+JMJ+ A note on the writing. I’m writing a book And working my way into the writing, which is what this experiment is, a journey into the writing. So the journey in the title refers both to the journey in the story itself and to my writing my way toward the story. Come along with me. Let’s see what happens together. It’s a rough draft (and I do mean rough), so consider yourself warned. Here we go.
A Journey – Part 8
I hoped that things would look different in the light of a new day. But I still feel that I am standing on ground that is shifting, as if the Lord Himself were shaking the ground under my feet. And why does He want to torment me so? I have tried to be a good Pharisee, haven’t I? I’ve done my best to take care of my family—
Oh, my family! I can’t help but think of how much I’ve given up for them when I remember seeing Rachel here (in Jerusalem) when she should have been there (in Galilee), and with the rabbi and his followers (in Jerusalem) when she should have been anywhere else, but she was here with them in Jerusalem where anyone could see!
I’ve had messengers from Joseph and Nicodemus already this morning. They both want to talk with me. I can only think that they know that I know but they don’t know what I know. And I don’t know what I know, either. I don’t know what Rachel was doing talking to them because I am not talking to Rachel. I may not be talking to Joseph or Nicodemus either. Until somebody tells me what’s going on.
That may not make any sense and of course it doesn’t because I am angry. I do not know why I am so angry, though. So I will spend the morning calming down, and letting them grow more remorseful, then I will let them explain to me why I should not call the Sanhedrin together and turn them all in.
Just had another messenger from Nicodemus. He insists that I need to come to his house tonight for dinner. I will wait a while before I answer him. Of course I will go, I need answers. I’ll take care of some business until then. I really did need Rachel to handle that matter in Galilee and I don’t know if she did or not. It pains me to have to ask her about it, so I won’t. I’ll have a message taken to her. Later. After she has time to consider the situation she’s gotten us into. Whatever that situation is.
Oh, I’m tired of thinking about all of this. I’m getting a headache. I’d rather be enjoying a fine dinner with friends and talking about insights into the Law and the Prophets instead of worrying about what anyone thinks of anyone else.
I arrived at the house of Nicodemus suitably late but not disrespectfully. Meaning, I was on time instead of early and not late at all. He is, after all, a man of means and a man with contacts. I’d be a rash fool indeed to turn one of his influence into an enemy, if he isn’t one already. I loathe all of this subterfuge. “Let your yes be yes and your no be no[ Find Hebrew/Jewish antecedent for this saying],” he teaches, and if they are so enamored of the good teacher, then why do they not follow his teachings? It’s not as if this were something unheard of.
So many questions I have. And who to ask, I asked myself. Nicodemus now and go from there. And if I don’t like what I hear, I will go from there to see what the news is from Arimathea.
Nicodemus and I enjoyed a fine meal. Perhaps “enjoyed” is too strong a word, but the food was excellent as was the wine. Neither of us brought up the events of the evening before, not until to consume more would have been unseemly. Then we retired to the roof to gaze at the night sky and digest our food for a while.
“Jonah,” he said to me, “I want to tell you something and I want you to hear me out, all the way to the end.” Finally, some answers. Even though I had not asked my questions yet. But I said I would listen. This proved to be a mistake. Or so I thought.
“I have searched the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings, and I have come to believe,” (Uh, oh, here it comes) “that the one we have been waiting for, that our fathers waited for, has come to us now.”
And there it is. And here we are. I tried to listen, but how could I? How could he say these things?
“So the long awaited one is here. But is that one supposed to claim that he is the Lord, Nicodemus? I don’t remember that in any scroll I’ve studied, not even the scrolls in the library of our friends in the desert.”
“You’re right, I don’t think anyone saw that coming. But the signs are all there that he is who he claims to be. It’s hard to argue against it.”
“And yet our fellow members of the Sanhedrin do just that: they argue against it. And further, they claim he is a madman or a liar or of the lying one.”
“But if you listen to him—”
“I have listened to him, Nicodemus, I have. He told me to sell everything I have and give to the poor, and then follow him. What kind of madness is that? Has he asked you to give up everything you have? Has he asked Joseph to do that? Has he asked anyone else to do that? He must not want me as a follower and he found an easy way to rid himself of me.”
“I’m sure that was not what he was trying to do, Jonah.”
“What I don’t understand, of the many things I don’t understand, is why he accepts my sister but not me.” That sounded more than tinged with jealousy than I intended, but I filed it away in the back of my mind to ponder later. “He didn’t ask anything so draconian of her, did he?”
“I don’t know that he asked anything of her. You could ask her.”
And at that moment, as if it had been planned and timed so well, she stepped onto the roof, and she was not alone. The good teacher himself was right behind her, and he brought with him bread, more wine, and an invitation to sit and to talk among friends. To seek.
And to find.
End Part 8
Now that this is going on past the May Book of the Month, ongoing story links will be on the Fiction page.
As you can see, if you’ve been following the story, things are beginning to develop, within the story and outside it, too. I’ve set up a separate page for it now, and for more like it (or unlike it) in the future, and made a new cover for it, too. Ideas are starting to percolate in the back of my itty bitty mind. About time, huh? ;)
Thank you for visiting and reading my continuing experiment. I hope you’ll join me again wherever we’re going, wherever that is. I have some idea where that is, but mostly I’m discovering the story as I go. It’ll all be rewritten and (hopefully) change quite a bit as I turn it into my masterpiece. Ha!
Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, and most of all, let the Spirit work in you so that you become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
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Image in the cover: From the east, Nazareth, Holy Land, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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