Drip, drip the rain cried along with Anna’s heartbreak. Anna was almost thankful that the sun refused to shine. It would be better if the sun never shone again. What was the use? Lovingly she placed each of her father’s robes and hats into a wooden crate. She would place it in the barn when she was done.
Anna sighed and sipped her Jerusalem Java with extra cream. She moved into the back corner where her father kept his sacred writings. She might as well pass them on to the younger priest downtown. She squatted down on the earthen floor and began to sort through pieces of Malachi and passages of Isaiah. Ironically, though her father hadn’t stopped talking about Jesus she hadn’t ever discovered Him for herself.
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end”…. Is. 9:7
She put her finger on the familiar Hebrew lettering. Was Jesus truly going to overtake the Romans as Luca had feared? She continued to find more copies. It looked like her father had hand copied each book of prophecy by hand. Everything her father had said from childhood was penned in the worn pages.
“He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surley He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed” Is. 53:3-5.
Anna thumbed away at the tears that had edged out from her lashes. The words were all very puzzling. What could they mean? If only her father were still here. She longed to talk to him again and to ask forgiveness for the way she acted. As if by a miracle the pieces began to come together. This man that called Himself Jesus was in fact the Messiah that her father had been talking about for all these years.
“Yes”! She began to cry softly. Her father had always been telling the truth. Jesus was the Messiah. She wanted Him to be her Messiah. Her Savior and Lord. She felt so foolish for mocking her father.
“Lord, let me belong completely to You. I am Yours”.
She was still Anna, but she felt like a new person. Oh, how she ached to hug her father. Luca, she must see him. It had been a week since the funeral and she hadn’t seen Luca. She ached for him with an overwhelming intensity. She brushed off her dress as she wobbled to get up off the earthen floor. She must tell Luca that Jesus was the Messiah! He was exactly who He said. Luca didn’t need to worry!
She sprinted down the streets of Jerusalem looking for Luca. Thankfully, the rain had stopped though the clouds still billowed. Where was he? As she was searching frantically for Luca she saw Jesus. Her heart quickened when she saw Him. There was a group of ordinary men gathered around Him, listening intently.
“Soon, I will be taken away to die, but do not be troubled because in three days I will rise again”.
Anna quickly hurried on before she heard what the men had to say. It was troubling. Why would Jesus die? She continued looking around for Luca. Her feet sloshed in the mud. She was in too much of a hurry to wipe away the mud off her dress. She had to see Luca. She had to tell him about Jesus!
Finally, she saw Luca. Oh, how joyous! He steps quickened closer to him. Luca didn’t see her coming. His back was turned, and he was speaking to someone else. She blushed and hurriedly began wiping away the stains that refused to come out.
“Luca, I’ve been looking everywhere for you”! She was sorely tempted to give him a squeeze but thought better of it.
After her words spilled forward she saw Sofia and her heart sank. She was the beautiful girl that exceled in everything that Anna didn’t. Her long red hair fell gracefully around her shoulders and Anna quickly wanted to hide her brown hair that didn’t glisten. What business could Luca have with her? Anna thought she trusted Luca….
Luca’s face looked pained. Sofia smiled and sashayed away.
“Luca, I’ve been looking everywhere for you. It’s so good to see you”. She tried to keep her voice light and cheery to mask the uncertainties that lay there.
“Anna, we need to talk”. His voice was heavy and troubled.
“Tonight, by the Olive tree”?
“No, Anna, now”.
“What is it?”
“We are not going to work. I’m in love with Sofia”.
Anna was stunned. He hadn’t even offered condolences for her father.
“Anna, I do not wish to discuss it. You’re to Jewish and to deeply committed to your faith. I admire you for it, but I cannot support anything that has to do with worshipping a man that dares to call himself the Messiah”.
Anna felt like falling over. Her speech about telling Luca that Jesus was the Messiah were lost.
All she could utter was a meek, “I’m sorry”.
Without a word of apology, Luca walked away, his armor glistening in the sunlight, a perfect contrast to Anna’s aching heart.
Anna had to get away. She hurriedly walked away, hoping that the tears would wait to flow.
She saw Jesus sitting on a rock talking with the children. Anna smiled. Most of the leaders scoffed at the children calling them a nuisance, but Jesus took time for them.
“You must enter the kingdom of God like a child”, Jesus spoke.
Anna wanted to be with Jesus. She wanted to sit at His feet. Jesus smiled at her and handed her one of the little ones. Jesus was bouncing little Moses on his knee. Three-year-old Moses was laughing and playing with Jesus’s beard. Anna would’ve thought that would’ve upset Jesus, but he seemed to be at peace.
It was a statement, not a question.
“Yes, Jesus. Yes”.
“I’m sorry to say but I used to doubt You. But I was reading my father’s prophecies and then I knew. You are the Messiah. You are the Son of God”. Anna was weeping softly.
Jesus gently squeezed her hand and said softly, “Yes, Anna”.
Anna knew that Jesus understood and that He loved her. ❤