Monday Rewrite: The Long Way Home

She keeps stopping. Can’t help it. Not because she runs out of breath. She keeps seeing people who have no idea. Has to spill the beans. Leave them as wide-eyed as she is, their hearts racing too. A rich, nail-chewing guy still wondering whether his many things are scratching that internal itch. A small, poor widow, taking deliberate steps on her way to give away her last couple of coins.  A father whose shoulders still ache from that cross he carried. As if that burden is still there somehow. As if he can still feel that weight of the world pressing on him. And then there’s the soldier she passes. Familiar for some reason. She stops, pauses, trawls her memory and runs back to him. Suddenly not afraid of his rank or position or steely gaze. Realising she recognises him, this military man who watched an execution and startlingly proclaimed that this dying man was more than the other criminals there. So she grabs him, startles him now, spills the message. Leaves him standing there wondering as she hurries on. So many folks who had been there on that Palm waving day too. Expecting a new start. Well, here it is, she can tell them about it now. The noisy children and the over-stretched parents. Not quite the revolution they were expecting, but another way forward. And so it takes quite a while, getting back to the others, because this news keeps spilling from her, like living water from a fountain in her spirit. Bursting out. Even to one or two of the religious elite, the experts on all this stuff. She’s suddenly fearless as she grabs their shoulders, stares them straight in the eye. Says something enigmatic about life being rebooted. They recoil of course, not relishing contact with the likes of her. But maybe later, when they are alone and out of the public gaze, away from peer pressure, they will think again on this crazy, smiling woman and her talk of hope against the odds. And how even ‘folks like them’ could benefit. Hmm. She hurries on. Bangs on the door. Wakes a bunch of sleep-starved folks who have only just dozed off and have no idea what is waiting for them on this new day.

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