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The Healer
by Julie Michaelson
02/25/13
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I am
that bread
of life.
[John 6:48]
*******************
Time: 25 years after the
Birth of Christ.
Place: The town of Nazareth.
Characters: Yiz'meh, the town
doctor; Jesus the carpenter.
___________________
(Gentle Knock.)

"Come in Jesus!
Come IN!"
Yiz'meh looked up from his
big table full of herbs, and
small jars of spices; his door
was half open, and the early morning sun
was streaming into his little
cluttered shop; the young
carpenter, from down the road,
was standing quietly in the
doctor's doorway.

The room smelled pungently of spicy oils, strange herbs, and
old medical scrolls. In one open corner a pot of something
vicious was boiling, and popping
rapidly. Sharp-looking implements were laid upon a
clean towel, and opaque, round stones were piled neatly beside
it.

The young man nodded, and
smiled. He quietly stepped inside;
he was carrying a wad
of bundled-up cotton in one
fist.
"Shalom......doctor."

Then the young man sneezed,
and coughed.

"YES!
You ARE sick!"
Yiz'meh nodded, and chuckled.
"Your mother was......RIGHT!
Come IN!
Sit......DOWN!
Over......THERE!"
Yiz'meh waved a hand at
the small stool in front of his desk. Then he got up, and limped over to his earliest patient of the day. He was
happy to see Jesus: he was
such a nice young man, so gentle and well-mannered.
"Have you a FEVER?"
Yiz'meh put a head up to the
young man's forehead, and
then turned to the bowl of
fresh cool water on his table;
it smelled of fresh herbs. Yiz'meh dipped a cup into the
bowl, and gave it to his patient.
"You DO have some FEVER! Your mother was....RIGHT!
HERE!
Drink this all....UP!"

The young man drank from
the cup; he made a slight
humorous grimace, as if
Yiz'meh's herbal concoction
was quite the ........concoction.
Then he gave a slight cough.
"Thank you........eh, doctor."

Yiz'meh peered curiously at
the young man: Yiz'meh's
eyes squinted, as usual; he had
been squinting since birth. Yiz'meh held out his leathery hand for the cup.
"How long....have you been...
SICK?"

Jesus smiled, and shrugged;
he murmured, as if to himself.
"Just a few days........it is just a COLD............."
He looked up at Yiz'meh with
kind, gentle eyes.
"Well.......you are busy.....
I will take my leave now....."
Jesus coughed again, and
put the wadded-up cotton to
his reddened nose.

"SIT!
SIT!"
Yiz'meh gave a sharp tap on
his patient's shoulder. He
leaned closer.
"WHAT did you.....SAY?
That you are.......COLD?
Are you.....SHIVERING?"
Yiz'meh turned around, and
limped toward inner doorway
at the back of his shop. He
yelled.
"VERAH!
VERA'LAH!
FETCH some HERB SOUP!
Some......HOT SOUP!
QUICKLY!"

(A returning yell, that of
a frenzied grandmother with
room full of children, could
be heard through the thick
walls of the house.)

"YES!
NOW!"
Yiz'meh's voice was even louder, and more irritable
than usual.
I have a SICK PATIENT......HERE!"

Jesus stood up from the
rather uncomfortable, wooden
stool; he had fashioned it for
the doctor, and it wasn't his
best.......creation. He held
out his hand.
"Doctor, please.......
please don't bother your wife.
I know that she is very busy..."

Yiz'meh shouted irritably;
he waved his free hand in
the air. His other hand was
gripping his walking-stick.
"SIT!
SIT!
If you return to your mother's
house, without any good SOUP......I will never hear
the END of it! SIT!"

Jesus gave a gentle sigh,
and sat back down on the
uncomfortable stool. He
gazed patiently at the village
doctor, and then smiled. He
looked down at Yiz'meh's
leg.
"How is your FOOT.....today,
doctor?"

Yiz'meh waved impatiently
down a the floor; he had been
born with a flat foot, and everyday,
now that he was older, it was becoming more
and more crippling.
"Ah!
AH!
It is ............NOTHING!"
Yiz'meh shook his head, and
chuckled.
"I will..... LIVE!"

Jesus smiled gently; his kind
eyes sparkled, as if knowing
a wonderful secret.
"Perhaps one day.....the Lord
will HEAL.... it."

"AH!"
Yiz'meh chuckled again,
and then waved at the air
again, as if batting at a pesky
fly.
"It is......NOTHING!
Just a NUISANCE......REALLY!
Our LORD should not WORRY..
about such things!"

Jesus stood up, and nodded
respectfully, as Yiz'meh's
wife, Verah, bustled into the
cluttered shop: carrying a
big bowl of something steaming, and very hot.

It smelled awful.

Verah set the big bowl
of steaming mess down,
and put a big plump hand
to their patient's smooth
young forehead. Then she
clucked loudly, and dipped
a corner of her apron into
the bowl of herb tonic and
patted it all around Jesus'
forehead.
"How SICK...you are.....JESUS!
HERE! NOW....SIT!
SIT, AND EAT!
AH! YOU LOOK HORRIBLE!
SIT! SIT!"
Verah turned and swatted
her apron at the doctor.
"Yiz'meh! Why didn't you
TELL ME...how SICK....he WAS?"

Yiz'meh frowned irritably,
and stamped his walking-stick
on the dusty, cluttered floor.
"VERAH!
GO BACK to the CHILDREN!
I WILL....feed him the SOUP!
Now......GO!
SHOO!"

"And.....make him eat ALL......
of it, YIZ'MEH! ALL OF IT!"
Verah yelled, and bustled busily out of her husband's
dusty shop. Her skirts swished past, and pushed
one of the ancient-looking
medical scrolls across the wooden floor.

The inner door closed noisily.

"Doctor......why don't I take
this home......I can take sips
of it.....while I am working in
my shed......" Jesus glanced,
with another humorous grimace, at the awful-smelling
steam rising out of the big
pottery bowl. The boiling liquid
was a strange-looking gray,
and had bits of quail-parts
floating merrily along the top.

"Absolutely NOT!"
Yiz'meh shouted.
"You will REST....HERE!
And, EAT EVERY BIT of that
SOUP! It is a SPECIAL SOUP.....just for your malady,
Jesus! Now......EAT!"

"Yes........doctor."
Jesus sat back down, obediently, on the uncomfortable wooden stool.
He sighed, quietly and deeply,
and then slowly picked up the hot bowl that Verah had thoughtfully covered with a
thick cotton cloth. He smiled,
as if trying not to chuckle,
and began sipping, very slowly,
from the steaming bowl.

"This will CURE....that COLDNESS.....
that you are FEELING!"
Yiz'meh pointed sternly
at Jesus, and then turned to
limp back to his medical table.
He set his walking-stick against the wall behind him,
and then set to work on crushing some more badly-
smelling herbs in a small crockery bowl.
"I will have VERAH fill up
the BOWL, again, before you
LEAVE! Then your MOTHER
can warm it up for you, before
SUPPERTIME! It will CURE
you! Do you.....HEAR?"

Jesus suddenly held his breath, as if about to sneeze
heavily, and abruptly set down
the soup bowl. The awful-smelling herbs in
it, along with the various cooked animal parts, were making his nose even more
itchy and uncomfortable.
After several harsh sneezes,
he picked up the horrid bowl,
again.
"Doctor......I do not wish to
bother you.....at this busy time
of day.....allow me to take
the rest of this.....HOME. I promise.....I will sip from it...
throughout the DAY....."

"Don't you.....MOVE!"
Yiz'meh shouted; his head
will still down as he squinted
painfully into the bowl of fresh
herbs he was crushing with
his special wooden hand-block.
"YOU SIT RIGHT THERE
AND DRINK ALL OF IT,
JESUS! I will NOT have you
returning to your MOTHER....
looking so wretched! Now....
DRINK!"

Jesus gave a rueful smile,
albeit a gentle one, and sighing,
picked up the steaming bowl
again. The smell of the special
healing-soup was really quite
horrid. He murmured to himself, once more.
"It is only......a COLD virus......."

Yiz'meh looked up, suddenly;
his eyes were painfully squinted, and a small opaque-looking smooth stone
was stuck awkwardly in front
of his left eye: only magnifying his squintiness.
"What was THAT?
What did you .....SAY, Jesus?
What in the name of Heaven
is a.........BY'RUS?"
Abruptly, Yiz'meh turned around and shouted through
the closed, inner door, again.
"VERAH!
VERAH!
COME!
COME help me put Jesus....
to BED! His FEVER must
be UP! He is speaking GIBBERISH!"

The Healer groaned.
But,
He continued, obediently,
drinking the horrid steaming
stuff from the doctor's herbal-smelling pottery.

Then,
He sneezed.
************************
And,
Jesus said,
'Rise,
take up
thy bed,
and
walk.'
[John 5:8]

Copyright 2013.













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