Letters from Antioch Of Timber wolves and coyotes


There was a scholar of the law from the University who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Salvador said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

The scholar replied, “You shall love the Personal Name, your Mighty Savior, with all your hearts, with all of your animate being, with everything you use to measure yourself with,[1] and your neighbor as yourself. In the commandment, “your” is singular, and “hearts” is plural. This is to show us that the Mighty Savior made us in his own image and that we have the original mistake.

Salvador responded, “You answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Because he wished to justify himself, the scholar asked Salvador, “Who is my neighbor?” Salvador replied, “I ask you to remember the Great City of Peace, Sacramento, California.[2] There was a man in that city who wanted to ascend from that great city to that great place of romance, the moon.[3] As a result, he left our great city of peace in search of romance.

This is so much like the early 1960’s when we first set out to go to the moon. Instead, what he found was bad times and robbers. These left him cynical, lifeless, and on the street. Vietnam, Watergate, The Iranian Hostage Crisis, Iran Gate, Monica Lewinsky, Tax Cut Mania, Budget Cut Mania, and the resulting disaster in New Orleans did the same thing for the U.S.

Our religious leaders, priest and pastor went down the same road with us. Still, their status as priest and pastor blocked them from poverty. When they see our plight in the street, they just walk to the other side of the street to avoid ritual defilement. What will people think if they see priest and pastor hanging around with the underclass?

Salvador looked at his followers and asked, “Remember that town of Omaha back a few days ago? They are many scrub cattle, abused by the Crooked Knives and the Lakota over the last couple of centuries. Because we as Native Americans are so often outcasts in the grander society, we know what it is like to reach for the sky and as a result descend into hell. We also descended that road.

There was a member of the Paiute. His home was a singlewide travel trailer, primer red, a Dodge Colt. This man saw a victim of robbers, took compassion, as a mother has compassion on the fruit of her womb.[4] This man bound up the victims wounds and took him to a place called “All Praise Outreach Center.”[5] There he offered to pay all expenses to bring the man back to health. Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?

Timber Wolf

The scholar answered, “The one who treated him with mercy. Salvador retorted. “Go and do likewise.”

In Reno, there was a tough neighborhood called Neal Road. Few dared to enter. In the eastern section of town there is a gang called the coyotes. In the western part of town are the timber wolves. These kids are tough. Their parents work in the meat packing plants there. Once, a working class kid with a shaved head made the mistake of driving through the eastern section of town. Further, he was driving a Chevy pickup with a large NRA sticker on it and a sticker with Semper Fi on it.

On the route, he had to stop at a stop light on Montello Drive in Reno. Some of the toughs then pulled him out of the car, beat him to the point of near death. They took his car off so they could strip it and sell it.

Later that night, a car full of doctors from the local religious hospital in town drove by. On their bumper was a sticker that read, “Smile, God loves you.”

They were going to a formal dinner south of town, and were afraid. They were not just afraid of the gangs in the area, but of what their cloths might look like when they got to the party. Most important, they were afraid to sully themselves by touching something as repugnant as a corpse. As a result, they did not smile as they drove by, as rapidly as possible.

Coyote

Later, Senators from Carson City also drove by. They were sporting their new corvette. They were on their way to see the results of their work on a new state office building. It was dark and they wanted to see how it lit up at night. The driver was talking on his cell phone to other people that they expected to meet at the building.

On the bumper of the car was a sticker that said, “Honk if you love Jesus.”

They swerved into the left lane, to avoid even coming near a dead man. They did not honk.

Last, a beat up old Dodge Colt came that a 20 something black person with a sweatshirt that had a timber wolf emblazoned upon it drove. Knowing what might happen if the coyotes’ area saw him, and knowing what this kid, whom he saw before him, must stand for, he got out of his colt, took time to bandage the youth, put him in the back of his car, and took him to his home.

There, he asked family and friends to care for this kid while he went back out into the streets to make his living as a rent-a-cop. He could not help but smile and honk at his friends, including the new one he just made as he drove off.

Salvador asked, “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”

The scholar answered, “The one who treated him with mercy. Salvador retorted. “Go and do likewise.”


[1] Neusner, Jacob, the Misnah, tractate Barakhot 9:5 F, page 14, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1988

[2] Jerusalem in Hebrew translates as city of peace.

[3] Jericho, in Hebrew, translates as the moon.

[4] In Hebrew, the word for compassion is related to the word for a womb.

[5] The Original Greek of the Gospel has two words for “Inn.” The first is used in the nativity and literally translated as the upper room.” As such, it looks forward to the upper room of the last supper. The other word used for “Inn” is used here, the story of the Good Samaritan. It here translates as “Place of All Praise.”

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