Hello Friends! Welcome to Telbat’s Tablet. Thank you for joining us today for my thoughts and short story for this special Friday and Resurrection Sunday weekend.
I grew up in a house that knew the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday. Sure, there were a few chocolate bunnies and spotted jellybeans eaten. But the Cross of Christ and the empty tomb superseded the commercialism.
It is with this season in view that I’m reminded of a missionary to the Amazon jungle region, Walter Parsons, and his return home from the field to America. On foot, he entered the only lane of the community of Hoxborn on a Good Friday.
Walter had been gone for fifty years. Now dying of cancer, he’d left the deep Amazon area where he’d been preaching to otherwise unreachable hostile tribes. He now sought the comfort of his grandchildren and attention of his great-grandchildren.
As the story goes, no one in the old neighborhood recognized the leathery man, now gaunt and tattered. Walter walked from house to house, admiring old and familiar names still lettered on mailboxes.
No one approached the eighty-six year old man. Were they so distracted with this counterfeit holiday of fertility and color? Egg hunts were being planned and grills were being cleaned in anticipation of a busy weekend that had nothing to do with attending church or celebrating Christ.
Finally, Walter reached the end of the lane and he stood before the Parsons Family home. A giant bunny rabbit stood on the front lawn. Gazing through the front window, he was about to tap on the glass when he observed his descendants gathered in the living room.
It was then that Walter noticed the family was indeed together, but they weren’t caring for one another, sharing or encouraging. Rather, young and old alike were staring at a super-sized television where awesome graphics displayed scenes of violence, sex, and horror that made the family shriek and laugh with pleasure.
Discouraged with the idea of a reception by such mesmerized people, Walter turned away from the house that was once his own. He felt uncomfortable interrupting the family that he no longer knew.
Walter walked away from Hoxborn that day, never having been greeted. It was probably true that his offspring thought he was dead, having not heard from him for fifty years. But even the prospect of him being alive—Walter could tell it would excite these people very little, or merely temporarily.
He returned to die in the Amazon with the tribe who had once mistreated him, but were now quite aware of the meaning of the Resurrection of Christ.
No one would know this story except for the journal that Walter left behind. The Amazon tribe who mourned his death now celebrates his life in Christ, for he indeed lives with his Savior. It was one of these Christian natives who thought America should know the story of one of their own, and that native delivered Walter Parsons’ journal to a fisherman near Manaus. The journal was written in Katowishi, a now vanishing language.
To this day, it’s not known if the Parsons Family ever received the message—of Walter’s visit, or of the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
How appropriate is this (fictional) tale for your family on this special weekend? It’s been in my notebook for years, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share it.
May you have a joyful Resurrection Sunday, fully aware of its meaning, and of who may be outside looking in.
He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!
David wrote another short story based on this one, “A House of Strangers.” (It has a happier ending.)
You may enjoy reading this previous Author Reflection and challenge, “Take D.I. Telbat’s Spy Test!” And as we near April 15th, you might enjoy reading this humorous short story, “Tax Season and Bad Hair Days!”