Source: Thomas, Monday 24 April, 29 AD
I need to write this before the sun finishes setting, then try to get some sleep. Last night seemed very long with no lamps and no one to talk to, but I suppose I’ll get used to it. I promised Tom I’d keep a diary of my experiences out here. Normally I’m no good at that sort of thing, not like he is, but it’s something to do. As well as being very long, the night here is very dark and incredibly noisy. People say it’s the Devil and his demons making all those deathly noises as they roam around in the dark. Tom says it’s all animals and birds really, but I’d like to hear him say that after being out here completely alone for a few nights. In fact I’d like to see him right now anyway, no matter what he had to say. I haven’t seen a single person, not even anyone else testing himself like I’m doing. I wonder what meeting the Devil is like. Would God protect me against him?
It’s already getting cold, and I’m so hungry. I haven’t so much as seen a locust, so at least I haven’t had to try to catch one or work out how to eat it. The trouble with locusts is they tend to come in swarms, or plagues if things are really bad, so you get none for ages and then thousands come along all at once. I wonder if there will be a plague any time soon. You only really hear about plagues when they come to devastate your crops, and if there were any crops around here I’d be able to eat them instead of the locusts, so it looks like no plague. I can’t even find any wild grass with seeds on it to eat.
Moses had manna, whatever that is. Something miraculous. But then Moses was a genuine holy man. Knowing me, if I had some manna a plague of locusts would descend and devour it, then fly off before I could catch any of them. I’m thirsty too. I found some stagnant water in a hole and made myself drink some of it, but I’d give anything for a well or a nice cool spring. It’s getting too dark to write now. I hope this stone makes a more comfortable pillow than the one I had last night. What was that noise? Sounds like wild dogs. I hope they don’t find me and attack me in the night.
Haven’t camped out under the stars like this since I was a boy. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of people here, all having walked miles like we did, ready to catch John the Baptist when he starts preaching in the morning. I need to get some sleep now. I eventually managed to negotiate a half day off work, though I will have to make it up. We Ruth and Sam with Mary and walked here with Jesus. Joseph came along too and brought his doves in their little cage. Mary encouraged him to go so she didn’t have to look after him as well as the kids, and I wanted him along anyway. My feet are a bit sore and dusty but otherwise I’m fine, and Hannah is more excited than I’ve seen her in years. I hadn’t quite realised what an effect a good speaker can have on people. Dad was supposed to be coming along to join us but I haven’t seen him yet. I hope he’s all right.