There are even attempts by the priests to place some of the thugs in the jail on false charges – to further the damage done. These attempts have been blocked by the jailer. Visitors from the church have flowed in to both the business and the jail.
The carpenter is not alone.
But the danger is far from past.
Some of the fingers on both hands are now broken – without hands there is no carpentry. No carpentry means no income. That is an ominous sign.
Meanwhile, back at the shop, the priests have swarmed, and have painted curses over the front of the shop – warnings that those entering will not live well. Superstition ran high in Philippi – and these markings and etchings would ward everyone away.
What did these drawings look like?
Something like this maybe…
The only ones crossing past the curses are members of the church. They may only have been 50 strong – out of a population of 10,000 – but they. were. strong.
Every single member would have visited either the jail or the home before noon.
Still, the picture is bleak. The family that was living week to week now has no money – and with broken hands – no way to make money. And all of this because of a wooden cross.
What’s worse is this. A meeting of the carpenter’s guild has convened. In the status controlled city that was Philippi – where everyone had a place – even the poor had a ladder to climb. The guilds were craftsmen who banded together – unions of a sort – fraternities of a sort.
Their decisions controlled the business of the businesses.
They had gods to whom they dedicated the guild – and of course – this Christian was an “atheist” in their eyes.
He is now a banned atheist.
Even after his hands are healed – business will be near impossible.
The ripples of the cross continue.
The landlord too has entered the picture. There really were no tenant rights for the poor in Philippi. If the money was there you had a place to live. If the money was not you didn’t. And now with all the damage done to the property the landlord is “concerned”.
He demands immediate funds for repair work and has doubled the rent. Explaining that his risks are now doubled – and the rent must keep pace.
There are any number of ways the story could play out from here. Things could continue to worsen:
- The family is evicted, left alone on the streets, and whatever disaster being homeless in Philippi might entail – might ensue.
- The priests could make due on their “curse” – criminals were easy to hire and the streets of Philippi at night could be dangerous. A lone man with wounded hands would be easy prey for a “chance” mishap – or murder – on a dark alley way.
- The teen son – or the mother – might have to sell themselves as slaves to keep the family afloat.
Things. already disastrous, could get worse in an instant.
But there are brighter endings too.
Did I say I was going to conclude this story today? Well consider it concluded…
if you choose one of the “bad” endings.
I like happy endings myself.
Tomorrow – some happier endings to pick from.
When I was a kid there were “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.
Maybe this can be like that.
You can select any one of the horrid outcomes…
come back tomorrow for the “silver lining” options.
Or come up with an ending of your own. That might be fun.
At any rate, feel free to end this story as you like
I heart that – it makes me smile – choices are good.