School’s out and it’s been quiet by the lake today, with time for fishing and thinking after a few days with my friends. I’m only a kid, but these can't be “the best years of my life.” Like how many grown-ups can remember what it’s really like to be a kid?
The lake is its normal deep blue, with patches that shine from the sun; a few shadows from clouds drifting across the sky; and you can see darker blotches breaking out and swirling across the surface wherever a wind gust hits and bounces off again to come down somewhere else.
The fishermen took their boats out a couple of hours ago, way over the other side. That’s good, because their nets are too big to let us kids catch much from the shore if we try fishing near them. Some of them must think they own this lake, because they can get a bit scary if it looks like we’re filling our baskets.
Today I’ve only caught a couple of small ones: just big enough for any of those super tough fishermen to snatch for their bait. Something you could expect from that big bully Peter Johnson; or from Jimmy and Jack: two bruisers who everyone calls the Thunder Twins. I can just imagine them pulling a stunt like that and then bragging to everybody at the ZBD Fish Shop: “Children should be seen and not heard!” Big joke!
But lately something’s been happening around here; around the lake and up in the hills; ever since Joshua Davidson arrived. He’s been travelling around telling people new stuff about God, and I’ve heard that some of the fishermen he’s gone sailing with have cleaned up their act a whole lot.
He keeps telling all these stories about a heavenly kingdom, but he doesn’t bury himself in scrolls or sit around with other rabbis to whisper or argue about the law or the prophets. He talks about this kingdom as if it were happening right here - in Galilee!
And his miracles! Blind people can see! Deaf people can hear! Cripples are walking around and holding down jobs instead of begging. Even lepers have been cured!
But this Davidson is no fake superstar either, because he makes time for anybody - even for us kids!
Two weeks ago the old mean-streak must have returned to his followers, because they started fighting. It all broke out as my friend Nathan was on his way home from the market. He tried to get out of the way; but Davidson caught him by the shoulder, and pulled him right into it all. Poor Nath felt scared that Davidson could use him as a human shield, but the guy just ruffled his hair and shushed everybody up. “This young fella is better than any of you!” he told them. ”In fact unless you all become like children you’ll completely miss my kingdom!”
Nath said that really made them look embarrassed; and I’ve never seen him look so excited. But something even more amazing happened last week in our street! Talitha, whose father Jairus runs the synagogue, suddenly took so sick that the mourners were hired while he went looking for Joshua. And they were weeping up a storm by the time Jairus brought him back, because Talitha had died!
He hustled them all out of the house. “She’s only asleep!” he told them. When they heard that they went right off their brain: “We are professional mourners! We know death when we see it!” But Davidson had the last laugh – and so did Talitha - because she walked out with him and met them with a big smile on her face.
Imagine us kids being so important to somebody as great as Joshua Davidson!
Hey, I didn’t notice how late it is, so I’d better get home. My mother can make a snack from the fish, and if I eat a couple of the rolls left from lunch my trip will feel a bit shorter.
But oh no, where did all those people come from? Out here in the middle of nowhere! And wait! Surely that’s not Johnson with the Thunder Twins, and Davidson up there leading the way?
I mean, he’s okay, but I hope they aren’t too hungry…
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