Again I saw that guy. It’s like everywhere I go either he was nearby or I couldn’t help overhear someone that was obviously talking about him or something else he’d done.
I couldn’t forget the priests in the temple among the debris; the still shot was stuck in my mind. It’s like that song that sticks with you until it’s nettlesome. I hated the way the image made me fearful, and I’m annoyed with myself that it bothers me. I’m exasperated that I haven’t found my friend that told me we’d meet at the Temple Gate. All I want is to tend to my business and be ready for the Passover.
I couldn’t go a block without hearing someone talking about the incident at the temple. People seemed obsessed; both excited and upset. I couldn’t believe I heard someone say that guy touched some blind, crippled and terminally sick people who afterward could suddenly see, walk and are no longer sick at all. How could that be? But hey, it’s none of my business.
Shortly after eating, I was walking off my meal when I saw the guy again – coming toward me. I wanted to turn and walk the other way – where that guy went there was trouble. But as if the air between us was charged with some peculiar energy that drained me of my will, I couldn’t move.
The guy was not exceptionally tall, but as he moved closer he looked straight through the crowd surrounding him, right into my eyes. All motion seemed to stop as I looked back into his visually unremarkable face. A heartbeat later I again wanted to leave, but I couldn’t. I suddenly felt as if the guy saw my entire history, knew my unspoken thoughts. Distinctively unnerved, I wanted protection from him. For an instant a notion to call for a guard briefly flitted across my mind – I am such a hypocrite.
Moments seemed like hours until he continued moving on with his group. Like an idiot I stood there until I realized people were bumping into me as they passed in every direction. I checked for my bag and feeling it there I started walking again.
Later, making my way back to the temple, I heard people saying, “Heaven… wind… light… and Jesus.” I don’t know why, but my skin seemed to crawl. Feeling drained, exposed, and remarkably uneasy, I longed to find my friend and secure a place to stay the night.
“…A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.” John 3:27 (NLT)
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