“Get home, before you are missed.” The Rabbi's words echoed in my ears. Stones along the shoreline baked in the hot sun, like loaves from our clay oven. I hurried across them as fast as I could. The water clinging to my feet sizzled, until my footprints faded altogether. Reaching the hillside, I climbed the dusty path to the road above, and ran.
Only once did I allow myself to see if the teacher was still there. He stood by his friend's boat and glanced up at me. My foot hit a stone. Tears stung my eyes. I cried out and ran harder. Now I would have to explain the blood.
I slipped through the side door of our courtyard, and dropped to the cool floor, tucking my feet under me. Mama still chopped herbs in the kitchen, where she visited with her cousin. I pulled out a piece of material hidden inside my sleeve, and wiped my face and neck. After rubbing it through my hair, I stuffed it down the front of my shirt to catch the rest of the sweat pooling above my stomach.
Safe. I was safe. My studies sat right where I had left them. I picked them up and recited the Shema, keeping my voice low. Mama came with a cup of water. Satisfied, she returned to the kitchen, and to the ceaseless chattering of her cousin, who would be staying for supper. I blessed our guest's wagging tongue and drank the water, leaving a few drops to clean my toe.
I could relax now. Covering my face with my hands, everything about the morning came back clear to my mind. They called the teacher Yeshua. Other Rabbi's, Pharisees, and fishermen gathered around to hear his words, carried to them on the winds of the Galilee behind. I listened to the men discussing among themselves. One of them whispered he was Ha Mashiach. The Messiah.
Messiah. I inched my way forward, taking in his every word. He taught with power and authority. I was mesmerized, drawn to him. My heart quickened. He was teaching from the Prophets, only what he said made sense. With every word about the kingdom of Heaven, he drew me closer, until I was standing at his side.
One of the men jumped up, interrupting him. “Send that child away. He should be at home, studying.” Those around him agreed. Another shouted, “A child should not hear these words of yours, they are too hard, even for us.”
I stood trembling, painfully aware of my blunder. My knees buckled, but Yeshua's arms came around me. He looked at the men. Then I heard the words I will never forget.
“There is no greater in Heaven's eyes. He understands me.”
In his embrace, my being swelled with courage. I turned to face him. “Rabbi, you are Adonai. You are the Messiah.”
Yeshua said nothing. The men were still. He finished his teaching, and when he was done, he sent me away. “Get home before you are missed,” he whispered.
The Shema is a prayer in Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
Rabbi means teacher. Adonai means Lord.
Mark 10:13-16 KJV
..."Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."
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