Although Rebekah told Isaac of the prophecy she received that Jacob, the second-born of her twins and her favorite, was to receive the blessing, as the boys matured Esau, the first-born and Isaac’s favorite, seemed to Isaac better able to carry any burdens his blessing might require.
In his old age with failing eyesight, Isaac decided to give the blessing to Esau rather than Jacob without telling Rebekah, but she overheard his plan and improvised one of her own. She prepared the meal Isaac requested from Esau, covered Jacob’s arms with fur to imitate Esau’s hairy skin and dressed him in Esau’s clothing to deceive her husband. Not even Jacob, willing though he was to go along with it, thought her plan would work, but it did.
After realizing he had been fooled, Isaac reluctantly remembered the prophecy and remained faithful to it reaffirming the blessing he unwittingly gave to Jacob. Esau, however, wanted revenge and so Rebekah convinced Isaac to send Jacob off on the pretext of finding a suitable wife, not one like Esau found among the locals, knowing that she would likely never see Jacob again.
Rafael walked home with his daughter, Celia, to bring her back to her mother. Celia told him about Derek, and she wondered how he knew so much about him? Rafael didn’t think he knew much at all.
They climbed the stairs to the second story apartment wondering what Celia’s mother would say or do when she saw her daughter again after two years. The silence of their searching eyes overcame the hardened words and deeds from their memories. Then tears restored their lost connection.
Helen heard an infant crying, slid down to the river and found a newborn, an expendable pawn, abandoned to die and be washed away near a drain outlet. She wrapped the baby in her coat and then almost fell when the ground shook from the explosion while hearing Bill yell from above, “Helen, get out of there!” The water from the burst dam crushed her against vegetation on the bank as she protected the infant until her team reached them.
Bill and Rose adopted the child Helen rescued and invited Helen to stay with them indefinitely since she lived alone and could no longer take care of herself given her injuries which gave Helen days, months and then years to read to and guide Little Helen from her wheelchair.
When Little Helen was three years old a man gave her a permanent marker to write a message while Rose held her so she could reach the top of the casket. As she carefully made her marks she suddenly looked up with astonishment and proclaimed loud enough for all to hear, “Mommy, Auntie Helen is dancing with Jesus!“
Eventually Bill stopped giving Rafael excuses and entered the revival tent hoping his doubts wouldn’t dampen the effervescent joy in others should a miracle occur. He stood at the back where he met a missionary who had scars across her cheeks, lips, ears and nose. She explained that the militia overpowering her town a decade ago carried off the pretty girls for prostitution and mutilated the ugly ones or killed them, like her sister, to demoralize the surrounding communities.
Bill went back often and at one point disclosed to her as a warning that his work was dangerous. In turn she reminded him that she was one of the ugly ones.
She loved it when he called her Rose and they were married under the revival tent.
Celia’s boyfriend, Derek, with two of his friends helping, removed his things from her apartment the morning she met her father, Rafael, at the café. How did her father know Derek could not be trusted? Since the arguments with her mother she had not spoken to either of them. How did her father even know there was a Derek?
Rafael remained in the café for some time after Celia ran off and then decided to walk by the ocean before going home. He was wondering what their next move should be and how he would tell his wife that his meeting with their daughter failed when he heard footsteps running from behind and Celia shouting, “Dad, wait!”
Some agents went with Timothy to the east parking area near the second tunnel after getting Helen’s dispatch where they found a suspicious fifteen foot van and arrested the driver upon hearing screams from the back. Other fully armed agents stood ready anticipating hostile response. When the shootout started Timothy dropped behind a car with the child he was moving from the van shielding her with his body and the protective gear he wore.
A few days later Timothy saw that child reunited with her parents at the hospital. She pointed him out and her family approached. In broken English they thanked him and the child’s mother sealed it with an uncontrolled flow of tears, holy water: God be praised.
As Rafael finished texting Bill the message “pedophile traffic second tunnel east” that kept flashing in his mind, his daughter, Celia, arrived, sat down at the outdoor café table, and, as he expected she would, began berating him. Listening to her reminded him of the disrespectful way he treated his own father decades ago and given that experience he knew there would be no service he could perform to make things right with her. Suddenly Celia rose to leave and hissed, “Who do you think you are anyway?”
Sensing this as his last opportunity, Rafael quickly said when she rushed off, “Don’t trust that guy you’re with.”
When Celia reached her apartment she remained outside pacing the sidewalk trying to imagine which deceiving friend betrayed her by telling her dad about Derek, how it was done, and how she would get even. Rafael slowly sipped his coffee hoping she might return, wondering if it would be a good idea to try to meet her again, and then stood up, put his empty cup in the dirty dish container, and left.
The email filter kept Rafael’s messages, rare though they be from this bouncer and saint, assuming proper discernment, at the top of Bill’s inbox until read. What Rafael sent today was “pedophile traffic second tunnel east” which was all Helen needed to dispatch agents.
Helen never met Rafael, but Bill often did when passing the revival tent where Rafael worked the streets explaining once to Rafael that he was suffering from the lingering side-effects of a flu. Hearing this as a call for help rather than a lame excuse not to go into the tent, Rafael gripped Bill’s shoulder with a hand that could have dropped a terrorist praying that, through Jesus, “this illness leave my brother”.
That was twenty years ago. Bill had since relocated, but Rafael kept in contact through messages uncanny in their accuracy, and that pesky flu didn’t dare return.
If you want to know more about revival tent meetings, well, I’ve never been to one, but I just read Mario Murillo’s post Why Modesto is going to be so different. My thoughts for revival take off from there.
As expected the corrupt judge released the assassins back onto the streets. Their attorney filed a complaint against the officers who made the arrests, but no one at the station knew who those officers were. Not even the medics in the ambulance who received the assassins with all the paperwork neatly printed out could identify them.
Since the surgeon who removed the bullets from their arms didn’t notice the tracking devices that the shots were intended to deliver, once the assassins were released Helen began logging their journey.
Pointing to her monitor, Helen said, “The way these guys wander about the city I wonder if they took the blue pill or the red pill.”
When Headquarters collapsed the surviving complicit agencies frantically made attempts to cover their tracks by assigning two hitmen to take out Bill and Timothy inside a bar. Upon entering the bar the hitmen noted the location of the barmaid and a quarrelling couple along with their primary targets.
In more civilized times opponents, in theory, would face each other on dusty streets with cemeteries in full view where one or both would be forced to rest in peace while the decent folk got out of the way.
Today when the two assassins with bitcoins dancing in their heads drew their weapons the quarrelling couple stopped quarrelling and, in spite of shots being fired, arrested these valuable sources of information on this side of eternity.
After the couple escorted the hitmen out of the bar Timothy permitted the owner with his clientele back in. Although Bill tried to convince them, scoffers all, that they were filming an action movie, it was only when the barmaid handed the owner and each of his customers envelopes generously stuffed with cold, hard, fiat cash that everyone was happy.