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Tobias Stimmer:
Allegorical Figure of the Old Testament
(16th century)

" … one uninterested in unrequested eye removal …"

If I were to become a God, I'd choose to be a New Testament one. In the Old Testament, God seems grouchy in comparison and Vengeful. Nobody appreciates Venge. We believe those exhibiting Venge are full of it: Vengeful. Fortunately for you and me, I'm unlikely ever to receive the call emploring me to fill in, even for a long holiday weekend, for God The Father, Mother, or Other. Ain't happening. I mention this distinction between a mortal and God because of the allegory currently performing daily in my right shoulder. It occurred to me that what my doctor called Deltoid Bursitis is a dandy example of Vengeful in practice. I had been blissfully unaware of the existence of bursae until a yardwork over-exertion left me with a Vengeful God inhabiting my deltoid. What had been installed to assist the operation of a complex joint became the very model of a Vengeful God in practice.

My bursa remains ever watchful. He monitors my motor activity.
Should I reach beyond my station, he punches what I imagine to be a malevolent red button, sending a shockwave down my arm and leaving me groaning. I could avoid the vengefilled reactions if I sat in quiet contemplation, perhaps continuing with my Publishing series and finally finishing listening to the manuscript with which I claim to have fallen in Love. I extend my boundaries instead, stretching and reaching, temporarily forgetting what I should have been doing. I suppose my overreaches should be punished, but so severely? A New Testament Bursa would be more forgiving and probably miss witnessing the majority of my trespasses. This Old Testament character inhabiting my deltoid seems to enjoy punishing as if he's finally found a way to get even.

Any God capable of holding a grudge seems like he was made in man's image rather than the other way around. I'd expect—and forgive me if I seem disrespectful—infinite forgiveness. Who else besides a God Almighty could even aspire to acquire endless forgiveness, let alone deploy it? The run-of-the-mill God could specialize in Vengeful behavior, even throw the occasional tantrum without shame, but the Almighty inhabits a rarer atmosphere than his lesser brethren. Let the third assistant to the throne engage in petty punishments and leave the Big Cheese some space for dispencing grace and shit. You know we could all use more of it.

I have a watchdog balanced on my shoulder. I feel under a microscope and am unlikely to get away with even the least of my trespasses. I reached across a flowerbed to snatch an errant hunk of clover, and my shoulder reminded me of the existence of gravity and the absolute impossibility of any sort of future for levity. I swallowed harder and continued. I refuse to humble myself before such vengeful judgments. Like I said when I started this story, I'm more of a New Testament sort of fellow—no eye for an eye for me. I try to let bygones go by me without rearranging my existence in a delusional attempt to balance some scale. We've all fallen far short of deserving grace, but that's no good reason to take advantage of a sinner to make yourself feel like a winner. The Vengeful God turned out to be a loser, hence his replacement circa Zero AD or so with another, this one uninterested in unrequested eye removal or stabbing pains emanating from anybody’s deltoid region.

a link to a summary of my writing week.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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