Khidr

Perry--

Just read your latest RageBomb. As usual, it sparked me to think; but quite unexpectedly this time, to reply. God's favor, in perhaps the only permissible comparison to earthly love, alights on us as individuals with what seems to be complete disregard for what we've done--or, more pointedly, what we've done to deserve it.

It pains the pious, does it not, to see both the undeserving and the deserving alike partake of a favor of which none is too much and a little is not enough?

I presume that what the unexperienced call wisdom, the experienced call perspective. The cogs in a diety's plans can turn much slower than those in our own human machinery. I have a story--an old one, but not as ancient as many you've heard--that says it better than I, being a consumer of perspective, can; please forgive me that I must paraphrase.

---

Musa had traveled for some time to meet with Khidr. Now Khidr was possessed of many great powers--as he is to this day--and not the least of them was that of ambiguity. So, upon meeting Khidr, Musa asked if he could join Khidr in his travels for a while. Khidr agreed to this, but warned Musa that he was about on business to which Musa was not privy, and not to interrupt.

After a while they came upon a wooden boat floating upon a river, which Khidr immediately foundered and sent to the bottom of the water. "Khidr," asked Musa, "why did you just do that? Surely that boat belonged to a poor family who now will be deprived its use." Khidr brought Musa up short, reminding him not to meddle in his ordained business; Musa apologized, and they traveled on.

After a while upon the road they came upon a young man headed the other way. Without a word, Khidr slew him, and Musa blurted out: "What?! Why have you done this, Khidr?" Khidr glowered at Musa, who quickly regained a sullen composure.

After a while longer they came upon a walled city in disrepair. Despite not having eaten for some time, Khidr took it upon himself to rebuild the wall of the city, an arduous task in itself. "Khidr, surely we should have asked about for some bread before undertaking this task--"

At this, Khidr could tolerate Musa's company no longer, but endeavored to explain to him the nature of his business. "The boat upon the water: a raiding party was making their way up the river, putting holes in boats. As the boat I foundered has yet no hole in it, it can be salvaged. The young man was on his way to commit a murder and thus bring shame upon his pious family. And the wall of the city had collapsed upon the spot where a righteous man had buried a treasure which can now go to the proper upbringing of his children. With this, Khidr and Musa parted ways.

--- That's one of my favorite stories, but even so, Oumar would know more about its context than I. Thanks for letting me tell a tale. I've forgotten how much good a story can do.

Clinton.