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Friday, August 10, 2012

Fiction Friday - Chapter 50B

Sarah watched as one family at a time brought their children to Jesus to be blessed. With each, He admonished the families to be patient and loving with each other, especially those with children of slavery. He called them by name, parents and children alike, and gave each words that spoke to the deepest part of their hearts.

When it came their turn, Paul , who had been holding Tamara, placed her at Jesus’ feet. He smiled. “Well, my small friend, you caused quite a stir here today. How do you feel about being the one everyone is talking about?”

Tamara shrugged. “They prob’ly won’t even ‘member in a few days.” She took hold of both of his hands. “Jesus, I have a favor to ask, ‘kay?”

Sarah started. Jesus had given them so much—would He be angry with another request? She knelt to tug Tammy away.

Jesus smiled at Sarah and shook His head. He pulled Tammy onto His lap. “What is that, little one?”

“My Grandma—When we were in the before, first I went away, then Mama, then Papa. She must be awfully sad.”

“What do you wish for me to do?”

“Could you tell her we’re all okay?”

“I can. But what makes you think that would console her? People grieve even when they know their loved ones go to heaven.”

“But she doesn’t even know that. She doesn’t know about you.”

“That’s true. My Father has been calling her, but she hasn’t listened yet. Perhaps I’ll give her a message she can’t ignore. Have your Papa write a little letter to her. I’ll make sure she sees it.”

“Can you mail a letter from heaven, Jesus?”

“No, but I think I have just the messengers we need. One of them is your Papa’s friend Evelyn. She’s one of my own.”

“Oh, I know her. Evelyn works at Papa’s office, and she’s really nice. She always gives me a Tootsie Pop and lets me talk to her. Everybody else shoos me away.”

Sarah chuckled. Bless Evelyn, the most patient of people.

Jesus grinned. “It’s because she loves you, Tammy. And she will deliver the letter to your Grandma. I have a secret to tell you, Tammy,” Jesus said, and leaning close to her ear, He whispered.

Tamara clapped her hands and looked first at Paul and then at Sarah. “Can I tell them?”

“Just your Mama and Papa, but wait until you’re alone with them, all right?”

Sarah raised an eyebrow at Tammy, but she said nothing. She made a zipping motion across her lips, looking smug and happy.

Jesus looked first at Sarah and then Paul. “You have begun a good work here. Continue to help others grow in their faith.” His eyes twinkled. “And you don’t need to wait for a need to talk to me. If I am your Friend, you can talk to me any time, every day, about everything. And Paul, Tammy says we need to give a message to your mother.”

“Yes, Lord, I heard,” Paul said, “and I’ll write her a letter today. But I’m curious how can you get a message like this to her.”

Jesus smiled. “Write the message on papyrus, seal it in a jar, and leave it in your house. On the jar, write Evelyn’s address on it, and don’t worry about the delivery.”

“Lord, You are amazing. Thank You. I’ve been so happy here, but I’ve worried about my mother after all these apparent tragedies in her life.”

“Never worry—just give all your cares and concerns as well as your joys to Me.”

“Yes, Lord, we will do that from now on.”

Dorcas and Hamath were the last to come forward. After he blessed their children, he sent them off to play with the other children. “Dorcas,” He said. “You might have noticed that Hamath has changed a little.”

Dorcas smiled into her husband’s eyes. “Yes, I had noticed, Sir.”

“Have you forgiven him?”

Dorcas mouth dropped. “Forgive him? Why should I forgive him? If I do that, he might go back to his old ways.”

“Yes, he might, although I have faith in him that he’ll try not to. I’ve forgiven him. Won’t you also forgive him?”

“You have forgiven him? Whatever do You have against him?”

“Any time someone hurts one I love, he also hurts Me,” Jesus said.

Dorcas’s mouth dropped open. “You love … You care about me? You don’t even know me. Uh, do you?” she stammered.

“I knew you before you were born, Dorcas. Now, do you forgive him?”

She looked at Hamath, who stood red-faced, his chin drooping to his chest.

“Yes, Lord, I forgive him,” she said, her voice soft and tender. Hamath raised his head, joy lighting his eyes as he gazed into hers.

Sarah blinked tears away.

“Then this is a day you should celebrate. It’s the first day of your new lives.” Jesus stood. “It is time, my dear friends, that My disciples and I must go. We have enjoyed this time of breaking bread with you, but we have a long way to go. We continue our journey to Jerusalem in the morning.”

Paul and Sarah looked at each other. Among all the people there, they probably were the only ones other than Jesus who knew what this last journey would bring to Him. Sarah felt her eyes burn as she and Paul turned wordlessly to watch the Master walk away.

Tamara tugged at their sleeves. “Don’t be sad,” she said. “‘Member the happy ending.”

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