“Mr. Matthews, how long will it take to get there?”
“We'll be there tomorrow, Zach.”
Good. I can't wait.
Zach looked up and saw marshmallow shapes moving slowly across the blue sky.
I've never seen clouds like that before.
Matthews' entourage was well organized. Amazing how this motley group, consisting of families, some orphans, some strangers, behaved so well. Other travellers, in surrounding groups, were often loud and boisterous --- but not those under Matthews tutelage.
That is why Zach felt so comfortable. Zach, just seven years old, seemed wise beyond his years. He loved Mr. Matthews, who was the father he never knew. Plus, he especially enjoyed hearing Mr. Matthews talk about the Miracle Worker.
I can't wait.
As the clouds dissipated in the night sky and temperatures fell, everyone stopped to rest. Men, women, boys and girls camped out. Tents were set up , donkeys fed, and fires kindled. Some sipped water, ate bread and shared stories. All the children slept soundly, except Zach. He couldn't wait.
Upon sunrise, their journey resumed. Sensing their destination was in reach, Zach ran from the front of the caravan to the back, where the older children were walking, and said, “Hey, guys, aren't you excited? I can't wait!”
The older boys rolled their eyes. The younger girls, near Zach's age, glanced at each other and giggled. “He's so funny. Always talking about the Miracle Worker!”
As hours passed, dust and perspiration clung to their exposed skin. Suddenly, Matthews exclaimed, “Look, over there! The hill. We're almost there!”
Shouts of praise and joy filled the air. Some were ready to sit and rest. Others were bubbling over with excitement to see and hear the Miracle Worker.
Zach broke from camp, running ahead.
“Zach, slow down,” yelled Mr. Matthews. “You don't want to get lost. “
“Okayyyyy, but we must hurry.”
They ascended the grassy hill and Matthews instructed all children and teens to remain with their chaperones or families.
But, Zach still trotted ahead of the group.
I can't wait.
“Mr. Matthews. I need to get to the front.” Zach's heart thumped wildly.
“Settle down, Zach,” Mathews said gently, though, energized by the boy's infectious enthusiasm. “Let's go over there,” pointing. “I think those men, see ---standing on that big stone.......”
Before Matthews could finish his sentence, Zach, zigged and zagged through the throng, in their direction. Matthews ran to keep up. But, before reaching the front of the crowd, Zach stopped to remove a small basket from his knapsack. The basket was covered with a white cloth.
“Zach, put your lunch back. You'll be hungry soon.”
Ignoring Matthews, Zach reached the twelve men. He tugged on the sleeve of one eyeing the vast congregation. “Excuse me, sir. Where is the line to see Jesus? I have something for him.”