Sandals of the Nazarene Chapter VIII

Once again I wear the uniform of my country and feel a new esteem of myself.
It is odd though, I also sense a new ‘being’ within myself. Not all is as it was prior to the last time I wore the uniform. Cornelius was cautious in that he gave me a new name with my new enlistment and commission. I was a dectorian, commander of a small brigade of men under the new name, Antony. It would take time to become accustomed to my new rank and name but I owed Cornelius, my Centurion, much. I would endeavor to fulfill his trust and regard.
What of my new found belief? How did that affect who I was. I had much to learn about the man I saw last stripped of all dignity and gored to death by spikes, spears and whips. I carried His sandals in my baggage. It even gained a new identity with me. No longer was it a ‘trophy’ of a Jewish upstart but something but something ‘memorial’. No, that wasn’t it, either. A token? Perhaps, but something that seemed to convey something greater. A stewardship, commission? I mused on these concepts often in retiring for the day.

I t was if these very sandals were calling out to me for something greater than myself to do or give. It was several months later that I had an opportunity to speak of these matters to Cornelius.
“Sire, you know of the sandals that I carry in my baggage”

“Yes, Antony ?”

“They haunt me, Sire”

“Will you or have you disposed of them?”

“I c-can’t, Sire. It is as if they have a hold upon me.”

“Do you want me to place them away from you? I have noticed that you seem distracted. Not enough to keep from your duties but you do appear as if you had received a wound that will not scar.”

“If you would, Sire. “ I answered as I handed the sandals over to him.

Cornelius took them and turned them over in his hands, inspecting them. There were dark stains where blood had coursed down His legs and ankles on both sandals – proof that One walked his last steps in this footwear in great agony. Cornelius was silent for some time as he peered at them and then away; very much as if the ‘haunt’ had captured him as well

“They do speak. I know not what but these sandals tell a masterful story of the One who wore them.”

“Knowing what I now know, I do not deem myself worthy to handle them.” I remarked.

Cornelius then grinned. “Ignorance is blissful but not for long. Knowledge comes to the door and demands tribute.”

“You are indeed a sage, Sire! I remarked.

“I speak from experience, Jan – Antony. I wasn’t always so remarkable in wisdom,” Cornelius quipped.

“Nor modest, Sire ?!

“Never as modest, Antony…nor humble.
I have humility and modesty that I have yet to put to use….just for the having” Cornelius spoke matter of factly.

Silence prevailed only for a half a minute before I heard Cornelius let out a chuckle then a hard laughter. It was contagious and I joined in.

Cornelius then rose up with austerity
“Do you dare mock your Commander? I’ll have your head!”

“Well Sire, If you can make much more use of it than I have, here it is!” I quipped.

“Antony, I can make more use of it and I will. It will join with the other thick headed louts’ skulls that I collect to catapult over the fort walls!”

“Sire, if you aim well, I am sure that my thick skull can take down the front gates!”

We then broke in a long and healthy laughter “My humility and wit have nigh met their master, Antony……You’ll do….At least your head will. I will retain its services
joined to your shoulders. I require all my lieutenants to have their mind about them.”

I fared well in Cornelius’ command. He had taken me under his wings as to train me to take the command of the men under him. I met each challenge with vigor and after eight months I was in second command. Cornelius introduced me to his niece that had travelled up from Joppa. A young Grecian beauty – she was named after Greece’s chief goddess, Athena. She had become one of the followers of the Way after some of the Jews had been run out of Jerusalem by a spirited Pharisee by the name of Saul of Tarsus. Athena, curious one morning to seeing a group of men and women gathered by the seaside singing and breaking bread together had stood by silently watching the gathering. Never had she seen such a portrayal of community looking after the needs of one another before. Another Greek by the name of Aquila and his wife Priscilla had invited her to come and take part. They shared with her the story of the life of their Master, His death and resurrection, calling men and women into the kingdom of heaven, healings and giving life back to the dead.
Though beautiful in form, Athena was not haughty but had already displayed in her life generosity and kindness. She knew much of her nature sometimes was in need of help. She had a quick temper when she saw someone mistreated and had gotten in trouble with her rebukes and rebuttals to certain authorities. It was for this reason her mother had sent her to stay with her brother Cornelius. My eyes met hers. It was if we were moths attracted to the light in each others eyes and a quick affinity was born between us.

Sandals of the Nazarene Chapter VIII

Thomas Josiah Chappelle

Oxford, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 2

Artist's Description

Chapter Eight of the continuing story

Artwork Comments

  • EAWilliams
  • Thomas Josiah Chappelle
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.