The clouds covered the sky like a gray blanket. Unmoving, they waited patiently for just the right moment to release their captive. I had left my umbrella at home in the rack beside the front door. The weatherman had called for sunny skies. Maybe I had heard wrong, my mind was lost in its own world lately.
I should have already been home, but endless diversions kept me out here on the street. The grocery was only another block. I would get the bread and fresh deli meat for dinner tonight and then I would be home. I begged the clouds to hold on, wait a little longer.
It took to long to get the meat cut, by the time I stepped from the store, it had began to sprinkle. One single drop splattered onto the top of my head. It felt cool against my scalp. I tightened my grip on the cloth grocery bag. My one small step in saving the environment. I quickened my pace. Pierced with rain drops on random areas of my body.
I turned the corner.
It was that moment when the hovering gray clouds decided they would no longer bear the weight and in one ultimate release the rain poured down. I was soaked to the bone in a matter of seconds. I could curse that weatherman at this exact moment.
I walked head down, my body shivered. I looked around trying to find cover, surely it couldn’t last long. My saving grace had been spotted. There across the street was the bus stop. It contained one bench surrounded in a shell of protection from the elements. I hurried across the street.
I sighed with relief as the rain could no longer pound my body. I sat down on the bench. Checked my items in the bag. Luckily they were wrapped nice and tight in plastic. Unharmed by the attack.
I sat alone for only a few brief seconds before a man entered my cave. Dressed in dirty and torn clothes. His hair tangled, his facial hair unkempt. He nodded as he took a seat. I moved away from him. He eyed me and then my bag, which held my makings for a sandwich.
“I am Grover.”
I smiled politely. “Beth.”
“What you got there?”
“My dinner.” I shifted in my seat and clutched the bag close.
He looked down at the sidewalk. “Man shall not live by bread alone.”
Wonderful. I am stuck in a bus stop with a homeless Bible thumper. Could my day get any better? I was close to the house, maybe I would make a mad dash. Then I looked down at my feet. The five inch heels told me no way. I wanted to scream or cry or maybe both.
“Have you ever tasted death?”
My heartbeat pounded in my head. Throbbing. I felt ill. What is this?
“Look I don’t have any cash on me.”
He chuckled softly. His blue eyes glimmered. “I am in no need of money. I have all the wealth I could ask for. I am hungry.”
Oh of course here we go. He wanted my food. The food I had gotten caught in the rain for. No way. Maybe I was being selfish, but hey I worked hard for this food. I ignored him. We sat in silence for a moment, listing to the traffic slosh through the rain, the steady rhythm of each droplet hitting against the dull plastic casing.
He moved closer. I jumped when his warm hand touched my arm. Fear ran through me. No. It wasn’t fear. It was something else. Something new I had never felt. It flowed through my veins. Only relatable to the tingle you feel when your hand goes to sleep.
It was the vision I saw, the hill. The cross. The bloody body that hung from it. The sharp pain. The agony of it. I felt it.
I felt death.
I fell to the sidewalk. Weeping. I felt the strong arms lift me and I heard the soft voice.
“Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
It was in that moment I realized because of Jesus I could avoid the taste of death.
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