With a quick glance over her shoulder Sarah tiptoed toward the distant hill, and away from her sleeping father. His soft snore grew fainter with each step. She wove tentatively around the sleeping bodies of men, women, and children, as she searched for her friend. Where was he? Why wasn’t he watching for her as planned? Were they still here? She dared not call out. She would be heard--and stopped.
Sarah quickened her pace as she finally spotted him, sleeping near his father, under a small tree at the edge of the group.
“Micah, wake up,” she whispered into his ear.
“Hmm,” Micah groaned. “Sarah?”
Sarah bent close to Micah’s face, her finger to her lips, “Shh. It’s time. Hurry, but don’t wake your father.”
Both children glanced simultaneously toward his sleeping father as Micah hastily fastened his sandals. “He can sleep through a stampede of wild oxen,” Micah whispered, hoping that tonight would be no different.
“Where is he Sarah? I don’t see him anywhere,” Micah asked as they darted hand in hand toward a clump of trees at the base of the hill.
Sarah pointed toward the hilltop. “He went over the hill again; just as he’s done the last two nights.
“What about his friends?”
“They’re by the lake. Most are sleeping, but two are sitting around the campfire.”
“Are you sure we should do this?”
“I have to. I’m worried about him.” Sarah tugged Micah’s hand. “Come on.”
The full moon cast a ghostly sheen upon the hillside and surrounding trees. Shadows leapt with each new breeze, causing the children’s resolve to weaken more than once. The hillside was brighter than Sarah had anticipated; they were able to see, but also be seen. Taking deep breaths the friends slipped out of the grove, and crawled along its outer edge until they reached the summit.
“There he is,” Sarah, pointed to a lone Sycamore tree at the base of the slope, and the man sitting beneath it. “We need to get closer.”
“He’s talking,” Micah noticed. “But to who?”
The children inched closer.
The man leaned against the tree with his legs crossed, and his face turned toward the stars. “My bones ache and my heart is weary Father. My time draws near, and still they don’t understand.”
“He’s talking to his father,” Micah whispered looking this way and that. “But he’s alone.”
The man smiled. “No Micah. I’m never alone. Neither are you, or Sarah.”
“He saw us. He knows our names,” both children gasped.
“Don’t be afraid,” He soothed, looking directly at the amazed children. “ Please, come sit with me.”
They hesitated but a moment before they raced across the meadow, and knelt one on each side of Him. Sarah cocked her head, and scrutinized His gentle face and serene smile. During the past three days, this was the closest either child had been to the man—the masses were too great. Yet, she loved him all the same. And she worried.
“It’s alright Sarah. Ask your question,” His voice was tender.
Sarah and Micah gaped at each other, “How’d you know?” Micah finally sputtered.
“Ah Micah, I knew your plans before you spoke them,”
Micah’s mouth dropped, but Sarah leaned closer. She felt no fear.
“Teacher, for three days you’ve taught us, fed us, and even healed some. We get tired and rest, but the people don’t allow you to. There’re so many of us and just one you, and you’re weary.” Sarah hesitated, “Who takes care of you?” The words tumbled from her mouth.
His smile broadened. “Do you remember my words about rest Sarah?”
She nodded, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. But who do you go to?” Matthew 11:28
“I’m with Him now Sarah. I come here each night and I sit and talk with my Father. I rest in His arms and draw strength from His words, and my body and soul are refreshed. Do you understand?”
Sarah pondered His words, “I think so.”
“But who’s your father?” Micah asked.
Sarah’s mind raced, her brow crinkled, and then a smile erupted, “He’s God. When we you, Jesus, we see your Father.”
“You were listening.”
“To every word,” Sarah beamed.
Jesus rejoiced and drew them close.
“Thank you Father for the faith of a child.”
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