“Jack, I'm home.” Susan closed the door behind her and slumped against it. She’d had a long, day at work, and all she wanted to do was sit down and rest.
“Where have you been?” Jack’s excitement proved evident in his voice. “I have been trying to reach you all day!” His eyes sparkled as he spoke
Susan smiled. She couldn’t recall the last time she’d seen him so pleased “Jack, what is it? I have been in the community all day in various meetings, so I turned off my phone. You look like you’re going to have a baby, or something!” She laughed.
“Over the last ten years, who is it you have wanted to see face-to-face, but felt like you couldn’t?” John’s eyebrows rose expectantly.
Susan rubbed her forehead, then shrugged. “Well, I’ve been wanting to see my father, but he is in Europe, so it couldn't be him. I saw my brother last year. Ummm, Jack, I don't know. Can you give me a hint?”
“Okay, we go to church every Sunday, right? At least once a week you have wondered if you would ever see Jesus, isn't that right?”
Susan smiled. Where could he be going with this? “Yes, you’re right.”
“Well, Mother Teresa says she always saw Jesus in the poor. In the backyard, I met a young girl around twelve years old. I have never met anyone like her. She has the face of an angel, and when I look in her eyes, I see wisdom beyond her years. She’s just moved next door. Her family moved from a homeless shelter into the low-income housing units. You have got to meet her!”
Jack has lost it, Susan thought. She loved his enthusiasm and faith, but Jesus coming to them? As a young woman? Come on, Jack! She didn't want to hurt him by voicing her reluctance to embrace his belief in this girl. “Jack, I think it is wonderful that you think you have seen Jesus. I would love to meet her.” She accompanied her husband to their backyard, shaking her head.
He could tell that even though she was supporting him that she really didn't buy into his perception of what he was seeing. “Humor me, Susan. Just look into her eyes.”
Jack pushed open the screen door, and Susan saw a small girl wearing old clothes. Her long black hair hung limp around her face as she bent over Susan’s flower bed. She turned, and Susan saw that her face was covered with burn scars. Yet, despite her shocking appearance, Susan could focus on nothing except her beautful clear blue eyes. Susan felt as if the girl looked straight into her heart, as if she’d known her for years. Susan moved her mouth, but it took a moment for words to form.
“Hi, my name is Susan. I hear you have just moved in. Welcome. Would you like to come in for a glass of juice or something?” Susan felt like her heart burned inside her chest.
“Hi, Susan. My name is Michelle. No, thank you. I have to go back home. My parents are waiting for me. Thank you for letting me borrow some salt, Jack,” she said, holding up a small container. “Bye, Susan.”
Susan stood rooted in amazement. “Jack,” she said, when the young lady had left. “You are right; there is something special about her.”
As they went to prepare dinner, Susan saw their family bible lying open on the kitchen table. “Jack, what were you reading in the bible, today?”
“I haven’t read it, yet. I laid it on the table, because I wanted to read it before bedtime. I brought it out right before Michelle came over, why?”
Susan moved the pen lying across the pages and traced her fingers over the underlined words. She felt all the breath suddenly leave her lungs.
“Jack, looked what she underlined.” Susan’s legs felt weak, and she sank into a chair.
Jack picked up the bible and read the underlined words. “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me.”