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 "The Stain" (A tale from New York City's "little Italy") part 2

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Jacob Ben Avraham
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PostSubject: "The Stain" (A tale from New York City's "little Italy") part 2   Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:33 pm

     I didn’t know quite what to say, or do.  I just looked at my shirt with horror.  Mr. “G” told me specifically not to stop and talk with “S”, but that’s exactly what I did, all because of something to eat. 
     “OK Frankie” continued Mr. “S”, “here’s another white napkin, just tuck it under your chin and let it cover your shirt.  That way, the stain’s covered.  That’ll be OK with “G”. 
     With that, he handed me a large white napkin and I tucked it under my chin and spread it across the front of my shirt.  Then I took off running the rest of the distance to Mr. “G” s mansion.  I heard “S” shouting to me his last words;
     “Have a nice time at “G” s place Frankie” and I heard him still laughing.      
     I finally got away from the sound of his hideous laughter and I saw up ahead a sign that pointed to the right; “Judah Gate” I really felt bad, but maybe, he’d understand.  I mean, it wasn’t ALL my shirt, just in front, and I did have this covering.  Well, I followed the sign and found myself walking on a long road that seemed to glow with the color gold.  Ahead, I saw a huge gate made of what seemed to be Mother-of-Pearl.
     When I got to the gate, I saw two giant beings standing guard at the gate, they were also wearing apparel of pure, dazzling white.  Their eyes bore down upon me, they were looking at my shirt as if they already knew that it was stained.  They looked at each other and just shook their heads.  They moved aside and pointed to a long corridor that ended at a pair of double-doors. 
     As soon as I approached the doors, they automatically opened.  I stepped into another long corridor.  I saw another set of double doors at the end of this corridor.  I heard a lot of laughter and conversation coming from whatever was beyond those set of doors.
I also noticed that to the side of me there was a winding staircase going up, and just in front, there was a closet, kind of wide if you ask me.  To the side of the closet was an ornate arm-chair.  All of a sudden, the double-doors opened and I finally saw, well, who else could it be but; “Mr. G”.
     He was glowing with a brilliant white haze, his hair was white like wool, and he had on an all-white linen garment, tied with a belt of gold. The glow around him was so bright that I could not look directly at him.  Then he called my name from the doors;
     “Frankie, you made it, welcome to my home!”
      Then he made his way to where I was standing.  I was a little nervous, yet my eyes adjusted to his figure as he approached me.
I saw that his feet were like burnished bronze, and his face reflected love and compassion.  He stopped a few feet from me and opened his arms.
     “Frankie, I love you, I have been expecting you!”
     But just then, he noticed my shirt and the white napkin that covered the nasty stain.  The expression on his face suddenly changed from gladness to sadness with a touch of bitter disappointment.
     “Frankie, what happened?”, he started, “didn’t I tell you that to become a member of my family you’d have to come without a stain?”
     “Yes Mr. “G”, I answered with big time nervousness, “But you see, I ran into Mr. “S” on the way here, and, well, he stopped me and…well…offered me a snack…and…well…I was a bit hungry…”
     “and you couldn’t resist the temptation, right?” interrupted Mr. “G”.  “Didn’t I tell you that I had everything here prepared for you Frankie? yet you disobeyed my voice and fell into the enemy’s trap!” Mr. “G” s voice rang out with all sternness and authority.
      “I’m sorry Frankie, I can’t let you in, you’re stained!” 
     And at those words, Mr. “G” just turned and walked away, just like that.  He was headed back to the double-doors.  This couldn’t be the end, could it? I thought.  I had to do something, something quick.
     “It was an accident Mr. “G”, I really didn’t mean it” I said in a loud voice.
     “It wasn’t an accident Frankie, you chose to disobey!” he answered without turning around, but he did stop walking away.
     “Isn’t there anything I can do about it?” I asked pleadingly. 
     “No Frankie” he answered quietly, “there is nothing YOU can do about it.”
     “Please Mr. “G” I cried, and I really don’t cry that much, but this was really a dire crisis, “Isn’t there anything YOU can do to help me out?”
     When I said those words, Mr. “G” turned around and looked at me with eyes so filled with love and compassion.  He turned around and came back to me.  He embraced me with his two loving arms saying;
     “I was hoping that you’d say that Frankie.  Yes, there is something I can do for you.  Actually, I already did it many, many years ago.  I gave up my own life to pay for your disobedience, for you and for the whole world.  The problem is Frankie, that not everyone accepts what I did for them, only those who ask for forgiveness will receive it.  Now, give me your stained shirt.”
     I took off the stained shirt and I handed it to Mr. “G”.  Then he went to the closet that was next to the easy-chair. He opened the closet and threw the shirt into a pile that consisted of other stained shirts.  I took a quick look, and I saw what looked like thousands upon thousands of shirts, skirts, and dresses that were all stained with different food stains.  As far as my eyes could see, there were stained clothing, yet the closet looked so small from the outside.
     Mr. “G” then shut the door.  “It’s the same story over and over again Frankie, if it’s not spaghetti sauce, it’s taco sauce, if not that, it’s soy sauce.  In the end, disobedience is disobedience, sin is sin, no matter what.  Now, you sit and wait here until I return.”
     Then Mr. “G” went up the staircase and in a few minutes, he returned with another white shirt in his hands.  He handed it to me saying;
     “Here, put this one on, it’s my own brand, it even has my initials on the upper-right side, just above your heart Frankie.”
     I took a look at the shirt.  It was like the one that was stained, but this one had the initials Y-A-H on it, embroidered with scarlet thread just to the right of my heart.  I quickly put the shirt on.  It was a perfect fit.
     “Frankie” continued Mr. “G” now you can call me “Abba” because you accepted my shirt, you accepted what I did for you so long ago to pay for your sins.  The initials YAH have a special meaning.  They mean; “Behold the hand”.  I held out my hands and I received the nails to pay for your sins, past, present, and future. The scarlet initials symbolize the blood that I shed for you.  They also mean “Yeshuah” which means “Salvation is from YAH. Now that you are one of my sons, come with me to the party.”
     With that, I followed Abba to the double-doors.  He opened them and everyone in there looked in our direction.  Then he announced; “Sons and daughters, meet your new brother, brother Frankie”
 

     I saw that the room was a great banquet hall, with rows and rows of tables with all kinds of food on them.  There were people from all over New York City.  Some were oriental, some were Hispanics, and others probably Italians like me.  There were African-Americans, and well, people of every nationality.  All the men were wearing shirts like the one Abba gave me, and the women wore blouses with ankle length dresses.  They ALL had the same initials “Y-A-H” embroidered on the upper right -hand side. There was also a stage to one side of the room with a large, ornate throne with a small table in front of it. 
     On the other side of the room were shining beings all dressed in white.  They were all playing different musical instruments like harps, lyres, flutes, some had cymbals, and others had long, silver trumpets.  All were playing soft and soothing melodies for us guests.
     Everyone clapped and smiled and welcomed me.  They embraced me with hugs and hand-shakes.  Then one of the tall beings invited me over to a table.  There I saw all sorts of Italian foods; spaghetti and meatballs with sauce, lasagna, salad with olive oil, stuffed Sicilian olives with spices, and there was cannoli, lots of cannoli.  The tall being took a plate and served me up some spaghetti and meatballs and topped it off with a lot of parmesan cheese and two slices of toasted garlic bread.  This guy seemed to know exactly what I wanted, I didn’t even have to tell him. 
     I ate some of that spaghetti and meat balls and let me tell you, that meal was ‘out-of-this-world’ good.  I would say, it was ‘heaven sent’.  Well, I sat down at one of the tables, all decorated with gold and silver ornaments on top of a white linen tablecloth.  In the middle of each table was a seven-branched candlestick made of pure gold.  A few more of my new “brothers” sat down with me.  Some were Italians, others were Puerto Ricans, and there was even an elderly “sister” whose named was “Ms. Wong” she was from Taiwan as she told me.  Now, we were all brothers and sisters in Abba’s family, what could be better. 
     As I was eating and enjoying the company of my newly found brothers and sisters, I heard someone tapping a crystal wine glass.  I looked up and saw that Abba was sitting on the throne and in his hand, he had the crystal glass and a spoon.  He was calling us all to attention.  The musicians stopped playing and all awaited his speech.  Then the discourse began.
     “My dearest sons and daughters of light” began Abba.  His whole demeanor reflected love and compassion, his countenance shone like the stars of heaven.  “I would like to welcome all of you to my extended family.  All of you were stained, stained with disobedience.  But I paid the price for your disobedience, the price of sin cost me my life, but I gave it up willingly.  I paid the price of sin with my own blood.  I called all of you and you answered my call and came here to me, to accept my invitation to be part of my family.  You wear my name on your bodies which is YeshuAH, which means “salvation”.  Now you are all my precious sons and daughters.  My kingdom is your kingdom.  It shall be your inheritance throughout eternity.” 
     I looked around, and there was a feeling of awe, many had tears in their eyes.  All of a sudden, the whole banquet hall burst out with praises to the LORD with uplifted hands.  My hands went up too, I also started praising Him who sat of the throne of grace. The one who took a common, ordinary Italian-American and brought me into His family.
      Then Abba lifted up his hands for silence, and I noticed two marks on his wrists, the mark of nails that at one time in the past, held him fast to an old, rugged cross on a hill that stood so far, far, away from New York City.  I suppose it is still there. Then Abba continued his oracle;
     “My dearest family members, I am sending you back into the world again to be my witnesses, to proclaim this generation of faith and salvation.  One day I will call you back here again and you will go beyond these doors behind me.”
      With those words he turned around and pointed to still another pair of double-doors, made of mother-of-pearl and decorated with all sorts of precious stones. 
     “Many of my children have gone past these doors and are enjoying the perfect peace of eternity even now.  For the time being, each and every one of you has a job to do, I will equip you with spiritual gifts.  Share this experience with your friends, neighbors, and work companions starting right here in New York City, going to the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and to all the places beyond.  I will give to each and every one of you my book.  Read it, study it, it has my words all written down.  The words written down in this book are the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.  It will be your guide for the rest of your life.” 
     When he finished his discourse, he lifted a medium sized black book with the words “Holy Bible” engraved on the cover.  I remember Mom and Pop had one of those years ago.  I remember seeing it once tucked away on a bookshelf, yet they hardly ever took it down to read, I mean, it was just “there” wedged between “History of Calabria” and “Mama Rosa’s Italian Cuisine”.
     We all lined up and he passed out a copy of His book to everyone.  When it was my turn, I still had more questions, so I asked.
     “Hey Abba?”
     “Yes Frankie?”
     “I was just thinking, what if you called someone in Italy, I mean, does that person have to come over here to become a member of your family? That’s quite a distance to travel, some people don’t have the funds to…
     “Frankie” interrupted Abba, with a broad smile, “This place is one of those mysteries which are hard to explain.  This place where you are now, is everywhere, the Kingdom of God is everywhere, it is available to those who answer the call, like you did.  To those who reject my calling, they can’t find this place…but… if they have a change of heart, then…it will be within sight.”
     “Do you think that Big Al, Lou, and Tony Rizzo will be able to find this place Abba?” I asked. 
     “Well Frankie” began Abba a bit sadly, “Right now if Big Al, Lou, and Tony Rizzo would walk down the beach, all they would see would be sand, shells, driftwood and a few beach houses here and there.  But…if they would open their minds and hearts and accept my calling, then, they would walk along the same road you came on and would see this place.  That’s why you need to tell them about me Frankie.”
     “But Abba” I asked, “How do I get in touch with you if they change their minds? I mean, I don’t have your phone number.”
     “You don’t need to call me by phone Frankie, just talk to me, just like you would talk to your mom and pop, to Ana Ramos, to “Sal” and to your other friends.  I’ll hear you.  That’s the problem with many of my children, they leave here and then never talk to me, or when they do, they only talk to me when they need something or when they are in trouble.  Please don’t do that, OK Frankie?”
     And I saw a few tears in Abba’s eyes.  Yes, I could understand that.  Just talking to someone when you needed something would be kind of rude.
     “OK Abba” I responded, “I’ll talk to you every day.  If I have questions about this book, I’ll ask you for understanding, OK?”
     “That’s great” said Abba, embracing me, “You now have my spirit inside you, my spirit will help you understand my words.”
     So I said goodbye to Abba and left his mansion with the others, those “others” who were now by brothers and sisters in the faith.  I felt very honored to be part of Abba’s family.  As I was leaving, Abba called after me one more time.
     “Hey Frankie, son, don’t forget to call me, remember, you don’t need a phone, only call out to me, “Abba”, and I’ll hear, OK?”
     “OK”, I answered, “I’ll call on you, and talk with you…and you’ll answer, right?”
     “Yes”, replied Abba, “I’ll always answer, my answers are already written down in my book, just read and study it. Don’t forget to tell others about me, and what I have to offer.  One day I’ll call you back home, but for now, just do your job as a faithful son!”
     With those words, Abba turned and went back inside his mansion again.  I thought about his words.  Yes, I’ll tell my three friends; “Big Al”, “Lou”, and “Tony Rizzo” all about Abba.  I’ll tell Ana Ramos, Mama, and Papa too.  Well, who knows, maybe they’ll get a call from Abba someday. Well, what else can I say, only that this was the first day of the rest of my life.
 

                                                                             The end
 

 

 

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