Cleaning the tables and floors at the inn was Miriam’s job. Jacob had able hands, but his blindness would leave bread crumb invitations for mice and other unwelcome guests.
As she swept the crumbs from a recently vacated table, her cousin Eli turned to watch.
“What is it? Never seen a woman clean before?”
“Did I tell you about the miracle with the bread and the fish? This Jesus fellow fed thousands of people, with baskets and baskets of crumbs left over, when there were only five loaves to begin with! Not just once, Miriam. He’s done it at least twice. Miriam, he’s a real miracle worker.”
“I’m sure he is, Eli.” Miriam sighed, and sat on the bench, her back to her cousin. After a moment of silence she turned and looked at him.
“Eli, you are a man. You are strong and capable of the long journey between Israel and the East. I would dearly love to take Jacob to Israel, to have him cured by this healer, this Jesus. But Jacob is only five years old. And I am a woman. You yourself have come into this tavern with blood on your cloak from encounters with robbers on that road outside. As much as I want to make the journey, to have my son look into his mother’s eyes, I cannot risk our lives for it. He may be blind, but he has ears that hear, lips that speak, hands that can feel. He is alive, even if he is not whole.”
Eli frowned and leaned towards his cousin. “That Marcus. He’s made you afraid. So careful is he, with his wife and son? Afraid you’re going to die? Let me tell you, Miriam. Jesus can raise the dead.”