Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)
By Fiona Stevenson
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His agonised cry pulled Simon awake, clenching his jaw against further sound. The stone floor of his hideaway was cold and hard against his back. Sobs swelled his breast, finding no expression as he struggled to maintain his silence. In his mind he heard his voice again, “I do not know the man!”
If they found him – if they killed him – what would make things worse? And still he fought for life. “Three times you will deny me – but I have prayed for you.
The Roman soldier was disciplined against the horrors of war. The shaft of his spear thumped against the miscreant’s legs, breaking the bones with a satisfying crack. He stood before the third cross with the cry echoing in his ears, “I have conquered!” Among the rending of the rocks and the shaking of the earth the soldier heard the voice of his commander, “Truly this was the Son of God!” He thought, “This man is already dead,” but just to be sure he thrust his spear into the blood-smeared side.
He awoke to the feel of the warm blood as it soaked his hand. In the fire glow he lifted his hand to his face. His hand was clean. He had washed the blood away. And yet – and yet – he could feel the warmth and ironically as on that blood-soaked day, he could still smell the fresh blood as it stained his hand.
“Who will move the stone? When will we be able to finish our task?” Mary’s sleeping mind worried the questions again, waking her from a broken sleep. Her eyes open to the spice-scented night she thought of the kindness of Joseph, of their hurried preparations, of the unfinished task of preparing the body for burial. They were interrupted by the beginning of the Sabbath, by the hurried elders seeking the sealing of the tomb.
She heard again the stone thump into place and turned aside, unable to stem the tears.
John watched His hands as they washed his feet; he watched His hands as they broke the bread. They broke the bread of five small loaves to feed a multitude. They broke a single loaf at a Passover supper as the voice commanded, “Take, eat.” He watched the hands as they touched a leper; he watched as they restored a man to sight. He watched the hands as the soldiers nailed them to the cross.
He woke and sat, dry-eyed, thinking of the night before the dreadful day. There was a storm in the offing but not in the air. It was in the thump as Judas closed the door. It was in the words of the Master.
“I go,” He said. “I will send a Comforter. I go to prepare a place for you... I will come again.”
His mind mulling the words John lay back. Sleep would not return. He would remember.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe this, Martha? Whoever believes in Me will never die ...”
Martha surrendered to her sleeplessness. “Yes, I believe,” she told Him, but now what did she believe? Who was there now to command the stone to be rolled away? Who was there to call him from the tomb? She rose, lifting the small oil lamp, moving silently through to her work place. There was a small thump as she placed it among the bowls on the table. She had tidied everything the night before while she gathered the spices and the strips of cloth.
Her hands moved among the items gathered on the end of the table. Soon it would be morning, the Sabbath was passed. The women would meet to complete their task. But who would roll the stone away? She bowed her head onto her hands and prayed, “Lord, if it be possible, let this cup pass...”
The words flooded back:
“I am come that you might have life.”
“I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Martha lifted her head. “Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, Anointed of God, the Resurrection and the Life.”
Day was dawning. It was time to go.
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