VICTOR S E MOUBARAK

Thursday, 2 October 2014

GONE MISSING



Father Ignatius was a kind and gentle priest, slow to anger and always jovial; and he always put his parishioners first. That’s why most of them thought nothing of approaching him first when they had a problem, no matter the time of day or night.

Early one morning, before he’d even had time to have breakfast and prepare for morning Mass, the phone rang.

“Father Ignatius … have you seen our Rosemary?” cried a frantic Mrs Butterworth.

“Eh … No … I haven’t seen her … not for a few days or so …” replied the confused priest.

“Father …” continued the voice at the other end holding back the obvious tears “we went to wake her up for school and she was not there. Her bed hasn’t been slept in … Jack is out looking for her … we don’t know where to look … we phoned her friends …”

“One moment Sally …” interrupted the priest who called most of his parishioners by their first name, except the snooty ones of course! “One moment … are you saying she left home last night?”

“We think so …” continued the distraught mother sobbing her heart out on the phone.

Father Ignatius managed to calm her down a little and promised to be there immediately after morning Mass. And yet another of his days had been disrupted from the beginning regardless of whatever plans and arrangements he had made.

An hour or so later he was at the Butterworth’s. The parents were totally heart-broken and in a state of panic. They did not know where their daughter was and whether they’d see her again. Had she left town, had she been abducted, is she safe, is she alive … the questions followed each other each one depicting its own horrific ending to a terrible situation.

When the priest managed to calm them down the couple explained that they had an argument with their fifteen-year old the previous night and her father had told her to go to her room. That’s the last they had seen of her and this morning they discovered that her room had not been slept in and she was no where to be seen.

The priest shared their agony deeply but he felt that he had to remain focused and clear-headed if he were to be of any help.

“Have you contacted the police?” he asked.

“No … we contacted all her friends, our neighbours, and the school … but not the police. Well … we didn’t know whether she’ll just turn up as if nothing happened … we didn’t want to bother them …”

The priest looked at his watch and decided that it was perhaps time to contact the authorities, assuming that is that she’s been missing since the previous night. He stayed with the anguished parents to give them moral support whilst the police asked them several questions and took a lot of details.

By late morning Father Ignatius decided to leave the Butterworths but promised to keep in phone contact every so often in case there was some news. Throughout the day he kept his promise with several phone calls and numerous prayers that the young girl might be found safely. But his every call found them more and more in despair as time passed and no news was heard of their missing daughter.

At about ten o’clock that evening, as he drove back to the church the car headlights caught a dark figure by the garage door. At first he thought it was an intruder, then he thought it was perhaps a homeless person sheltering there waiting for his return to beg for some food; an event which happened quite frequently in this poor and desolate town.

He approached the garage door slowly and to his surprise he recognized the young girl.

“Rosemary … what are you doing here?” he said gently, “your parents are worried sick about you …”

“Please don’t tell them I’m here … I can’t face them just now …” she pleaded.

“You look cold … Come in …”

He let her in and sat her by the fire, then proceeded to the kitchen to prepare her something to eat and a hot drink.

She had calmed down a little by the time he returned with a tray of food.

“Where have you been all this time Rosemary?” he asked calmly.

“I spent last night hiding in alley ways … I was frightened but I did not want to go back home … ever …

“This morning I went to the homeless shelter … no body knows me there … I told them I wanted to volunteer to help and they let me … then I thought I’d come here …” she sobbed.

“I’m glad you did … your parents said you had an argument last night … is that why you left?”

Despite her obvious distress and in between tears she managed slowly to tell him what had caused her to run away.

Quite by accident, she had discovered that she was not the natural daughter of the Butterworths. It seems that she was born in another town and was adopted there as a baby before they moved here to start a new life. They had told no one of the adoption and kept it a secret all these years until yesterday when she overheard her parents talking in the kitchen.

Father Ignatius listened calmly throughout and silently prayed for this family torn apart by love.

“Tell me Rosemary …” he asked when she finished talking, “all the time you grew up with your parents, did you at any time suspect that you were adopted?”

“No … how could I?”

“And you see my child …” he continued soothingly, “that’s precisely the point I’m trying to make. You never suspected anything. And that’s because your parents brought you up as if you were their very own … which in a lot of ways you are … they loved you as if you were their own flesh and blood.

“They loved you so much that they did all they could to give you a good and happy life.

“Your loving mother has devoted her life to you. I know for a fact that she loves you very much … how she used to worry when as a toddler you were often sick …

“I remember a few years ago when your father lost his job, he was totally out of his mind as to how he’d be able to provide for you and your mother … in some ways he reminds me of St Joseph. He adopted the baby Jesus as his own son and provided for Him as He grew up …

“I was with your parents this morning, and they were out of their minds with worry. I’ve never seen them so distraught … they didn’t know what to think … where you were … whether you were alive or …

“Anyway … I believe you know, deep inside, that your parents love you very much. I think they meant to tell you the truth some day … but I suppose they never knew when is the right time to tell you. They were probably just as scared of telling you as you are now that you have found out the truth … Shall we go and see them do you think?”

Eventually, after she could cry no longer, he drove her to her parents and witnessed the most loving reunion since the prodigal son returned to his father.

Monday, 29 September 2014

WARNING about Vacuum Cleaners

WARNING to all of you using a vacuum cleaner. NEVER use a vacuum cleaner indoors with the windows shut. The vacuum cleaner will suck in all oxygen in the room with dangerous dire effects to all there.

This happened to me the other day. I was at home alone, except for the cat, and I decided to vacuum clean the carpet in the front room. The windows in the house were shut. After a while I felt a little light-headed, then I felt rather faint. I must have lost consciousness and fell to the ground.

Unfortunately, the vacuum cleaner was still on and it tried to suck me and the cat within it.

In seconds, the cat had gone into the vacuum. I gripped tightly into the carpet to try and save myself as I felt I was being dragged into the infernal machine. I was afraid that once inside no one would hear my cries of help since sound does not travel in a vacuum. Especially if the dust bag is full.

I slowly eased myself forward an inch at a time until I reached the electric socket in the wall and I unplugged the vacuum cleaner.

I opened the window to let in some air in the room as I was gasping for breath.

I then reversed the vacuum cleaner controls from suck to blow and switched it on. The cat shot out of the nozzle at speed and flew out of the window upwards, past the tree in our front garden, and into the open window of our neighbor's bathroom, and landed into our neighbor's lap as she was lying there in a warm bubble bath.
Her screams could be heard for miles around as she shot out of her bath tub.

I'll leave the rest of the scenario to your imagination as I stood there watching at her window and asking for our cat back!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

THE PRIEST AND PROSTITUTE

ISBN-10: 150106570X 
ISBN-13: 978-1501065705


When Father Ignatius is suspected of murder his whole life is turned upside down. His faith takes a real shaking as he tries in vain to plead his innocence.

The Church is shaken to its very foundations and his parishioners jump to as many conclusions as they can find and start judging without any facts or evidence.

This is the time for the priest to find out who his real friends are. Or are they keeping close to him for ulterior motives?

“THE PRIEST AND PROSTITUTE” is a fast-paced story with believable characters and situations. A realistic self-test as to one’s faith and beliefs, as well as the ability to stay focussed on God when it seems He has abandoned you.

The author skilfully combines humour with suspense to deliver a Christian message relevant to today's society.

Victor S E Moubarak has published several books available from his website or in Kindle format from Amazon. His books: “VISIONS” ISBN 978 1 60477 032 2 and “GOD’S SHEPHERD” ISBN 978-1500683955 are also available in paperback from Amazon and all good booksellers.

AMAZON LINK CLICK HERE  

NOTE: My Public Relations Adviser has suggested that I give away two signed copies of this book to anyone who reproduces the above post on their Blogs. So its over to you. If you wish to enter the draw please tell your readers about this book, and let me know. Thanx and God bless you. 


Friday, 19 September 2014

Teaching about God

The preacher was telling the congregation about the evils of drink. “To drink is to follow satan. Drink is bad for you. It will lead you to damnation”.

To demonstrate his point he put two glasses on the pulpit. One contained water and one contained whisky. He then produced a small box containing two worms which he had dug from the garden before the service began.

He placed a worm in the glass of water and it floated about merrily. He then put the second worm in the glass of whisky and after wriggling for a few seconds it died.

“What does this tell you?” he asked.

A member of the congregation replied, “If you have worms drink whisky”.

There’s a message in this joke for us Christians. How often, whilst well-meaning, we try to tell others about our beliefs and end up confusing them and perhaps, un-wittingly, driving them away from God rather than towards Him.

It is worth remembering that not everyone is at the same stage of knowing God as perhaps we are.

You wouldn’t feed a new-born baby pizza or French fries; would you? So let’s go easy with new Christians or people who have yet to know the Lord as we do.

The best way to teach Christianity is by living it as Jesus would want us to.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St Francis of Assisi.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The day Noah got drunk

THE DAY NOAH GOT DRUNK

It's in the Bible.

Noah was a farmer and
he was the first man to ever plant
a vineyard.
He made wine,
drank it,
and became drunk.
He then took off all his clothes,
and lay naked in his tent.
His son Ham (what a name)
saw Noah naked and
he took photos with his cell-phone
and posted them on Facebook.
GENESIS 9:20-22.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Reminiscences of presents past

There I was sitting in the back garden the other day watching the sun setting down  over the re-cycling factory, when my mind drifted back to my childhood all those years ago, and the many presents I had wished for at Christmas and how I had to make do with their well-meaning substitutes.

I remembered that one year I had my heart set on a train set. You know the one I mean? A beautiful steam locomotive all shining in black, pulling an open container full of coal, and this pulling a carriage with people clearly visible through the windows. The set included a number of rails which when linked together would make a large circle; and you could also buy various accessories like a railway station, ticket office, more rails, carriages and so on.

I'd imagined buying all the additional accessories with my pocket money and building a rail network that would be the envy of any transport system you could think of.

I wrote several letters to Father Christmas explaining precisely which train set I was after and pointing out that I had been a good boy all year round; just in case he didn't know.

On Christmas day I did not get that train set at all. Instead, my auntie had knitted me a pullover and a little train locomotive. I mean ... is she mad or what? A knitted train locomotive? I ask you ... how can you get a train locomotive made of wool and stuffed with pieces of cotton to go round and round? She didn't even knit me a set of rails!

I always wondered about the sanity of that woman. She must have been light-brained and a few tomatoes short of a salad, as they say. She was always knitting something. Tea cosies to keep the teapot warm, hats or bonnets to keep our heads warm, scarves to keep our neck warm, gloves and mittens, socks and booties to keep our hands and feet warm.

On another Christmas she knitted us all pencils and pens pullovers. Let me explain. She knitted long thin tubes the length of a pencil with different color wool. A bit like the sleeve of your jumper or jersey but much smaller. The idea is that you push your pencil or pen through the tubes to keep them warm.

Is she mental or what? Do pencils feel the cold perchance?

And when we did as she suggested, every time we tried to write the pens would slide into the tube as we pressed on the paper.

Eventually the silly woollen sleeves were thrown away in a drawer. Can you suggest another use for woollen tubes six inches long?

Another year I asked my Father for a computer for my Birthday. He gave me a packet of crayons instead. He said he couldn't buy me a computer because it hadn't been invented yet!

Actually, he was right. Computers hadn't been invented until years later. But a packet of crayons is hardly a substitute is it?

I asked my Mom for a helmet or hard hat for when I go out on my bicycle. I didn't have a bicycle at the time, but I was always forward thinking ... you know, just in case one day I got a bike. Instead she bought me a set of non-stick frying pans.

When I got married, we decided that we did not want any gifts or presents at all. We wrote in the invitation letters that we'd like everyone to come along and enjoy a nice toast to Love and Happy Life ever after. On the day in question everyone turned up with a toaster as a gift. We had at least 150 of the kitchen appliances.

I suppose the most useful present I was ever given was from my uncle when he gifted me a roll of double-sided sticky tape. I asked him why and he explained I could use the tape to pull back my sticking out ears. I had terrible sticking out ears as a child. I looked like a car with its doors open.

Eventually my parents sold our dog and the lawnmower to pay for my ears to be operated on. I had the operation on one ear. Unfortunately the doctor died shortly afterwards.

So now I have an ear looking normal and the other still sticking out. At the slightest breeze I spin round like a hotel revolving door.

As I was sitting there in the garden reminiscing I suddenly had to get up and go indoors. The wind unexpectedly picked up and I started rotating fast like a spinning top.

Have you ever had a well-meaning gift which did not quite fit with what you had in mind?