Thursday, December 15, 2016

From the Outside In (Installment Seven)

The chief priest was heading home and threw up on the side of the road along the way.  Something had to be done, he mumbled to himself.  Something had to be done.  It was him or someone else.  Something had to be done.  He claimed to be one with God.  Something had to happen.  But he was Joseph and Mary's boy, and that bothered him.  So did the healings.  What did they mean?  He cursed violently as he passed through the door at the front of the house.  Remembering Jesus as a young man, a gangly boy, helping Joseph put up the lintels.   He had been so jealous of the attention Jesus was getting.  What had he done?  He tried to pray, and found he could not.  The words wouldn't even come off his lips. 

Rafael considered comforting him, but decided against it. He looked small and weak in the light in his house.  Less like a man who had spear headed a campaign to murder a rival using the Roman government and more like a man who'd done something he didn't know how to undo.   Rafael decided to let him wallow in it. He didn't understand how it had come to this.   Humanity had been showing promise, but it always came back to this.  

Rafael looked up and realized the moment had come.  He understood now why Jesus had chosen this in a way he hadn't before.  The soldier's shaking hand holding the nails to his wrists.   The stiffening of their jaws as they did what was, at that moment, their duty.   The air smelled of desperation, feces, and blood.   There were thieves on either side of Jesus. One of them defiant, even naked and nailed to a cross he was defiant, and the other was resigned to his fate and even defending Jesus from the first one's gasping mockery. Rafael's heart swelled with love, falling to his knees next to the women.   They were weeping.  He was too stunned to move to help them in any way.  Gabriel already stood behind them with his wings spread over them in protection.  He was also stunned and weeping.  

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