Thomas, Wednesday December 20, 29 CE
“That sounds more like an order,” I said to Mary. She turned up this evening on her donkey, saying she was on her way to join Jesus in Bethany and telling me that my employer wanted me to go too and would support my family while I was away. What could I say?
Actually I have been feeling restless and must admit to an increasing curiosity at how Jesus is getting on. Would I be jealous to find him managing perfectly well without me? Maybe, but I’m sure he would benefit from my input, however well he’s doing. I’ve been jotting down a few new ideas for parables and I’ve even been considering starting my diary again. Well, here we are again. Hello diary!
Hannah was surprisingly relaxed about the idea, especially if Cyrus was going to help with the bills. Sam is happy and doing well in his studies, and during the last week I’ve done possibly the most important thing I will ever do for my daughter. We met the parents of a very nice boy called Daniel, who is seventeen, to start making arrangements for him to marry Ruth as soon as she reaches thirteen next year. We have discussed terms for a dowry and paying for the wedding, which will cripple me financially but will get her into a good respectable family. His parents want the couple to live with them initially but will provide them with their own house in due course, which is fantastic.
It’s about three days’ walk to Bethany from here. It would just about be doable in two days, but we would be travelling in the dark at both ends of the day and would put everyone to a lot of work during the Sabbath when arriving late on Friday. Instead we’ll go at a steady pace through Samaria to Shiloh, stay overnight on Friday at Cyrus’s house and aim to reach Bethany around sunset on Saturday. I won’t take our donkey because I don’t know when I’ll be going back, and Hannah may need it. I’m happy to walk and let Mary ride, unless she wants to walk for the odd hour to give me a break.