Sunday, October 30, 2016

From the Outside in (Third Installment)

Jesus questioning them, even then, "am I bandit?  Swords and clubs?"  Judas' eyes registered what this meant.   No army.  No great victory was forthcoming.  He had started to get the idea during the evening meal, but his mind had been clouded by Satan's presence.  He had been drifting from guilt to satisfaction all night long.  His rage just below the surface, his passenger drinking it in like the wine on the table.   So much time.  So much time wasted.  So much power for nothing!  Healing a few peasants?  (He frequently forgot that he too was a peasant.)  He knew the rabbi's power and yet here again, there was nothing.    Nothing when there was so much work to be done. It didn't make any sense.  Despair was creeping over him now.   Rafael watched with regret.  He knew this man's story had a desperate ending.  He still didn't move.  Some choices, he knew, were not able to be unmade.  It wasn't his place to reach out to Judas either.   That was the role of the one standing opposite him with pain and betrayal on his face and fear in his eyes.   

They led him away to the home of the high priest.   Raphael hung further back now.  He had been ordered not to intervene at all from this point forward.  Until the deed was done, all he could do was watch.  Watching was a concession.   He had commanded that they let him do this mostly alone.   None of the little things they normally did to ease human suffering were allowed.  He saw Jesus being taken into Caiaphas's house and saw his fingers touch the woodwork in the doorway.  Rafael remembered that Joseph had put up the new archway years before.    The detail work in wood frame was his signature cut.   The entrance to the outer courtyard was "new" compared to the rest of the house and had been designed to look as impressive as possible to go with the family's change in status.   It certainly did that, but the house had an unease about it.  A soldier grunted at him to keep his hands to himself.  He did so, reluctantly, wondering if he'd done any of the work himself but unable to make himself remember.  

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