I haven’t had much muse/inspiration, so this is not gonna be my best piece. I decided on something less… cheerful/hopeful/happy, and part of the way I wrote this was to show how insignificant a moment can be for someone, when it meant a whole tonne more for others. In any case, hope you enjoy it! 🙂
The air vibrated with the crackling and sizzling of burning logs, golden embers dancing in the air momentarily before disappearing, leaving behind comforting warmth. It was a cold early morning, but even colder was the atmosphere, and there was a tenseness lingering admits us, speaking of death and betrayal. As servants of the high priest, there was no denying we had heard the rumours, and, as more people arrived, bringing word with them, we had come to discover that it was the truth – Jesus had been arrested, and he was being taken to stand trial.
We stood, huddled around a fire, whispers and murmurs traveling around as people came and left, leaving behind different variations of what had happened. One spoke of a kiss of betrayal, another of cut ears and healing, and yet some others told of a great fight between Jesus’ disciples and the guards. Which were truth and which were lies, we did not know, but one thing was for certain, and that was the fact that things did not look good for this professed Son of God.
A new face entered the camp, hands rubbing together in an effort to keep warm, and we made room for him; we did not leave anyone out in the cold. Without a word, he moved towards the fire, stretching out towards it, and none of us addressed him, instead continuing our previous discussion. But I couldn’t help the nagging feeling that I’d seen him somewhere before, and it wasn’t till a few moments later that I placed it – with Jesus.
“You also were with Jesus,” I commented, and eyes turned towards us, hungry for more gossip. If anyone would know the truth of what happened, it would be a disciple.
I saw the hesitation on his face, lingering for but a moment before disappearing as it hardened. “I neither know nor understand what you are saying,” he replied, curtly, and got up, moving hastily away.
Staring after him for a few seconds, I briefly wondered what his problem was, but someone else had come bearing news from what was taking place inside, and my attention was called away. Despite the evidence of the night ending and the silhouettes of clouds could be seen, signalling that dawn was moments away, the fire was still the only thing keeping our bodies warm. A movement nearby caught my attention, and I turned my head to see that it was the same stranger as before, and I was more certain now that I had seen him with Jesus.
“This is one of them,” I said, pointing towards him, and my friends also turned to look. We had questions – so many that we barely knew where to start – and we wanted answers. We wanted to believe that this Jesus was who he said he was, and that he could save us all, but if he was going to be sentenced to death, what use was he? There were so many stories of miracles and of signs and wonders, but we had never seen it first hand. Who better to clarify the tales than a disciple?
But the man glared at me, shaking his head. “I am not, woman,” he insisted, again moving away.
It was too late, though, and people were giving him sideways glances, and I knew I wasn’t the only one thinking this. An awkward silence lingered as more and more people started looking towards this strange man. Finally, someone said what everyone was thinking. “Surely,” a voice said, abruptly, and I recognised it as my fellow servant. “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.”
To my utmost surprise, the man curled his lip in disgust, calling down curses upon us as though offended; was he really that ashamed of being mistaken as one of Jesus’ followers? Malice in his tone and anger in his eyes, he all but spat, “I do not know this man of whom you speak!”
His voice carried in the courtyard, echoing around, and in the distance, we heard the crowing of a rooster as the first rays of sun peeked through. Morning was here.
The man’s face paled, suddenly, and very slowly, he turned his head, looking towards the entrance of the temple. We followed his gaze, hears leaping into our throats as we saw Jesus himself standing there, surrounded by guards – but he wasn’t looking at us, or them, or the temple. Instead, he had turned his head and was looking directly as this man who had just denied him.
No words passed, and nothing more was spoken, but the man paled even more, averting his gaze downwards, as though Jesus’ stares were painful to witness. Before we quite know what was happening, he turned, stumbling away with his hands over his face, and left the courtyard.
“What was that about?” someone nearby asked.
I glanced after the man, and then back at Jesus, and shrugged. “I don’t know,” I replied, honestly.
More light began to show through the darkness, and we started getting up, stretching and savouring the last few moments of relaxation; work was about to start. Bidding each other farewell, we headed our separate ways. The trial of Jesus was still looming ominously over our heads, but it wasn’t the most important thing on our list, and the events of the early morning were already fast becoming memories as we prepared for a busy day of work.