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Calvin Miller portrays Jesus in his trilogy comprised of The Singer, The Song, and The Finale as a troubadour. In the first book, we find the following section, which is an imagined conversation between Jesus and his mother, Mary. Miller’s imagery left a large lump in my throat, too much so to keep it to myself.

For days, he walked. The dust flew up around his feet as he walked home. At length, he passed the village signpost and there by odd coincidence, his mother at that very time stood by the well. They met. He reached to carry her stone jar.

“It’s not traditional,” she said. He took it anyway.

Her cares had made her fifty years seen even more.

“You broke your hammer on the vise,” she said. “I had it mended for you.”

“I’m through with hammers, anyway,” he said. “I’ve just come home to board the shop.”

“And then you’ll leave?”

“I will,” he said.

“Where will you go?” She studied paving stones as on they walked. He moved the heavy jar to ride upon his other shoulder.

“Wherever there are crowds of many people.”

“The Great Walled City of the Ancients?”

“Yes, I suppose.”

He feared to talk to her. Yet he must tell her of the River Singer and all about the Star-Song he had so lately sung. He seemed afraid that she would think him mad. He could not bear to hurt her. For, besides the Father-Spirit, he loved her most of all. At length he knew he must lay bare his heart.

“You seem so troubled, son,” she said.

“Not for myself,” he said. Then with the hand that was not needed in balancing the jar, he took her hand and smiled.

“I hate for you to board the shop and leave.”

“Am I the tradesman that my father was, while still he was alive,” he asked.

“You both were good, but somehow wood is never kind to your great hands. Your father’s hands never paid the pain it cost you, just to love his trade.”

She looked down at the gentle, suffering hand that held her own. Somewhere in her swimming recollection, she remembered the same hand with infant fingers that had clutched the ringlets of her hair and reached to feel the leathered face of Eastern Kings. But he could not remember that.
They walked still further without speaking.

“MOTHER, I AM THE SINGER!” He blurted out at once.

“I know,” she said.

“I love the Father-Spirit more than life. He has sent me to the crowded ways to sing the Ancient Star-Song.”

“I know,” she said again. “I heard the ancient Star-Song only once. I’ve known that you would come to board the shop someday. Can you sing the Star-Song yet?”

“I can,” he answered back.

They neared a house and entered. They shared a simple meal and sat in silence. And the song, which they alone of all the world did know, was lingering all around them in the air.

She had not heard its strains for thirty years but hungered for its music.

He had not sung it for an afternoon but longed to have its fluid meaning coursing through his soul.
Of course, the song began.

(From The Singer by Calvin Miller. InterVarsity Press, 1978. pp 132-135.)

 

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