+JMJ+ With this post we have reached Part 21 of the rough draft of A Journey, my new novel set in New Testament times. And at this milestone (51% now) I think we need to have a party. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know about that. I also wrote a new introduction on the Fiction page. And now the journey continues.
A Journey – Part 21
Third Day for the Second Time, Tuesday
Those people have had an atrocious effect on Rachel. I tried to talk to her again today and she did not react the way she used to. Oh, no, before she would get angry with me, furious, even. But today she gave me the sweetest smile, as if she were patting me on the head, as if I were a little boy upset about losing his toy and not worried sick about his sister who seems to have lost her mind and cares more about a bunch of fishermen and worse, and is going to get herself and him into trouble. And I do not even know what will happen to us if I cannot get her away from these poor deluded souls.
At least she has not claimed to have seen the rabbi. The dead rabbi, I reminded her. The risen rabbi, she reminded me. See, this is what I mean. One moment, she is sane, the next, uttering the most incomprehensible madness.
I tried to talk to Thomas earlier today, too. I thought he would be more amenable to my view of things, the only reasonable view, but instead he was offended that I would think him unfaithful to the Lord. Unfaithful? To the Lord? Whatever can he mean? Faithful to the Lord is exactly what I am trying to be and I had hoped that he would try to be, too. I owe this dead man nothing and neither does he and neither does my sister nor the rest of them. Why can they not see this?
The tentmaker surprised me with a visit this afternoon. I had to tell him that Thomas is not with us and it saddened both of us. He is obviously a good man and we have need of men like him. Or so I thought. But if he is so deceived by their “savior” who could not even save himself–well, maybe we do not need him in our ranks after all.
We talked, the tentmaker and I, about removing Rachel from their grasp. Forcibly if need be. As much as I do not want to use force, she really is forcing my hand. I have to get her free and restore her honor, and our family’s, the best way I can. Maybe the only way I can.
The women are staying with the rest of the disciples, which is scandalous, I know, but it also makes it difficult to approach her. Already they have begun eyeing me when they see me, because she has undoubtedly shared with them that I do not approve of her being there. I tried to disguise my disgust while I was there but I cannot have fooled all of them. Rachel knows me better than anyone, but then there is the rabbi’s mother. (She has that same ability to see right through me that her son had. Seeing her eyes looking at me I had the strangest feeling that I was seeing his eyes looking into my eyes and seeing into my very soul, through me and out the other side. Strangest feeling I have ever had.)
We discussed a plan to have some guards from the Council waiting around town. And when a small enough group leaves their hiding place and is seen moving around, the guards can surprise them and bring them to the Council for questioning. I worry, though, about what would happen if their hiding place were discovered. I do not want to be the one responsible for all of them being caught and brought before the Sanhedrin. Though surely they would not go so far as to flog them. Not all of them. Surely they would not do so to the women.
The whole thing makes me nervous and before he left, we agreed not to move yet but to talk about it again. We need to be careful about this. I only want to free Rachel so I want to be careful. I realize that his motives are not so constrained. I know he serves the Sanhedrin (the name seems more distant to me every day) and I know that they are searching for the body of the one his disciples called–and still call–the messiah.
I cannot believe it! I trusted him! His men were waiting when she went out with some of the women to take food to some disciples who were ill and could not join them where they are staying. I thought we were going to move soon but not yet. I thought I would be involved in planning this and have a say about when. Now I have to try to get her away from the Sanhedrin without seeming to try to get her away. If this is how he is going to treat me, we will not be able to work together at all. He said he felt justified in doing what he did because he did it for the Lord. Rachel says she is justified in following the rabbi because she is doing so for the Lord. The problem is that they do not mean the same one when they say Lord.
This will bring even more shame upon our family’s name unless I can do something. I am livid. The tentmaker is trying to force my hand, trying to force me to stand up and speak out, to reveal their hiding place and betray all of them. I tried to tell him that they are keeping to themselves. They are not a public problem, I only want to get my sister away from them. I do not want them to all wind up being flogged or worse, my sister included.
Maybe I can convince them that she really is insane. That she is not responsible for anything that she says or does, not to listen to her, to the ravings of a madwoman. She will hate me for this, at least, for a while, but I may only have this one chance to rescue her. I hope she will understand. She will have to. And I have to do what I can.
I do not see her “risen savior” coming to save her.
End of Part 21
Other parts of the story are linked on the Fiction page.
Thank you for visiting and reading. I hope you’ll join me again. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, remember, we are all on the journey to the heavenly city. So don’t be like this stubborn rich young man, but pick up your cross daily and follow Him, so you can 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+
Image in the cover: From the east, Nazareth, Holy Land, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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