Plans for the tour continue but Mary just wants them all off her land so she can start the harvest
Thomas, Wednesday August 23
Spent most of today hunched over maps, working out roughly how many to send off to each place. Once people are out on the road they will have to play it by ear and respond to events anyway, but some planning is essential with these numbers.
I was surprised to find myself agreeing with Peter for a change, in that we both wanted to concentrate specifically on preparing people for the end. I had thought that was the whole point of the tour, but Jesus wanted to keep the format much as before, almost deliberately letting people decide whether to change their ways without the incentive of a deadline to influence their thinking. In the end we agreed to retain a no-nonsense sandal-shaking approach and not to try too hard to convince people if they didn’t show any interest. It seems a bit harsh, but this tour could see entire towns struck off the list of places to be saved, depending on whether they accept or reject some wandering preachers they have never seen before, spreading a message they might not have heard before either.
Our next failure was not being able to agree when the tour should start. Mary, as ever, would like to get what she calls the talkers and dreamers out of her house and off the adjoining land immediately, while retaining some genuine workers to work on the harvest.
Some of the seventy want more time to make plans while others can’t wait to get on the road. Some want to see their families again, although such desires are seen as a weakness by Peter, who is becoming increasingly intolerant. I would certainly like to see Hannah and the kids again, but I’m not on the tour anyway.