** When I was looking for a file on my computer I came across this story I wrote a couple of years ago. I edited it and have decided to share. Hopefully I will have time to write the rest this week along with catching up from being sick last week. I hope you enjoy, and keep looking out for the rest of them.**
As an American teenager I never gave much thought to religion. It was always just something that made me get up early on a Sunday. I would rarely wake up for church, and if I did it usually to scope out the boy in the nearby pew. I tuned out every word that was said to me about being a Christian, or about Jesus' life. It's not that I didn't care… I just didn't get it. I didn't understand how a man who lived so long ago mattered now, two thousand years later. Well that all changed last year.
On this particular Sunday I was motivated to go out for a run before I had to go sit still in church for an hour. I tied my sneakers, put my head phones in and attached my iPod to my upper arm, grabbed my keys and headed out the door. As I looked out the door, my little suburban neighborhood looked nothing like it did when I went to bed the night before.
My street looked like a couple tons of sand had been dumped on it. The brick house that used to be a crossed the street now looked to be made of mud or something, almost like it was a pueblo. The street it's self looked to be just packed down sand and dirt. The kids playing tag down the street weren’t in jeans and a t-shirt like normal, but were wearing very simple dresses, complete with a rope belt. I looked to the west and saw what looked like a temple fortress.
I soon realized that my iPod wasn't playing and went to check it, but it wasn’t on my arm anymore. I looked down and saw I was wearing the same style clothes as the kids. Determined to find out what was going on, I left my house and started looking for someone to ask.
As I got closer to the main road I could see a large crowd of people gathered around it. They were holding big leafy palm branches and shouting. The energy that exuded from the crowd was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The best way I have to describe it is imagine the Ball drop in Times Square. It was that kind of excitement and clamor that this crowd was showing.
Turning to the man closest to me, I tapped him on the shoulder; I asked "What is happening? Why is everyone cheering and waving branches in the air?"
Looking back at me the man exclaimed, "Our Messiah has come, our new King, we came out to meet him. He is going to conquer the Romans and save us from their bullshit!" As he finished saying this he took off this outer coat and laid it out over the road along with the other coats and palm leaves.
The familiarity of what the man said hit me. I knew this story. Mom would read it to me every Palm Sunday.
As I realized what was going on, I saw him riding in on a donkey. As the crowd roared around him he had a peaceful smile on his face. His eyes told another story. . There was no way this was the powerful soon to be conqueror of Romans that the man had just claimed him to be. I watched as he smiled to the little children who ran out to meet him. He messed one of the little boy's hair and kept riding. The boy looked as though he had been touched by a king. This huge snaggle-toothed grin stretched a crossed his face as he ran back to his companions.
Soon I could hear what the people were yelling; they were saying "Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed be the Son of David!"
I knew without a doubt that the man riding the donkey was Jesus. But, I wasn't supposed to be there. I was from the year 2007, what was I doing in Jesus' time? As these thoughts were racing through my head Jesus turned his head and looked back at me. He knew who I was. As I looked into his eyes it was as if he were saying, "Don't worry. Follow me.”
Before I realized it, I started to walk after Him. I wanted to see what his story was all about. That evening, when I had found where Jesus was I went up to one of the men traveling with Him.
"Sir," I said, "may I stay with your group? I have nowhere else to go." I didn't want to give too much away, so to dodge any unwanted questions I added, "I don't belong here."
The man smiled, "woman," he said, "I will check with my master, but I am sure you can stay with us." With that he went to Jesus and whispered something in his ear. Jesus smiled and nodded. Then the man came back over. "Woman, my master agrees. You are more than welcome to travel with us. My name is John. I am a disciple of that man, Jesus, along with these other eleven men." He then proceeded to point to each man as he called them by name. "Here is my brother James. This is Peter and his brother Andrew. Over there is Simon, and Bartholomew. Over watering the Donkey is Thomas, and next to him is Philip. Over talking with Jesus now is James of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot. The three men who are talking to each other are Judas of James, Matthew, and Judas Iscariot. We have been traveling together for a while now; all of us were called together by the teacher himself. Some of us were fishing while others were doing their everyday job. Oh, I don't think I caught your name."
Trying to take it all in I almost missed his question. "Oh, uh, my name is Kate." I stuttered. John smiled warmly as I continued to look around.
"The crowd is overwhelming at first, but you will get used to it. Although I will admit none of us were expecting that welcome. No of us, except maybe Jesus." John added. As he finished saying this one of the other men, the one I think he called Peter came over to him and said, "We are going to stay here tonight. The women will be with us. Do make sure you introduce the new one, Kate I think," looking at me to make sure. Once I nodded he continued, "make sure Kate meets the other women." John, who seems to be forever smiling, nodded, "Thank you for reminding me Peter. I shall do that right now." He said as he steered me over to a group of women that I hadn't noticed until now.
The women all varied in age, though most were much older than the others. As I approached, John called out to one of the younger ones, "Mary, we have a new member of our band. Would you mind looking out for her?" The young woman replied, "John, of course not." With that she confidently strode over to me and hugged me. "I am Mary Magdalene," she said, "why don't I introduce you to the rest of the girls?" Pointing at one of the elderly ladies, she said " this is Salome, She is James and John's mother. Over here are the sisters Mary and Martha, and with them is Johanna." Mary paused as the women said hello, but I noticed she hadn't introduced one old woman.
"Mary, did you forget me?" the old woman chided with a grin on her face.
Mary laughed, "Of course not, I was leaving you for last." then turning to me she said, "And this, Kate, is Jesus' mother, her name is also Mary."
"Welcome to our travel group." Mother Mary said warmly, coming forward to hug me. "You will fit right in with us; whether you belong in Jerusalem, or not. But now the sun is going down. We all need to get to bed. Don't forget to say your prayers ladies." And with that, Mary Magdalene took me by the hand and guided me to where she was sleeping, "you can stay by me tonight." And with that, my day was over.