Charity begins at home

Thomas is embarrassed to discover his wife has been receiving money from Mary Magdalene so she and the children can eat while he is away with the mission

Thursday August 3

Having come all this way from Magdala, I didn’t expect to see Jesus’ wife today, and certainly not at my house.  Hannah started the day looking nervous and distracted, and said why didn’t I have a lie-in while I had the chance.  When I heard a visitor arrive and got up to see who it was, Mary and I found ourselves in a race to reach maximum embarrassment first.  There were various items of fresh food on the table and, as I walked in, Mary was handing Hannah some money.

I realised exactly what was going on and why.  I felt deeply shamed by having reduced my wife and children to this, and the women only made it even worse by saying they understood the big decision I had made to devote my time to Jesus, who really needed me, and this was their way of ensuring I could continue.  We all ended up blubbing, which was really undignified, and then Mary said she had to run some other errands before going home.

After she had gone, I grovelled to Hannah for forgiveness, but she made me feel worse still by refusing to blame me.  Eventually I realised the best thing I could do was go back and do the things the women had been so damn nice about and commit myself fully to the mission, otherwise all this effort would be wasted.  It was still only mid-morning and there was still time to walk to Magdala if I left straight away, so Hannah packed me some bread and water and I left, promising to be back soon.

Mary, with the advantage of donkey power, caught up with me as the sun began to set and we travelled the last couple of miles together.  She wouldn’t even acknowledge what she was doing for Hannah, still less accept any thanks, so we made small talk about the end of the world and next week’s big event.

Jesus seemed as pleased to see me as I was to see him, and after dinner we sat together like we used to, working on parables and writing sound bites to use in his big speeches.  I nagged him again about my idea of a lottery to raise funds, and eventually he said I could try it next week, so long I would forget about it after that if it didn’t catch on.

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