* This post is the third in a “dear diary” series from Luke 1-2. The first post is here.
** The first “dear diary” series is here.
4th Day of Iyyar, 4:30 pm
I’m writing earlier in the day than I usually do, because Elizabeth’s family is in town, and we’re all going out to dinner tonight. There’s this new all-you-can-eat restaurant that just opened here in town. It’s called Lemberger’s, and they’re supposed to have a pretty amazing gefilte fish. I hear you sit at your table, and they throw rolls to you. Oh, and they dump your side dishes right onto the table — what a novel concept. I bet this place is gonna’ be huge.
So, yeah… we’re going out to dinner tonight. This’ll be John’s first trip out of the house; I hope he’ll sleep through the whole meal — I don’t want to be that family whose kid cries in a nice restaurant. You know, the same family who leaves behind a huge mess of honey and locusts on and under the table, spilled drinks, and smashed crayon bits everywhere in the booth. And then amidst that horrendous and mass destruction, this family leaves their offering of a little bitty, tiny tip. I’ve heard that Jewish families eating after synagogue are the worst tippers. That’s sad. I wish some other religious group were known for that instead of us.*
I said this would be John’s first trip out, but that’s not true. We took him to the temple for his circumcision. So let’s just say this’ll be his first trip out as a full-fledged Jewish man. And hopefully the first trip that doesn’t end with John screaming like an angry leviathan while his mom threatens to become a Gentile if we have another son. It’s hard to watch a baby in pain, you know.
And he wasn’t the only one in pain that day. There I was celebrating the circumcision of my son. A son who was born way too late in mine and his mother’s life for this to be “natural” and “normal.” A son who was promised me by God through Gabriel, the angel. A son who is apparently never going to drink wine and is instead already filled with the Holy Spirit. A son whose responsibility it is to prepare a people for the Lord himself. There was so much to be thankful for. The blessings of God had really been poured out on me.
But I was still deaf and mute. I wasn’t sure if I’d be punished forever for my questioning of Gabriel or what. He had told me I’d not be able to talk until the day “all this happened.” That was right after telling me about how I’d have a son. So I fully expected the curse to be lifted on the day John was born. But it wasn’t. So there we were at the circumcision, family and friends all around, an 8-day old son, and I still couldn’t hear or speak.
That’s when the argument started. They were all planning to name him Zechariah, after me. Why they’d want to name him after a guy who’d apparently shown so little faith in God, I’m not sure. But that was their plan. Lizzie and I had talked (ie. written back and forth) about it a lot, though — about how the angel said his name would be John. So she refused Zechariah and pushed for John. But they wouldn’t listen to her. You know… women’s rights just aren’t what they should be in this part of the world. Females can’t drive, vote, go to school, or work in corporate management, no matter how many bras they burn.
Of course I didn’t know all this was happening. I could tell there was an argument, but not really what it was about. It seems the biggest fuss was that there’s no one in our family named John. [...which is odd if you think about it -- not a single "John" in all our family? I mean it's not like we're talking about Tsidhqiyah, Tovi, or Tab.* John. It's common.] Finally, they asked me what I thought — and I wasn’t about to lose my vision or my sense of taste (can you imagine a trip to Lemberger’s without the ability to savor the food?). So I very definitively wrote, “His name is John.” To me, there wasn’t a question about it. John was already the kid’s name; we’d just not yet filed the papers.
It was at that very moment that I received back my hearing and speech. Though, to be honest, I didn’t realize I had the hearing back for quite some time — I was so busy praising God for the miracles he’d performed, and for his faithfulness. The Holy Spirit filled me, and I wrote a song right there off the top of my head. It was pretty incredible. God is so amazing.
Well, it’s off to Lemberger’s, home of the throwed rolls. Good night, Diary.
* Just give it some time, Zechariah — about 2000 years to be exact. Christians in North America have got your back..
** Arguably one of the top 5 drinks every invented, by the way.