My love, my teacher, my friend. Dead at thirty-three. Murdered by men who had jealously coveted his hold over their flocks. But I digress.
We met when we were young. My parents, brother, sister and I lived on the edge of the great lake; and he had come to my town for family gatherings. We played together, we sang together, we danced and enjoyed the sweetness of youth.
Three years ago, we met again as adults, at a wedding; and though we had met before, this time it was like love at first sight. I was The One. He knew me before, and he knew me before.
He knew it and I knew it.
He decided to travel around the countryside, to share his beliefs about how to live. He was a prophet. I decided to go with him.
It wasn't the done thing, to be a woman alone or travelling with a man who wasn't her husband. It wasn't "right". Men looked at women, like we weren't their equals. Often, men dismissed women; sometimes, they would stone us for what I was doing. I simply didn't care. My head held high, I walked beside him as his, because I was free to. This was where I chose to be. This was where I was meant to be.
I listened to him speak often; and on one special day, on a mountainside in the sunshine, he said one particular phrase, that resonated through my entire being. He said, "when your spirit crumbles and you feel unable to carry on, remember you have the entire kingdom of heaven at your command". As much as I knew what it meant, there were many in the crowd around us who failed to understand. Worse, they misinterpreted it completely. Many thought he had said something blasphemous; that if we could command heaven, then we were God.
They just didn't get the point; that the whole of heaven loves you so much, that every single part of that Singularity will come to your aid. The angels and the archangels will come to you and lift you up; that God will come to you and save you with the strength and power of heaven. He was talking about Love; the love that is beyond anything we could know in the bodies we now possess.
We spent three years together. At times, it was an adventure! Other times, it was overwhelming to have so many needy people asking for his healing and his light. He gave such hope. Or rather, Hope. When people heard about him, or heard him speak, or saw him (even from afar), their hearts would sing with the angels of heaven. His thrall was captivating and liberating all at once.
Strangers would grope at his clothes; other women would offer him everything they had. He had so many opportunities to take advantage, and didn't. He was that kind of man. Divine, in the truest sense of the word.
There were those who envied the impact he had, and they were the ones to betray him and have him murdered. I was there.
To say that it was the most horrendous way to go, would downplay the heinousness of the method. I thought to look away, because it broke my heart; but didn't, because he deserved my presence until the end.
With his mother and his aunt; because I was his; I took his body for burial and prepared it for entombment. I wept the entire time. The grief wrenched each muscle from every bone in my body. And yet, I also rejoiced, because I knew that death was not the end.
Ultimately, exhausted, I sat down outside his tomb, and fell asleep inside the crevices made by the tears on my cheeks.
It seemed that time stood still. Or rather, my perception of time. I was held in gel for three days.
Early one morning, as dawn was just about to break, I awoke to find his tomb opened. I certainly didn't have the strength to roll the rock out of the way, but there it was. His funeral cloth was left inside, but his body was absent.
Frantic, I searched every dark corner inside and out, until two glowing creatures appeared and asked me why I was weeping. Wasn't it obvious?? Where was he? I blurted something out, something about his body being taken. "Where have you taken him?".
From behind, another glowing creature before the rising sun, asked me the same question, as if he'd just arrived. I turned, not expecting my love and answered him too. Then he said, "Miryam", and my heart soared at the sound of his voice saying my name.
All these years, I recognised him, his body, as if it were a garment he always wore. Now, as his purely divine self, I saw who he truly was. Resurrected?
"Tell my family you see me and speak with me", he said, holding my hands so I could feel the warmth in his palms and stroke his fingertips as they parted.
And then, as if he knew how desperately I wanted to cling to him and hold him near to me once more ~ for always ~ he said, "My love, let me go".
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