Time for an Intermission!
Grab a cup ‘o Joe or your favorite tea and a muffin or biscuit and enjoy Snack-Time Theater!
Imagine with me a setting deep in the heart of the forest. A woman wearing a weathered, distressed-looking peasant outfit with scraggly, dirty-looking hair is carrying a large bucket. She begins to speak as she takes cover among the trees to camouflage herself.
I must be careful not to let them hear or see me (Twigs break in the background for a woodsy effect as she whispers). I am here to see the man they call Jesus. Who is He? He is sitting, talking with the men who have been following Him for weeks. Some say He is a prophet. (She peers through the branches of the trees, trying to discern what is going on without being noticed. She squints as she leans in) What are they doing? It looks like they are making camp for the evening. (She murmurs under her breath) Yes. One of them is building a fire, and someone else has fish he is placing on sticks. (She looks around again as if to make certain no one has followed her) I must know more about this man. When He passed me by the other day in the marketplace, I saw a woman grab the hem of His robe. He swiftly turned around, and I heard Him say, 'Who touched me?' I wondered how that could be since throngs of people were crowding in around him. How is it even possible that He only noticed her? Then, He gazed straight at me. I felt His piercing eyes burn right through my soul as if He knew me. I had never felt as if I were the only one in the world. This time, it was as if I was singled out and the only one who mattered.
(She continues softly) It looks like they have made a circle and are now breaking some bread and passing a cup. (She takes in a deep breath; the smell is so enticing.) I am hungry. (She places her hand upon her belly and lowers her head, gathering her composure.) I must get a closer look at this man called Jesus. Something is tugging and burning in my heart.
(She leans in closer to hear him speak.) Who do you say I am? (She places her hands on either side of her face, which is flush with heat.) Who do I say you are? Is that what He said? Well, (She whispers very slowly as if reasoning within herself), I know I saw you turn water into wine last month at my cousin's wedding. I know I saw the woman with the infirmity who had suffered for at least twelve years rise and shout, 'I am healed!' after she touched the hem of your garment. So, (She drags this out) you must be someone. But who are you?
(She continues describing the scene out loud as she stands spying on the gathering.) Notice how Jesus looks so intently at each man. His eyes seem to pierce right through their very being. (She whispers to herself so no one will hear), What is He saying now? He is looking at one of the men. I believe this is the man they all call Simon Peter, and I know him to be a fisherman by trade. Jesus is asking him again, 'Who do you say I am?' Peter is staring right into His face as if he is in a trance and just said, "You are the Christ." Jesus is smiling!
Look at that beautiful smile. How I wish everyone could see that smile. How could you not fall in love with that? 'You have answered rightly. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in Heaven has,' replied the man called Jesus. (She hangs her head, places her hand on her heart and takes in a deep breath as if receiving firsthand knowledge of what she came to hear. She nods.) Yes. Of course, who else would you be? Who else could perform the miracles I have witnessed? You are the Christ. Many have been waiting for you.
(Twigs crackle once again, shaking her out of her other world state) Oh my. The hour is far spent, and I must leave. My family is waiting for water. (She turns as if to go but lingers a moment longer. Then, finally, she shouts with a booming voice) Who do you say Jesus is?
Molly Malvern Painter