Jesus, Thursday November 30, AD 29
Well, we made it. It was hard being on the road again to start with, but we soon got into it. We had two women with us for the first time ever, and though it took some getting used to they were very helpful with keeping spirits up, and of course with food preparation, and I don’t know why we hadn’t tried it before. They couldn’t carry as much as the men but apart from that they had no trouble keeping up. One concern in the past had been that women might distract us from spiritual thoughts, but one was Jamie’s mum Mary, and her friend, also called Mary, was even older, so that wasn’t really an issue.
Mary was waiting for us when we arrived and seemed really excited to have us to stay. The two Marys are sharing Mary’s room. We’ll have to give them numbers or something.
For the time being, four of us men have crammed into her spare room and the rest are camped outside. Mary has been busy finding neighbours who would be willing to take men in as lodgers, and she’s hoping to have everyone settled in over the next few days. I’m looking forward to having a room of my own or perhaps sharing with only one other. We’re hoping some of the men will be able to find work locally to help eke out the money. Even with generous supporters, it soon goes.
The journey through Samaria was trouble free, and I had an experience that helped to restore my confidence. I was sitting by a well in a town while the rest went to get food, when a woman came up to draw some water. I asked her for a drink, and in return I offered her spiritual water. I was really pleased with that. Without Tom around with his ideas it can be hard to think of inspiring things to say, but I remembered Matthew’s tale of his vision in the wilderness.
And then I did a mind-reading on her. It was one of the things Cyrus had been making me practice, but I haven’t tried it on a complete stranger for a while. I told her she had been married five times and was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. She nearly fainted. I suppose I got lucky but all the signs were there and she gave me a few verbal clues. I thought she might be so impressed she would invite us all to stay, but instead she asked us to leave town and stay in the next village overnight. Her new man’s probably prone to jealousy, living with an attractive woman who’s had five husbands, but you don’t need to be a mind reader to work that one out.