After bathing and changing into fresh attire, Jesus and Mary looked forward to the meal that was sending out the enticing aromas. Hannah’s voice called from below, “Hello…our meal is ready. Come anytime! Bring any garments that need washing. They can soak while we enjoy our meal. And Simon is waiting to welcome you.”
As they descended the ladder, Jesus and Mary found Hannah tending to Darda; making certain the loyal animal had enough feed and water. Mary laughed when she spied Darda’s demeanour, “Look at her, Jesus. She looks as though she couldn’t possibly possess even one stubborn fibre of equus asinus.”
Jesus nodded. “And look how Darda’s infatuation is equally returned.” He took the opportunity to add, “I don’t know how we’ll pry these two apart.”
Hannah led them into the surprisingly well-structured and spacious rural home. Hannah saw Mary’s delight and explained, “This whole property was built for the wealthy contractor from Hebron who lived here with his family. While he was establishing the much needed well – where we fetched your water today – different family members apparently enjoyed visiting. They must have had a variety of skills because there’s proof of excellent thought and creation throughout the property. I’m sure that’s why the loft in the stable was so well prepared. Anyway, on one of Simon’s trips to Beersheba, he stopped here at the well and learned of the contractor’s planned departure and…”
A deep, lyrical voice took over the explanation, “…and I knew that Hannah would have my head if I passed over an opportunity to purchase the place of our dreams.”
A typically serious young man, Simon broke pattern to beam a warm smile as he extended his hands to both Mary and Jesus. His solid, confident stature matched Hannah’s aura of self-assurance, “Only your head?”
Simon’s dark eyes twinkled through a display of mirth from his well-weathered face framed with shiny, black curls. “Welcome to our home, Jesus and Mary. I hope you’ll understand the honour we feel in having you as our guests.”
Jesus said, “Simon of Bethany, our appreciation goes far beyond anything we could offer in thanks.”
Mary gasped, “Bethany? You know his origins? But how…?”
Simon and Jesus glanced at each other. Jesus said, “Mary, you’ll soon understand. There hasn’t been time to explain.”
Mary only had a chance to raise her eyebrows as Hannah suddenly took her arm and said, “Come. I’ll show you where we’ll soak those garments. Then we’ll come back and lead the way to the table. No heavy talk fills my home on an empty stomach.”
The table was laid for four and the men moved it towards the centre of the room. Once Jesus and Simon chose their seats, Hannah explained, “We’ll start with the vegetable stew that I’ll bring from the hearth. It’s well seasoned with herbs and a little cumin. Mary, would you kindly help me serve the bread?”
She went on, “Whenever it suits any of you, the olives, almonds, pistachios – along with cucumber in oil and goat’s cheese – are all here on the bench. Let me know what you would like with your stew. Save a little room for dessert…we have figs, pomegranates and date cake smothered in honey and walnuts.”
Hannah placed a full, steaming bowl of stew at each setting on the table. Mary followed up with Hannah’s warmed barley bread.
“No wonder there’s been such tantalizing aromas coming from your kitchen, Hannah!” Mary said as she sat across from Simon. “While I was bathing I wondered how you could possibly top the offering you provided at the well.”
“What a feast!” Jesus said as he used his bread to scoop out a wholesome catch of lentils, onions and beans from his bowl of stew. “Simon, with a beloved who feeds you like this, it’s no wonder you want to keep your head.”
Their laughter initiated a familiar braying from the stable. Jesus said, “I can always count on Darda to appreciate my humour.”
It was obvious that Hannah had told Simon about Jesus’ wish to simply be the carpenter from Galilee. He regaled them with fascinating stories of his travels and told how he took orders and arranged shipments of dried fish for merchants. Then he described his visit with his parents; newly relocated in Hebron. “Both are thriving with so many family members in Hebron to care for them.”
Suddenly, a shout came from the gate of the courtyard. “Who could that be?” Hannah asked and waited for Simon to make a move.
Again,Simon glanced at Jesus and excused himself. Mary said, “Hannah, I have a question that is perhaps out of place, but it nags me. How do you manage out here all by yourself when Simon is away so often?”
Hannah hesitated, looked at Jesus and said quietly to Mary, “Oh, I’m never by myself.”
Jesus quickly added, “This is also part of the conversation we’ll have, Mary. As soon as Simon returns….”
Simon was leading someone into the house, “Are you hungry, young man? If you are, you’ve come to the perfect place at the perfect time.”
Hannah got up immediately and went to the hearth to rekindle the fire and moved the stew over the hot embers.
The young voice pleaded, “Wait, I have to get these sandals off. I tied a knot in the thong that’s wrapped around my ankles and I can’t get it undone.”
Simon looked back into the dark entryway. “If you make us wait long enough, my friend, we’ll have your stew for breakfast!”
Suddenly, the young man appeared beside Simon, “Blessings, Hannah,” he said. With a wide grin, he looked at Jesus and Mary; then held up a pair of sandals.
“Levi! What on earth…?” Mary was stunned with disbelief.
Levi walked over to Mary and said, “I told you I’d see you again. And I’m really glad it was this soon.”
Mary stood to give him a quick hug, “What are you doing here? You didn’t travel that road alone, did you?”
Levi took a quick glance at Simon, then stammered, “Delivering sandals,…yes…I’m delivering sandals.” He quickly turned to Jesus, “Father had these underway while you were still in Hebron. I thought I was being discrete, but I’m afraid he saw through my nervousness. He knows… Anyway, he wanted to make sure you received them. He asked me to tell you his prayers are with you.” He paused and grinned, “And your feet.”
Mary straightened herself to not only relieve her back pain, but also to show Jesus this was enough, “Alright, everyone. It’s time. What’s going on?”
Jesus put his hand on her back and said, “Yes it’s time. The good news is that Simon, Hannah and Levi are not strangers to me. The challenging news is that we will be experiencing a bi-location. Yes, one timeline will take us through Egypt and eventually to Gaul. It’s the other timeline that take priority, Mary.”
While Mary’s level of consciousness was a match for Jesus and though Jesus knew she would understand all higher density matters, he also knew her heart was set on settling into a home where she could safely give birth to their first child.
The room went silent. Mary took a deep breath and asked, “And just what is the other timeline?” Hannah and Simon stood stiff with anticipation. Levi sat with a piece of bread halfway to his mouth.
“Divine Source, through our beloved Alpha Centurian brothers and sisters, has spoken. As we anticipated, Mary. However, this time, we will be challenged beyond what we’ve just come through. We are asked to go into the year 2021 and live in a place called Canada.”
“Where is Canada and what are we to do?” She could not stop her voice from trembling.
“It’s west of Gaul – over on the other side of the ocean. It’s a country that will have been inhabited by indigenous peoples and will have been discovered in the 15th century. In 2021, it will have been a country for only 150 years. However, Hannah, that’s just where we’ll be teleported. It’s from there we’ll do our work; quietly, anonymously and powerfully. The entire planet is in need of our presence at that time. Though this time on earth has meant I planted seeds, you share my disappointment in not helping humanity completely claim its rightful freedom. Since human beings have had 2 thousand years of ever worsening degradation, it seems we’re being offered another opportunity.”
“Oh, Jesus…” Mary whispered. She studied her hands for a few moments then looked up into Jesus’ expectant face with tears in her eyes. She said, “Obviously all of us have much to discuss, but first, can I confirm one thing? See, on one hand it sounds like we’re heading into a land of wildernesss; yet it’s two millennia into the future. Can you confirm there’ll be sufficient technology and an experienced woman to help me have our baby with safety?”
Jesus nodded his head with relief and said softly, “Of that I am certain, Mary. Plus, as far as anyone will know, we’ll just be another Mr. & Mrs. We’ll be given all we need to blend in without incident or suspicion.”
“Thank you, my beloved husband. Alright. Let’s get down to work. Hannah, where’s that ointment? Let’s look after these tattle-tale feet!”
Hannah, Simon and Levi cheered. Jesus reached over and embraced this beloved woman who had consistently been the greatest disciple of all.
(Chapter 7 – Mission Disclosed – Click here)