Jesus’ Hobbies

By Debbonnaire Kovacs

Solomon Nassim El-Charif looked around the Sabbath dinner table at his family. “Mother, you’re wearing blue. You can be my partner.”

Mother looked surprised. “All right. Partner for what?”

“In Sabbath School class, Ms. Kimoto had us find someone wearing the same color as we were, and then we were partners. Our job was to find out something we didn’t know about our partner.”

Sara rolled her eyes. “You already know everything about Mother.”

Father laughed. “I doubt it,” he said.

“Go ahead, ask me something,” Mother urged.

“Um, let’s see. I already know your hobby is gardening and your favorite color is yellow, and you like to listen to sitar music.” Solly’s eyes went to the picture on the wall of a musician playing the long, strangely-shaped string instrument. He liked sitars too. “I know! When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?”

“A doctor, silly!” Sara put in.

“Actually, I wanted to be a horse trainer first. Doctor came much later,” Mother replied. Sara and Solly stared in surprise, but Father grinned as if this was no news to him. “I loved Arabian horses,” Mother continued. “We had a neighbor who had a lot of them, and I especially loved the white ones. That’s what I want to buy, now that we are all settled in and our stables are ready for horses.”

This exciting news sent the conversation off in a different direction for awhile, but a few minutes later Father brought it back. “So, Solly, now you know something you didn’t know about your mother. My tie is blue. Does that count? I’d like to be your partner too.”

“Sure, you can be my partner. Also, Mother still has to ask me something.”

“Something I don’t know? Hmmm. I feel as if you’re getting so big you have a whole life separate from mine, and there are all kinds of things I don’t know.” Mother thought for a moment. “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”

“Does it have to be in the world?” Solly asked. “Because I’d really love to go to the moon!”

Everybody laughed.

“Someday I will,” Solly added with determination. “After Jesus comes, if not before that. Father, what did you like to do when you were my age?”

“I liked to walk in the hills around our village in Saudi Arabia, looking in all the caves. I thought maybe I would be like the shepherd boy who found the Dead Sea Scrolls. I wanted to find ancient scrolls of the Scripture too.”

“But I thought you didn’t believe the Bible yet.” Sara looked confused.

“I didn’t. But the Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient scrolls of the Old Testament. Muslims believe in the Old Testament, too, you know.”

“Oh, I get it.”

“Did you ever find anything?” Solly asked.

“I found some bones once.” Father made his voice low and mysterious. “I thought they were bandits’ bones.”

Solly leaned forward, his eyes sparkling. “What were they?”

“Sheep.”

Everyone laughed more loudly than before.

“Now I have to think of a different question to ask Solly. Let me see. What is your favorite book?”

“Anything about Detective Zack!” Mother and Sara said at the same time, laughing again at Father’s surprised look.

“I’m amazed that you could live in this house and not know that,” Mother teased. “Your turn, Sara.”

“I’m not wearing blue.”

“New rule,” Father declared. “Your eyes are the same color as Solly’s, so you’re his new partner.”

“Oh, let’s see. What don’t I already know? Who is your favorite Bible character?”

“Good one!” Mother turned to Solly, waiting.

Solly pretended to think hard. “You mean, besides Jesus? Well, I like David and Peter and Joseph.” His smile wouldn’t stay inside anymore. It brightened his whole face as he admitted, “but that’s really easy. Solomon, of course!”

This time the laughter included clapping.

Solly turned to Sara. “If you could learn another language besides Arabic and English, what would it be?”

“Japanese,” Sara replied promptly.

“Japanese!” her family chorused. “Why?”

“Because, I think their art is so beautiful, and their traditional clothes and the way the women wear their hair are so cool. I’d love to go to Japan sometime. I just think it would be great to know the language.”

“Why don’t you ask Ms. Kimoto?” Solly suggested.

“I’ve thought of it, but I’m kind of nervous.”

“Oh, come on, she’d love to teach you! I’m sure you’d be great at it too!”

Sara looked surprised. “You are? Well, I’ll think about it.”

“Well, Solly, we’ve really learned some things about each other,” Father said. “This has been very interesting. What was the purpose of this activity in Sabbath School?”

“Ms. Kimoto was talking about being friends with Jesus, and how friends like to know a lot of things about each other. She said the more we know about Jesus, the more we can share with others. But I don’t really understand. I don’t know Jesus’ hobbies or His favorite color or His favorite food.”

“You know more than you think,” Mother assured him. “Jesus’ favorite foods are probably fresh things, the way He made them.”

“Grape juice,” Sara put in. “I think so, anyway. And His hobby was woodworking!”

“His favorite colors are all around us,” Father added. “Blue skies, green grass, flowers and rainbows and butterflies.”

Solly’s mind was working fast. “But His really favorite hobby was helping people, wasn’t it?”

“Is, you mean,” Mother said. “He still likes to help people more than anything else. And of course, you know His very, very favorite thing in the whole, wide world.”

Solly looked puzzled.

“You! And me! And the person you’re talking to. You can tell anyone, ‘He loves you so much it is as if you’re the only person in the world. He would have died to save just you alone.’”

“Just me alone?” Solly asked, his eyes wide.

“Yes, just you. If you were the only person who sinned, Jesus would have come to rescue you. Because you’re His favorite thing of all.”

“Wow,” Solly breathed.

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