Historical setting: Inside a daub and wattle sepulcher — 584 C.E.
“He looks to be a living man, dear Teacher. Shall we unwrap more of him?”
“I don’t know what we should do. Maybe he would like to sip water. Go, Anatase, and fetch a cup of cold water for him.”
There is a scurry of leaving but Eve is still here. I focus my eyes on her face. I see she has lost her sight. I wonder if she knew of this blindness when I last saw her as a young woman only pretending to know reading and reluctant to marry. But here she is a healer and now a teacher. How I wish I had strength to reach out my hand and touch her and I would tell her she is beloved. It’s her hand now that gropes for mine.
“Papa, maybe you can hear me? Your hand is warm as living after all these years. You told us of your gift of life and life again, strange gift that it is. We only marveled in the wonder of it never thinking of the long waits through deaths and all the griefs you know in lifetimes of losses.
“The God-things you taught me in childhood are my secret now, Papa. People these times choose their quests for healings between the miracles of the Christian saints or the ancient pagan science. I know you would say God loves us all; it isn’t one or the other. But this world only knows choices, not fullness. Since I’m not a saint so if I choose to be a healer I must be of the pagan variety and I have to keep my God prayers hidden. But I do pray to God and I very often thank God for staying close. I’ve prayed for my strength and life to last into this day, knowing nothing about how your waking would be except that it would come. And now I see by your frailty your healing will need to go on a bit longer before you are the full strong man we’ve waited to see walk from this tomb all aglow.”
“Aglow” she says? Does Eve notice I’m smiling? Have I any smile at all to give? She doesn’t even seem to notice the clasp of my hand around hers. I’m sure I will one day move again but I don’t expect to be “glowing” ever. I hear the child coming back.
Eve offers, “Papa, would you like a sip of water?”
The child tips the cup. “It is a cool sip of water.” She says. I can’t swallow. My chin and beard have a cool, fresh drenching.