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The week after...

Thursday, 17 December 2020  | John Kidson

His mum was the only one he allowed to call him 'Joey'. His father always used his complete name, not even shortening to the common one syllable most of his mates used. A couple of young girls, sort of cousins, tried to follow his mother's usage and he allowed it for a time. But not after his bar mitzvah! He quickly took pride in his full name as symbolic of maturity. Then Elizabeth introduced her cousin and everything went out of kilter.

If marriages were ever really made in Heaven, they must start with a betrothal like theirs. He felt so alive! She was perfect. He could find no fault in her. It never occurred to him that other blokes could be as happy as he.

In love, so soon! And so early into sharing a life situation! Maybe he was still wearing the rose-coloured glasses - but no, his choice was perfect. She had taken everything in her stride – so it seemed. The news didn't appear to have fazed her at all. The camping out, she seemed to enjoy, though not so much the travelling!

Riding obviously caused some discomfort, even pain perhaps. She had adapted well to the limited accommodation and had rested well for the latter part of the big night. He almost felt stupid whenever he thought back to his weeks before the dream. That was … well that was something, alright! His concern had grown as he weighed the evidence, seeing the changes in Mary, not believing his eyes and ears, and then the dream, 'a vision' Silas had called it – whatever! Of course his thinking had changed, almost immediate acceptance. And now together they were doing the right thing.

He pondered, the welcome they'd received: ‘That elderly official - Simeon? Such a character. And his prayer-song, like a psalm. Wow! And then that lady in the corner, what was her name? Yes, Anna! A lovely old “wrinkly” - she spoke like a prophetess’.

All that had happened in less than a year. Then these last few days - phew! He was now quite keen to get back to his adze and chisels. And he knew life would never be the same again.

John Kidson is a former chaplain at Southern Cross University.

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