Post 333

Family Counselling, Part 9:
The End

Dear Blogger,
Do you remember me?
I am Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob. I am the second youngest, son of Rachel.
We were in your office in the spring.
So much has happened since then.
I hope this letter reaches you safely.
I have been given assurances that you will receive it before next month’s end.

I have not written to my family, and as I write more, you will understand the reason.

It was not long after our meeting that my brothers attacked me when we were out in the field.
My father had sent me to fetch them home, but when I arrived, they began pushing me and angrily insulting me.
They said that I had invented stories and that I had invented dreams, all in order to make them look bad.
They were as fierce as a band of lions, and hatred was in their eyes and in their very breath.
They circled me and taunted me. They bowed down to me to ridicule my dreams and me.
I tried to reason with them, and I tried to protest my innocence,
But they wanted to misunderstand me and my words.
And of course I could not bring silence onto words I had already spoken,
Words that had enraged them.
Why did the Lord send me dreams which would lead them to such fury?
Reuben tried to persuade them not to kill me outright.
Throw him into that pit, he said.
I was dirtied and my skin was reddened with their roughness.
They agreed to do as Reuben said.
But then Reuben left.
To where I do not know.
They grabbed me, stripped me of my cloak — which they ridiculed, in their envy.
I knew that nobody would find me at the bottom of that dark place, that hell.
We all knew it, and I pleaded with them to change their mind, but they had no mercy.
It didn’t matter what I said.
They mocked me for my “creative solutions.”
Some of them called me names, and mocked me more,
While others no longer looked at me.
Then they did it.
They cut their ties with me.
And shoved me into it.
I fell.
The murk.
The darkness.
The strange and wet coldness.
How can I describe my fear?
Looking upwards at them, I could no longer tell one from the others,
Their faces were now dark against the sun.
So many brothers, but not one to save me!
They would not have treated an animal the way they treated me.
They enjoyed seeing me defenceless.
I did not know I had kin like this.
They were strangers to me.
Ah — worse than strangers.
What stranger would take pleasure in torment such as this?
But then, tired of their sport, they left me.
I could hear them, but only faintly.
They were talking and even laughing.
For them, life would continue.
But for me, the silence was worse than their jeers, and I begged them to come back to me.
I was weeping.
I begged them to not leave me.
I promised that I would do anything for them, if they would only take me out again.
But I did not know what words to use to change their hearts.
My voice echoed and rattled to my own ears, but I did not know whether they could hear me.
I wept.
I waited, and listened, but there was nothing.

But then, all of a sudden, so much commotion!
They wanted me to come out, and I felt alive once more!
I was relieved and overjoyed, and I thanked the Lord for his rescue of me.
They had changed their minds, so I thought.
They lowered a rope, told me to grab it.
I clutched it eagerly and tried to climb up the sides of the pit.
Twice I fell back down, and I was afraid, but my brothers,
Who once again felt like my own brothers,
Encouraged me to try again.
I managed to get closer to the top, and their hands — many hands —
Reached for me and pulled for me to come out.
My heart flooded with love for them,
Once again

But then I understood.
A caravan with foreigners was nearby.
It had crossed this lonely field on its way to somewhere else.
These strangers surveyed me,
And I stood.
Surely I was scarcely recognizable as a man,
Covered in mud:
Mud in my hair, in my ears and my mouth.
My skin was cut and bleeding.
I must have looked like a madman.
But my humiliation was not complete.
I had not yet suffered enough.
In a moment, the transaction was finished, and I was bound and dragged to their caravan.

Blogger, my own brothers sold me into slavery.
Though it satisfied them to think of me as dead,
The money lured them, and they decided to act accordingly.
The new plan meant that I would be as good as dead,
And that was all that they wanted.

For this reason, I will not write to them.
If they know where I am, they may come to kill me or send someone else to do it.
If you meet them, I beg you not to tell them anything about me.

So now I am in a foreign place.
I am in Egypt.
My master is Potiphar.
He is an officer of the Pharaoh, and commander of the guard;
An important man, to be sure.
He has grown to trust me, and he treats me well.
So my life is better than before.
I do all of my work diligently, and I put my faith in the Lord.

I remember you, and I often remember how you tried to understand our family.
Numerous times, I said to myself, if only Blogger knew what happened afterwards!
It is for this reason that I wanted to write to you.
I thought that you would be interested to know how the story ended.
It ends with me in a land far away —
A slave, but not an unhappy one.

With warmest regards,
Joseph son of Jacob