And that was how we spent the rest of the day. Jesus sitting on the bench out front, my bench, the one I could see the water from, and what seemed like a never-ending line of sick people.

There were headaches and rashes, fevers and coughs. And it was always the same but different. Jesus would speak a few words of encouragement. It seemed like he knew something about everyone’s story. And then he wold touch them and that was it.

Rashes and headaches disappeared, coughs stopped, fevers cooled, and though it all people talked.

“Who was this man?”
“Where did he get his power from?”
“What did he want?”

People had seen nothing like it. He didn’t ask for money like the doctors in the community. He didn’t prescribe herbs like the old women in the market or demand sacrifices like the priests in the temple. He listened to people, smiled and healed them.

There were old people and children and people in between, and he had time for them all. And it didn’t matter how poor or dirty or demanding they were he offered them more than words he offered them a touch.

Part way through the day some of Esther’s friends arrived with the food they had promised at the well.

They were surprised to see the mass of people lined up at our door and even more surprised to see Marion up and walking around. However, it didn’t take long for them to realize that the food they brought wouldn’t go to waste.

It was then Jesus took a break. Those still waiting were clamoring for his touch but he told them to go home and have lunch, that he would be back after he had something to eat.
The people wouldn’t let up, “It’s my little boy” or “Just me, It won’t take long” and over and over again we heard, “Please Jesus, please”. But eventually he had to turn his back and walk away.

The door closed behind him and It was good to get inside out of the midday heat and away from the demands of those outside.

We could still hear those on the other side of the door, they apparently hadn’t taken Jesus’ advice to get lunch. But that’s what was happening inside, lunch.

I don’t think we’d ever had that many people in our little kitchen before. It wasn’t long before plates of bread, cheese and olives had been spread out on the table before us.

I couldn’t imagine that the ladies had brought that much, but there was plenty for everyone with left overs as well.

It didn’t take long before Esther’s friends were chatting with Jesus and peppering him with questions.

They were asking about his parents; his dad had passed away but his mother, Mary, still lived in Nazareth. And about his siblings; he mentioned two brothers and a sister. And the most important question; was he married? And the answer was no, and no, there was nobody special in his life right now.

It didn’t take a genius to see the gears moving as the women imaged matches between this young charismatic teacher and their single sisters, daughters and friends.

The talk soon moved away from all the special girls that Jesus needed to meet and turned to how he was able to heal Marion and the others.

Jesus just smiled and told us that healing was just a temporary gift he could give. And that he had a more important gift, one which would last forever.

“By tomorrow most of those who I’ve touched today will have rationalized what happened. They will have convinced themselves that they would must have been over the worst of it, or it was just a coincidence they felt better after I touched them. Or maybe they will think they weren’t sick at all.

But just because they don’t appreciate the gift doesn’t mean they shouldn’t receive it.”

And with that, he thanked the ladies for lunch opened the door and stepped back outside.

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