There were nights, so many night, when she would slip close to his bed and just stand there, watching him sleep, startling him sometimes on the occasions when he woke and saw her there. A shadow in the half-light. She ‘f had so many nights when sleep refused to come close, and so she would lie there, wondering, grasping at that distant promise, as it faded ever more into the past. A day long gone when everything seemed so vital, So vibrant. 30 long years ago.
That’s why she’d stood by his bed so often over the years, watching his sleeping form, willing him to do something miraculous, something powerful, something Messianic. To wake and tell her, wide-eyed, of his fantastic plans for saving her world. About rescuing her and all those she loves, from everything that darkens their days.
No wonder then that she was so quick at that wedding.
‘He can do something!’ she urges. ‘My boy. He’s here, right here! Look! He’s ready. It’s his time.’
She’d tried it on countless previous occasions, of course. She’d nudged him, nodded, jabbed an elbow, raised an eyebrow, thrown him a stage whisper.
‘Now,’ she’d say, ‘step up, do it now! Be… you know… you!’
But he’d never risen to the challenge, never been interested in proving himself, or making a splash. And now, as he studies her closely, then strolls over to the six huge jars of water, finally appearing to be about to do something. She’s afraid. She panics. She’s afraid it might all fail, that she has been wrong all these years. Or that perhaps the anointing has faded away, it’s been so long. She shuts her eyes. Sees that bright stranger on her doorstep again, hears the prophecy one more time. And when she opens her eyes someone places a glass of water into her hand. And it’s not water anymore. It’s wine.