What Would Jesus...

Entry by: Alobear

23rd December 2016
He walked among the people, his arms stretched out to the sides. Some reached for him, skin brushing against his fingertips. Some whispered his name. The sound swelled and diminished as he passed by. He felt the excitement and the anticipation of the crowd. His steps took him up a winding path to the very top of the hill, where his most faithful followers were gathered. They kept the press of people back from the area of ground that had been prepared for him. He walked forwards to take his place, then turned. The crowd stood before him, covering the slopes of the hill, all faces tilted upwards, waiting.

A man near the front raised his hand. He must have travelled early and waited long, to gain so prized a position. His concern deserved to be addressed.

A nod in his direction elicited an eager, gap-toothed smile.

"What would, Jesus? "

The words didn't make any sense. Surely the sentence was incomplete, but the man said nothing more.

Raised eyebrows attempted to convey polite interest and a desire for more information. Some of the other people were shifting about restlessly. It would be a good idea to dispense with this query quickly, but without seeming dismissive, of course.

The man spoke up again. His voice was thin and reedy, a little grating and petulant.

"I'm making a cabinet for my daughter's wedding. What's the best wood for a nice finish; sturdy but not too expensive?"

A sigh, fingers pinching the bridge of the nose. There had evidently been a breakdown in the usual process. Why hadn't the ones at the front been properly vetted? Apologetic glances came his way from the stewards. He smiled indulgently and pushed his irritation to one side.

"I am a spiritual, not a physical carpenter," he said. "I come to mend souls, not furniture."

There were nods and murmurs of agreement from the crowd, but the man at the front still looked expectant.

Another sigh.

"If you want advice on which wood to use, try my father down in the village. The shop is right next to the smithy. You can't miss it. Joseph is his name. Go with God."

The gap-toothed grin flashed once more, and its owner ambled off down the hill.

"There's always one," Jesus muttered.

Then, he took a deep breath and started to address the crowd.