Estelle and Robert: To Know Him

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 16 (v.1) - A Particularly Painful Death

Submitted: July 22, 2019

Reads: 26

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Submitted: July 22, 2019

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Had she not have been the arm of support beneath hers, when Daniel passed away, Mavy would have used every excuse in the book not to be there. At least not that close to the bier. She was ashamed of it, and would never have admitted it to her friend that she would rather be anywhere but there and it took every ounce of determination to pick up the dark mourning robes again, she'd just put off a short time ago and refit them to her frame. It was looser than the first time the material had fit rather snugly against her. Estelle was fond of baking, having followed her around the kitchen, underfoot since she could walk. Besides, it would have been unmotherly, she justified herself, not to sample the delicacies. Now the garment hung from her frame, a telltale sign that even something as simple as eating was a feat.

Esther of Nain shuffled only fast enough to keep up with the procession in front of her. While just barely hitting middle aged she lacked the strength to keep her upright, not to mention trying to remember to move her feet and keep moving. Methodically she stepped, one hand limp at her side, the other clutching Mavy's hand in her own. If anyone would understand among her friends and relationships, it would be she. And even then, Mavy was unable to sympathize in the same way. To lose a husband was one thing. To lose a child another. For a split second, anger at her friend consumed her. What right did Mavy have to complain and mourn so? Daniel was nearly forty! Micas just turned sixteen. The last family member she had left. Ten years had passed since she'd lost her own dear husband, but she had Micas. How would she live now? Tears fell as she lowered her lashes, ashamed at the brash thought that had come into her mind. Death was no respecter of persons. Not easy for anyone to bear. Death had a way of putting those it left behind on an equal playing field. Jew, Gentile or Samaritan. Aged or young. Man or woman. Strong or weak. It felt the same. Numbing. Nauseating.

As if she had blurted her thoughts to the younger woman, even if just by a few years, she rubbed her thumb against the knuckles of her friend. Mavy didn't avert her gaze from the bier, squeezing the hand that held hers gently.

 

Jesus slowed His pace down, Peter instantly jerking his head in the direction that Jesus looked. John might have been dubbed, "the one Jesus loved", but no one outshone him for being right there by Jesus' side, the first one on the scene, last one to leave- if he had to. A passing shadow gathered on Jesus' brow as He watched the procession. It was at a snail's pace. One of the young men that helped carried the bier glanced back at the mother periodically, communicating softly, what pace they should go. There was no sense of leaving her in the dust. Behind Esther and Mavy was a great number of the citizens of Nain, women primarily, wailing at the top of their lungs for the deceased. Part show, part sincere. No one would trade places with Esther. Widowed. Childless.

"Weep not," Jesus' voice was soft as he neared her.

Esther looked up. How could she not weep? How could she not mourn? Of all the things not to say to one bereft, that one topped them all. Her brows knit, her clutch on Mavy's hand tightening to the point the young woman grimaced. Even Mavy shook her head. He spoke so graciously and with such wisdom every time she'd heard Him. What happened? Tact was desperately needed at a time like this.

Compassionate, Jesus smiled. His attribute, excelling in perfectness. "The Lord, the Lord God!" He had thundered to Moses, "Merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth!" His hand reached out and touched the bier.

They that bare him shocked, stood still. Had not He heard of the law of cleanliness?

"Young man, I say unto thee, Arise!" A victorious roar of words.

But words they were, Esther thought forlornly, and what a sick trick- her hand flew to her mouth, Mavy gaping as he that was dead sat up, and began to speak.

And Jesus delivered him to his mother.

And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet has risen among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumor of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region roundabout.

 


© Copyright 2019 Jessica Goyette. All rights reserved.

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