The View from a Sycamore

It was late afternoon. The sun shone sideways, reflecting off the golden walls, brightening the path. The air smelled of fresh figs, with a layer of jasmine.

He loved this time of day. He loved sitting way up in this tree, unseen by the world around, free to watch and listen without reproof. He watched the birds circling so high, also free. He closed his eyes, so thankful.

Upon opening them, two large groups of people had come into view, one coming from outside the city toward its gates, the other moving slowly down the street, away from the city.

They would soon intersect.

The entering group was jovial. He heard loud exclamations and cheerful voices. He saw high fives and joyous expressions.

What a contrast to the leaving group, with their sad faces and bowed heads. Also very loud, their wailing and crying began to combine with the getting-closer happy hum, creating a confusing cacophony of sound.

Then suddenly all was quiet. The two groups had seen each other.

She leading the group of mourners.

He leading the group of rejoicers.

He sees the tears streaming down her face, sees the stretcher following, takes in the scene. His expression quickly grows tender, he reaches out to her, hand on her shoulder. Finger brushes away a recent tear.
"Don't cry."
She stares at him, eyes swollen red and puffy, wondering how he thinks that is possible. Her tears may run dry, but the childless ache will never stop turning her stomach, replenishing the fountain that eyes will cry later.

That was her boy, her only child, her only reason for life, now lying without breath. She would cry. For a very long time.

He studied her face, seeing the hopeless anguish, realizing the desolation of her soul.

It was time. Time for a miracle. Time to speak truth without words.

He moved the few steps toward the young body, both groups watching, holding breath. He touched the dead body, caring little for rules of cleanliness, caring only to reunite mother and son.
"Young man, I tell you, get up!"
Please, get up. Bring happiness, not suffering. Get up and hug this woman, this mother, this one who loves you desperately.

Death -- be gone! Plague these people no more! I bring to you a message of life, a message of hope! Rejoice! 

Hers were the only dry eyes in the crowd as they embraced -- mother and child. Child, wondering at the commotion, a little scared. Mother, eyes squeezed shut in absolute thanksgiving.

Mourners and rejoicers alike wiped happy tears from their eyes, united in celebration. He was in their midst. He would wipe away all their tears.

He would conquer death forever.

The boy in the tree continues to watch as the crowd disperses, some heading home, others in search of friends to share the good news with. Soon, only three remain -- boy raised, mother thankful, and the Healer. He lifts the boy to his shoulders, giggling, and the three make their way back into the city.

The setting sun follows, casting long shadows, leading them home.

Leading them home.
Scripture references from Luke 7: 11-17 New Living Translation