The Legacy of David

  based on 2 Samuel 13 - The rape of Tamar.

  It was on the steps of the courthouse - right out in front where everyone could see. Tami was the one with the gun. Tami was the one with the rawest pain and anger. But there was plenty of pain and anger to go around. So after Tami shot Andy on the steps of the courthouse, in the middle of the afternoon, in front of God and everyone, the other women attacked Andy like a flashmob. He was already on the ground, but they continued to beat him with fists and feet. He was dead by the time the ambulance arrived.

    The women didn’t go to the courthouse with a plan to kill Andy Duke. They went with the hopes of seeing Andy Duke sent to prison. They went with the hopes of finally receiving justice for all the indignities that they had suffered at the hands of Andy Duke. Andy Duke had been raping and abusing women in Bakersville with impunity for years. Andy Duke was a beloved son of a city father, a star athlete. “Boys will be boys,” people would say every time Andy got into trouble. Sure, boys will be boys. Beating up women. And raping dates.

    Tami’s father, too, was a city father. David Kingman and Reggie Duke were practically brothers - and they had been wild boys themselves in their younger years. That’s what the townspeople called it - sowing wild oats. David and Reggie both had their way with more than a few women. “You know they wanted it,” the men would say. “She led me on,” or “I couldn’t help myself - you saw how she was dressed.” So it really wasn’t that surprising that Andy grew up to understand that women were his for the taking. And that’s what he did.

    Andy took women whenever he wanted them. Andy took women whether they wanted him to or not. And if the women complained, Andy would say that they led him on. Andy would say that they were really sluts who were lying. And people believed him. Until Tami.

    Tami was practically his sister. Tami and Andy had known each other all their lives. Andy had wanted her for a long time, and one day, Andy acted. One day, Andy raped Tami, and Tami didn’t back down the way other women had. Tami called the police. Tami pressed charges. Tami demanded justice. Andy got arrested.

    The women whom Andy had been terrorizing were relieved. Finally, they thought, they would see some justice. They went to the courtroom every day. They watched the trial. Andy tried to say that Tami wanted it. Andy tried to say that Tami was a slut. Andy tried to say that Tami lied. But in the end, the jury believed Tami. Andy could barely believe it. He had been convicted. But then came the judge.

    The judge was also a city father. The judge knew Andy’s father, and Tami’s father. The judge had sown wild oats in his own youth. The judge told Andy that he used poor judgement. The judge told Andy that he’d better wise up or he’d end up in big trouble. The judge decided that sending Andy to prison would ruin a promising young life. The judge let Andy go.

    That’s when the women began to wail in the courtroom. Tami ran out. She ran out and she got the gun that she’d been carrying with her since Andy raped her. She came back to the steps of the courthouse and she waited for Andy, and when Andy appeared, she shot him. She looked right at him and she shot him. And then the other women let out their anger as well. And Andy was dead.

    The police arrested Tami, and the other women demanded to be arrested as well. They said that they all killed Andy. They all stood by Tami. The city fathers did not claim that they were sowing wild oats.

The Parable of the Two Sons

based on Matthew 21: 28-32

Once upon a time, there was a family that was known through out the town for their goodness.  This family was held in high esteem by everyone.  If there was ever a dispute between neighbors, this family was able to find a solution that worked for both parties.  If there was ever a need in the community, this family was able to support the filling of that need.  This was a good family.  They believed that actions that resulted in the expansion of good were important in order to have a wonderful and loving community. 

Now there were two sons in this family of roughly the same age.  Wherever they went, they met people who told them what a good family they came from.  Hearing these things made them feel good.

In school, the teachers would tell them, “Jason and Bryan, you come from such a good family.  We know your grandfather, what a good man he is. He has been so very helpful to the community.  If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have clean water here because he found a way to purify the wells that were contaminated.”  Their grandfather was head of the city health department and made sure that the city had clean water. 

The school’s foot ball coach would say, “Bryan and Jason, I know your father. He is such a good man.  Why if it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have a decent volunteer firehouse with a Hook and Ladder truck.”  Their father was a volunteer firefighter and helped organize the community to raise the money for the truck to ensure they were ready in case the taller buildings had a major fire.  One such fire happened and because they had a Hook and Ladder truck they were able to prevent a tall building from burning to the ground. More importantly the fire fighters were able to save a family that was trapped on the upper floors. 

There was another time when a complete stranger came up to them and said, “Aren’t you Elizabeth’s sons?”  They shook their heads, yes.  “Well, your mom is one of the finest women in town.  She helped my children have access to the town library because it wasn’t wheelchair accessible.  You see, my two children were born with physical disabilities and they are unable to walk. But your mom worked with the library and the city to find the money to put in ramps to enable my children and other children like mine to use the library. I am so glad to have met you fine young men.”      

Everywhere Bryan and Jason went there were accolades given to their family about all the good things their family did for others.  The stories of how their family made the community better for others continued to be told.  And in time Bryan and Jason came to believe that they were good simply because they came from a good family.

Then one day something happened at school.  Bryan and Jason told their parents about it.  There were two girls who wanted to go to the school dance as a couple and were told that they could not go; only boy/girl couples could go.  Their parents asked them if it was fair that a girl couple be denied to attend the dance.  After some discussion, their parents asked Jason and Bryan if they would be willing to start a petition to give to the school board requesting these girls to be allowed to go to their dance.  Jason said he would not because he didn’t want to be made fun of by his football team.  Bryan said he would do it. 

But Bryan did not start the petition.  He decided he didn’t care if two girls could go to the prom or not after all it didn’t affect him.  

Jason begin to think of his grandfather’s work with getting clean water, his father’s work on having a fire truck, his mother’s work on having wheelchair ramps at the library. He remembered all these good things that his family did to help others and so he changed his mind and began the petition after all.  Jason reasoned that if the school could tell two girls they couldn’t go to the school prom, what else would they do to keep people from being themselves?  On Saint Patrick’s Day would they keep him from wearing the green plaid kilt his aunt bought him in Ireland to honor his Irish heritage? 

So Jason circulated the petition. Teachers, students, and community members signed it.  He received so many signatures that the school board decided to allow the girls to go to the dance as a couple.

Now sometimes, Bryan gets asked if Jason is his brother.  When he tells them yes, he is told, “Jason is a fine young man.  He stood up to fight an injustice in the school and if he hadn’t done that,  then girl couples and boy couples who wanted to go to the dance would not be allowed.  He is a good man just like his parents and grandparents.” Bryan tells them that he initially wanted to help with the petition and that Jason did not.  They reply, “But did you act on your good intention?” No, Bryan would shake his head.  They would sigh and say, “Good intentions mean nothing; it is good actions that make a difference.”

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