Jesus recalls a successful day and a strange experience the following morning
Saturday August 12
I needed a good rest after the events of the last few days, and was grateful that God had given us the Sabbath for that purpose. I didn’t even go to the synagogue but just sat at home indoors with my thoughts.
Thursday went really well. I had been hoping for a big crowd but you can never be sure till the day itself, and I was humbled to see how many turned up. Peter did a fine job of herding everyone who needed healing, and I was really pleased that some of the disciples were helping out, particularly Thaddeus and Jamie.
The parables and sayings that I had worked on with Tom went down really well, which is more than could be said for Tom’s lottery, or riffle as we called it. I had to laugh when everyone said they had no food to contribute as prizes, but then they all found plenty later as if by magic. I shouldn’t laugh really because that sort of selfish behaviour could prevent people entering the new Kingdom, but in general the healings and preaching went very well and I hope that at least some of the crowd will repent of their old ways and follow me.
Then Mary turned up at the end and insisted I come home with her. I couldn’t really refuse, and we walked the few miles hand in hand, chatting like carefree young lovers. We continued as lovers later and fell asleep in each other’s arms.
I was so tired I should have slept for hours, but the excitement of the day and the thrill at the way it had gone meant I was soon awake and staring up into the darkness.
I eventually settled back to sleep but when I awoke again and could see the first hint of red in the sky, I decided to get up and enjoy the peace of the dawn.
I could just see enough to pick my way through shrubs and stones to the beach. What I really noticed was the almost complete lack of tents, and where I did see the odd angular silhouette there was no activity. The shore was as almost as empty and quiet as it used to be. Virtually all of my permanent following had gone to Bethsaida – I had recognised quite a few in the crowd – and it looked as though most had stayed overnight, no doubt exchanging stories about the day and meeting new converts.
The black expanse of Galilee spread out before me. The air was cool and almost still, but there were ripples on the surface of the lake and small waves lapped the shore. I found the jetty half in the water and wheeled it further out, stopping when the planks of its deck were just above the surface, and stepped out on it to get a better view.
The squall struck with total surprise, like a punch in the face when greeting a friend. I had experienced Galilee’s sudden storms before but had never experienced one as vicious as this. I found myself lying face down, clinging to the jetty, and decided the best thing to do was to inch my way backwards to the safety of the shore and go straight back to my warm dry bed. But then I felt the jetty moving up and down. I craned my neck to look back and realised to my horror that the whole thing had been swept out to sea with me on it.
The squall vanished almost as suddenly as it had arrived, and a few minutes later it was almost completely calm again. I loosened my clamped fingers from the ends of the planks and sat up. I found myself hundreds of yards from the shore with no way of getting back other than abandoning my nice clean robes and going for a long swim. Then I wondered if I saw something further out in the lake. Carefully I rose to my feet to get a better view, concentrating to maintain my balance, the waves washing round my ankles.
It was a boat. A boat with people in it. People I thought I recognised. It was the disciples. As I drifted closer I raised an arm and expected a cheery greeting, but all I could see in their faces was terror.