Miriam’s Tears (Part 5 of 5)

Since early spring, Miriam had made the trek to the outlook every morning, to watch the sun rise over the mountains to the east. Sometimes only visible as a lightening of the cloud cover, the dawn still gave her comfort. Lately, she’d begun to pray as she walked, a habit she’d lost some years ago, but easily recovered in the peace of the early morning. She’d get the bread rising, make sure that Jacob was on his way to do the milking, and then begin the walk up the narrow trail, forming the prayers on her lips.

She’d started this habit after hearing the news of Jesus’ death. Overcome with despair, she had made an excuse of “a sick friend” to her family, and then fled up the hillside to the outlook. She’d stayed there all night, shivering and crying, asking God for forgiveness. Then the sun had crested the distant pass, and the chill of the night began to wain. Somehow, it was time to stop crying. She’d wiped her face clean, and walked back down to her son and her husband.

This particular morning, the sky was a spectacular pink as the sun rose, and for no particular reason, Miriam felt suddenly happy. It was as if she was a child again, and she nearly bounced as she came back down the path to the inn.

As she turned the last bend in the trail, she saw a stranger, climbing down from his donkey. Jacob was already there welcoming the man.

Jacob’s keen ears detected Miriam’s footsteps and he turned to make the introduction. “Mama, this is Bar-tho-lo-mew.” Jacob very carefully pronounced the name of this new guest. “He’s come from Jerusalem. He has good news to tell us.”

Jacob turned back to Bartholomew, “Sir, this is my mother, Miriam. My father Marcus is the innkeeper.”

Miriam opened her mouth, but then stopped. The stranger had not turned to greet her. His eyes were fixed on Jacob’s blind ones. Then Bartholomew reached out, “In the name of Jesus…”

The End

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