felt like I had to... but I didnt mean to hurt you, Ill never do it again! They were hugging each other and her tears were streaming into his silky tousled hair and she ran her hand up and down his back and squeezed him til he bent like a Persian bow.
She finally pulled back and as the two men, I guess his father and a friend or uncle, moved in to give him a hug and a play-punch on the head, she was saying Are you OK? Are you hungry?
He said, no, no, Im fine, Im more than fine, Zacharias here was looking after me. He let me stay at his house and he fed me and everything.
By that time I was in the front row of the considerable audience for this scene.
She turned to me like a mother bear and, to my shock, said it straight out:
I hope you didnt take advantage of my boy! If you made a kadesh out of him, youll roast in hell if not sooner! A kadesh is a temple prostitute like they have up in Phoenicia and like the old Baal temples used to have here in Palestine. Yes, boys his age were often working back then selling sacred sex acts devoted to the idols.
No! I said, though I was nearly struck dumb.
Mom!!! Josh protested in greatest indignation. He didnt do anything like that at all! He was the perfect host to me and he never did anything you wouldnt approve of and I love him like my own favorite uncle! He managed to wink at me when he said perfect and I wondered if hed been reading my mind again, that time I was thinking about perfection.
Mariam stopped and turned all rosy. Oh, Im terribly sorry, she said to me. She was looking at my robes and I realized it had sunk in with her that I was an important person here at the temple. I have just been, well, so very worried and every terrible thing has gone through my mind. THANK YOU, sir, thank you so much for looking after my boy! Again, tears were on the roll and she came over and looked very much as if she wanted to hug me, though that was hardly socially possible under the circumstances.
Im Yasap, his father, said one of the men and he kissed both my cheeks. Were really very grateful that you took this headstrong little donkey of ours into your care.
It was really my most inexpressible pleasure, I said, he is an extraordinary boy and I would never want anything bad to happen to him. And hes so bright, well, even I dont have the words to tell you how he impressed me. You are very, very lucky people and God has blessed you in a way that just makes me stagger. I will always pray for Josh and for all of you. Can I talk you into staying a few days with me?
No, Im very sorry, Yasap said, this is our busy season right now everyone wants to build things in the spring and its a bit of a shocker that weve had to come all the way back down here. Anyways, we brought an extra donkey along so we can all set a good pace getting back... I think we can be in Bethel by sunset, but we really have to hoof it.
I understand. As soon as Id said that, Josh came over to me and gave me the biggest and best hug of my life. I felt like the sun had come into my body and was heating up heaven and earth from inside me. The moment stretched out and I was looking out across a whole sky full of the pure colors of my love and his. There were tears in my eyes.
Josh reached his little hand up and patted the bald spot on the crown of my head. He pointed to the sky and jerked his eyes up and said with a smile, go up, baldy! Ha ha ha, context is everything. I knew his little joke was a blessing like Id never had before. Then his family led him out, with his dads arm over his shoulder, and he was off to the unknown parts of the world. I was so numb and so empty and so moved by one emotion and another that all I could do was work, just do something routine where I didnt have to think. I went back to my business and just spent the day functioning. At night when I saw the bed, I shed a few tears all right, which is rare for me, and I patted the bedclothes just because they were there.
Many years later, I saw him again. He came by the house while his followers surrounded it and we all had lunch together; the followers were out all along the side of the street and people put out chairs and stools and other things for some of them to sit on. The rest just sat on doorsteps and stones and anything they could find. Josh introduced me to his group of dedicated fellows and female friends, and I have to say that his special guy Yohanan was quite a lad, splendid looking (though a bit close to beard age for my taste) and smart as anything. Very experienced young fellow hed already been a disciple of that grasshopper-eating wild man Yohanan the Dunker, or John the Baptizer as the Greeks call him, before Josh came along. Well, the Dunker was a good old ascetic but obviously Yohanan and Josh were perfect for each other.
Yohanan and I can only be friends, Josh confided in me as we went up to the roof for a moment together, the idea of privacy is unthinkable for me now. But thats how I always knew it was going to be for me. Eunuch for the sake of the kingdom, I call myself. Im just a little sorry for him, because he loves me so much.
Josh was very famous and he was already getting into big trouble with the temple people, so I took a lot of heat for associating with him. The older folks, though, remembered that hed been my boy for three days. One old priest stabbed me in the ribs with his finger and said YOU did this to him, meaning, turned him into a heretic, but he was joking, of course. Still, they know how to put pressure on you.
I didnt care. Joshy was my boy forever. Also, Id been having some chest pains, and after Josh gave me his hug of greeting, they just stopped and they havent come back. I guess youve read a lot of stories like that.
Josh seemed not to want me to join his roving band of followers and made some remarks about my house as being a wonderful refuge, so I was a distant bystander to most of the events that followed. When the pagan governor knuckled to the politicians and had him killed up on the hill with two criminals, I was devastated. I did make the trek up there and saw him hanging. How it hurts even to say that much about it. He didnt look my way; he was too far gone and out of it. We live in cruel times but that was a sight that made your will to exist gutter like a candle flame being pushed out by a draft. Mariam was there, Yohanan was there, people were trying to look after him as best they could but there was very little we could do. I gave Yohanan a hug from the side and he looked as if he was going to cry, but he had Mariams hand in his and he managed somehow to pull himself together. Josh had told him to look after his mom and be her new son, and the responsibility obviously gave him something to focus on, as his love and his world baked to death in the sun.
I wasnt really sure what to make of it when they said hed come back from the dead. I am very Jewish, and when you tell me someone has gone down to the ancestors, thats what I take to be true until the Lord ends this world. But Joshie was such an odd case that I kept an open mind.
The thing that overthrew me and brought me into his Messiah faith was a dream I had one night, so vivid it was as real as my blanket and my bedroom.
He stood there in his brown robe and bare feet and smiled at me and said, hey Zak, and I could feel the love pouring off him. I was set aglow by it. And I loved him back with equal force. Truly, I am sure of it. Then I realized he was 12 years old again and I thought, this isnt right, youre a man. Then he just up and answered me: you really do worry too much, you ole temple guy. Hanging out with lawyers all day, huh. Do you think that my father forgot to record my life for me so that I was going to lose it all except my last days?! Every second of my life has come back to me now and a whole lot more that you wouldnt understand. I am still your boy here, do you understand me? Im a boy for some other guys too but you wont be jealous because it doesnt work that way. Im looking forward to you coming along, some day soon. Whenever youve stopped making trouble down there. Then he gave me one of those melting smiles and I felt an earthquake run through my body and I was back asleep, and then, seconds later, awake, shivering at the memory of it all.
So I know Im going to see him some time. In the meantime, I do what I can for his people here, including the ones who arent in our religion, and more and more, some of those people do things for me as well. I am getting pretty close to the sky, it seems, and some of my mortal powers have already blown off in the wind. What keeps me going strong is a hope, or really several hopes, but one in particular.
I hope that when I get there, I am in some sort of form where I can give my little Josh boy a long, long hug.