A sailor’s letter home, part one.

Dear mom.

I pray this finds you  well. And that it finds you.

I know you always offer sacrifices when I am on a sailing trip. Thank you for that concern. I had reason to need divine help recently, though I’m not sure that we’ve been sacrificing to the god most powerful.

Let me tell you my story.

We were loading our boat up at Joppa. We were almost ready to sail when a man showed up, looking a little haunted.

“Where are you going?” he asked the captain.

“Across the Great Sea,” the captain responded. It’s the way he answers curiosity-seekers.  The man didn’t look like a sailor looking for work, and we don’t usually carry people who can’t carry their own weight.

“Is this enough to ride along?” the man asked, holding open a sack.

The captain rubbed his beard, as if thinking. But we could tell by his eyes that we were going to have some paying cargo.

“How far are you wanting to go?” the captain asked.

“As far from here as can get,” the man said. He shuddered a bit.

The captain took the sack from his hand and stepped aside. The man walked up the plank and settled onto a ledge in the bow.

We ignored him as we finished our work, pulled up the ramp and set sail as the wind shifted. I did notice that the man looked back toward land as we sailed away. He seemed to relax a bit.

As we settled into our watches, I sat next to the man.

“Running from something?” I asked.

“I’m running from God.” He laughed a little. I laughed, too.

“You’re Jewish right? Your god is pretty safe to run from I guess. The way you all keep losing land. What’s your name?”

“Jonah,” he said.

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  1. Pingback: A sailor’s letter home, part three | 300 words a day

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