The sounds of the night made him afraid, for night sounds equaled darkness, darkness equaled blindness, and blindness ... fear.
His thoughts were interrupted by a different kind of sound.
He moved quietly as he inched his way toward the sound.
As he made his way closer his fear lessened, and then diminished altogether.
And he listened ...
“Father, I seek rest. The people, they are many. They have needs that I cannot meet without You, without this time together. Restore me, Father. Renew me. And help me, to teach the others how important it is to escape. To get away. To spend time with You.”
He made too much noise as he leaned his body against a nearby tree.
A heavy sigh. He did not want to be found out. “Yes Master, it is I.”
“Come. Sit with me.”
Peter walked slowly over to Jesus, and sat down beside Him, crossing his legs like the Master’s.
“So you heard?”
“It is what you expected?”
“Peter.” His voice seemed agitated.
Right. How can I fool Him?
“Okay, I thought there might be more. Some kind of secret you possess. Perhaps a great energy you tap into when you come up here alone.” He laughed nervously. “Thomas says you have some kind of potion, and you get away by yourself at night and administer it.”
The laugh turned into a whisper as he leaned into the Master.
“You don’t, do you. Have some potion?”
This caused the Master to laugh, but it faded quickly into the night air.
“Peter. What did you see today?”
Peter took his time; questions from the Master could be ... complicated.
“People being taught, fed, healed.”
This time he didn’t hesitate.
“I tell you this, my friend. What you saw, what you heard, greater things than these will you accomplish. Do you know why?”
Another question. This time he had no answer.
Jesus answered for him. “Because I go to the Father.”
Silence now, as Jesus let the statement sink in.
At last Peter got it. “And I must go to the Father as well.”
Jesus nodded his head. “Yes, Peter. Yes. You must spend time alone with Him.”
He put his arm around the disciple.
“Spend time alone with Him, telling everything you desire. If you do this, with thanksgiving and praise, and asking in my name, the Father will hear you and He will answer. And He will come.”
The word hung in the night air.
“Yes, Peter. Escape. The world is a crowded place and you must get away by yourself, to make a difference to others.”
Peter leaned back against a large rock, contemplating the Master’s words. Suddenly a peace overcame him like he had never before experienced.
Jesus, picking up on it, voiced Peter’s thought for him.
“And the peace that surpasses all understanding ...”
“... will be mine, as I trust in you.”
Peter looked at the Master and smiled.
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
- Matthew 14:23 (KJV)
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