Monday, October 31, 2011

The Name

The Name

When the perilous frigid northern wind blew across the desert floor of the Arizona border town of Naco on that midnight of All Hallows Eve, Mary died giving birth to her son. In despair, the newborn’s father hung himself on a lonely oak tree, outside of town.

Dr. Jacob Abrahamson wrote his own father’s name for the child on that bitter night without mercy. Before the dawn of All Saint’s morning, Daniel Abrahamson trudged through the blistering blue wind to his son’s home to witness his namesake nestled against his daughter-in-law’s breast.

“Would not this child’s name be his own father’s?” the older Abrahamson said.

“Father Abrahamson, is not the child so beautiful?” asked Ruth.

“Not so handsome as our little Joseph,” he said.

Jagged tears of broken ache traveled the grief worn lines etched in Ruth’s face from the fresh death of her month old Joseph. The baby at her neck could not replace her own flesh, but he was motherless. Ruth’s grace abounded.

“Father Abrahamson, the child bears his grief alone. Do we not weep the tears he does not know?”

The old man’s beard hid his quivering lip. His only son was without child. It had been the solitary trial he could not endure. Ruth’s barren soul screamed in silence. Jacob’s bitter tears were hidden from the world.

“Where is the child’s father?” he asked.

“He suffered the death of a broken heart,” she said.

“And must we bear his blackened dread?” he asked.

“Jacob is preparing the burial of the child’s father. As the baby becomes a man he must know that compassion was given to his parents as they left this earth. Who better to extend that love than the one who holds him now,” she said.

Father Abrahamson pulled back the swaddling to get a look at the child’s countenance. Raven hair shocked in swirls about his honey face. Cinnamon rich eyes glistened, searching for nourishment; his nursemaid mother relieved his pink puckered lips.

“Of what Book was his father?” the bent man asked.

“He was a stranger in a foreign land, of Mexican descent,” she answered.

“And his name?”


“It is not natural for you to take this child. He is of another world. It would not be well of the child to suffer confusion of mind to soul,” he whispered.

“Would the child suffer less without two spirits who love his presence?”

“Give him to those of his own tribe,” the elder bristled.

“Should I agonize the emptiness of womb’s heart when the milk of life flows to no mouth of need?”

Her shadow bit into the soul of the God who heard them. The crippled man bowed his wispy grey head in the shame of sadness that had not experienced warmth’s embrace in the season long forgotten.

“Would my son be near soon? To make a final decision?” he staked the words as if permanence were the assurance of a future sealed in banishment.

“The tomorrows of this newborn is held in the hand of your doing,” her eyes said without utterance.

The rabbi struggled to rise to the window of the dripping light trickling across the sky of dilemma. His yellow fingers tapped at the crimson drape to see if his Lord had left hieroglyphics in the purpled clouds.

“His name must be his father’s,” he dared.

“But only with your blessing.” Mother Ruth lifted the child into Rabbi Abrahamson’s ancient hands where the tiny bundle of hope was to rest; right hand under the hip and the left hand of blessing would hold the head of resurrection.

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