A very short story

She ran down the path, the familiar dirt road suddenly seeming so far away from her eyes. The whole world was the same, but somehow strange and far away. A quietness was over her, the kind of quietness that comes when everything you were hoping for failed. After all the begging God and tears, it was almost peaceful, in a numb sort of way. Like a straining rope you were desperately hoping would hold, as each sinew snapped, as you prayed and prayed over those last few strands—it had all snapped—at least it was over now.

 

The Rabbi was coming up the road. She had rehearsed this moment in her mind hundreds of times in the last week—how she would grab his hand and drag him to the house, up the stairs, and throw open her brother’s door, she could see him–bending over her brother–even as the death rattle set in—hanging on just a few minutes more—and he would touch her brother’s forehead, as she’d see him do for all those sick homeless people—and then, her brother would sit up, and look her in the eyes.

She had closed his eyes, a few days ago. Mary was too busy hyperventilating in the corner. She had washed the body—his face so strange and grey—and moved those stiffening limbs into the proper way, and wrapped up her baby brother.

 

She ran to meet him on the path—not really knowing why, since there wasn’t a point. His eyes locked onto hers, it was his face, still the same.

“Rabbi, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

“Your brother will rise again.” Of course, the phrase, what all the women with their over-abundant hugs were saying, back at the house. Did he doubt that she really believed that?

“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” She answered.

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,  and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She stared back into his unreadable eyes. He was waiting, waiting for her answer. Nothing made any sense. She stared at the Rabbi who’d just ignored her urgent letters, the Rabbi who’d left her alone to watch her baby brother fight for breath, the Rabbi who could have—just by a few hours’ walk and a touch of his hand — saved the life she had screaming-begged God for.

And only now, three days after she had had to make all the death arrangements alone—he slowly walked up the path and stood here, asking her if she believed these impossible things.

And yet somehow, in this moment, she knew that she did. “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who comes into the world.”

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