“But you have it inside you,” the Healer said. “Even though no one ever gave you the kind of love you craved, you were able to give it to others.”
Mary nodded and crossed her legs again. Now she was listening. This man had something. He knew something. He was different from the rest.
The sun was high in the sky; it was after lunch. She’d met the man an hour ago by the well, and he’d asked for water. So she’d talked to him and went back to her house to get two clay cups, packed some bread and a pouch of olives.
“That’s how you know you are a channel,” the Healer said. “We are all channels for something deeper, something that flows through.” He bit the bread and chewed for a few minutes. “When you open yourself to it, when you let down your defenses, it comes. It flows in the energy between us. It flows especially in the touch of your hands.”
“Let me feel your hands, then,” she said.
He laughed. “They may be sweaty, let me check.” He brushed his hands on his robe and then reached out his arms out to her, and she crawled closer to him on her knees and took his right hand in her left palm. She closed her eyes and brought her hand on top of his, stroking his fingers, the life lines and love lines that stretched from side to side. She felt the heat radiate from him, and took a deep breath. Two deep breaths. Three.
“You have it inside you too,” he offered softly.
She opened her eyes and saw that his were closed.
“What do I have inside me?” she asked.
“Healing,” he said. “Hands of love.”
She felt a flame rise up from her abdomen to her chest, and she had to take a few breaths to settle it down. She set down the man’s hand on his lap, and then she took his other one inside hers, stroking the palm, beginning even to reach up his arm. What she liked about this man was the way he talked to her like she was a person, no different than he was even though she was a woman. In a few moments, he seemed to know and accept all of her, and expected nothing in return for his gift.
It was then she had a vision.
“Your mother,” she said, as her third eye flashed a picture of a woman wringing her hands. “You were gone for a long time. She spent day and night crying, worried about you, not sure you would ever come home.”
His hand trembled in hers, and she knew he wanted to pull away. So she held him tighter, and set his hand on her lap, his palm locked inside hers, her thumb making circles inside the softest place.
The man opened his eyes and looked at her. She saw the way his irises glowed, a glow similar to the one she saw in her own eyes when she gazed long in the mirror. His eyes were hazel, with flecks of green and blue. She tried to find what he was thinking or feeling in them, but she couldn’t be sure. Was there shame? Fear? No, they were clear.
“I was gone for a long time,” he said, his palm starting to shake a bit. She knew he wanted it back, but she wouldn’t give it to him. He had been teaching her; now it was her turn to teach him. He was not allowed to pull away.
“I learned a lot,” was all he said. And they sat in silence for a few minutes, a distant bird cawing, people in the nearby village talking, the rumble of a wheelbarrow close by. He closed his eyes again, and so did she. They settled into breath, connected by presence and their hands.
And soon Mary knew it was time to go home. She put the man’s hand back on his lap and stood up.
“What is your name?” she asked as she gathered her picnic things.
He shrugged. “Jesus. But if you have a nickname for me, I’ll take it.” His face broke into a smile. “I like nicknames.”
She tilted her head and looked down at him. “I’ll have to think about that one,” she said. She put her sack over her shoulder. “How about me, Mr. Know it All? I haven’t told you my name, but you probably know it. So give me a nickname.” She winked.
He smiled and looked off in the distance for a minute, glancing at a part of the sky with sharp-edged clouds. She was surprised that he could sit so long without becoming restless.
“Priestess,” he said, and looked back at her. His smile was wide, his lips closed. She wanted to see his teeth.
She giggled. “That’s a good one,” she said, and turned for home. “I’m going to keep it.”
She gripped the strap of her sack with both hands, the silver of her necklaces clinking as she moved. She knew she would see him again, even if she didn’t know the day or the hour. Yet she noticed that even her feet in the earth felt different as she walked.
*Let's call this series, "Rewriting the Bible: The Missing Pages." Copyright ©MotherJana Publications