Thursday, January 26, 2012

Only Sleeping

He held her hand in both of his own.  It was cold and unmoving, and the blood in her veins was as still as a frozen stream.  He kissed her fingers, and whispered in her ear.  “Little girl, it’s time to get up.”

She blinked, and yawned, and scratched her hair, and spoke in the singing whine of a child in the morning.  “I’m hungry!”

A communal gasp sucked the oxygen from the room, and ten hands covered five gaping mouths.  Jesus laughed.  “Well, get the girl something to eat!”

Her parents, to put it succinctly, just couldn’t get over it, and they smothered her with kisses and tears.

John stood by and watched it all with a thoughtful furrow on his brow.  He approached Jesus quietly, with his youthful sense of decorum, and looked at him with his all-too-serious eyes.

“Master,” he said, ”She…  She wasn’t sleeping.  She was…” and he took an awkward breath, “…not breathing.  She was dead.  I mean…  Everyone here will need to be ritually cleansed.  You were holding her hand.  Her parents were hanging all over her.  We’ve all been in contact with a dead body, Lord.  We’re all going to need to go to the temple for cleansing.”

Jesus held John’s eyes as he placed his hands on the young man’s shoulders.  “John, no one here is unclean.  I told you: She was only sleeping.”