I Must Share This Story
By Theresa Veach
I went to him in the garden. He raised his head. "My child why are you crying?
Come here. I must share this story."
I looked up into his eyes. I could tell he had been crying too. How like him to comfort me at a time such as this. I sat beside him and put my small hand in his. We sat in silence for a moment watching the sun beginning to rise just above the bare fruit trees.
"Look around this garden. Do you see how everything seems so dead and hopeless right now? Soon winter will be over. Believe me, it won't be long until you will see the first fruits ripening on the trees. So wipe away your tears, for first a seed must fall to the ground and die so that it may become many seeds. It has to be so. Now go and hide. Don't let anyone know you are here. Most importantly, always remember to share this story."
I hid behind a large rock and watched the soldiers come into the garden. I bit down hard on my hand to keep from crying out, "Don't take my friend away! He hasn't done anything to you!" But I stayed silent. And even though I did not understand his story yet, I knew to mind him. He was wiser than any of my ancestors, wiser than even my father Avraham or Moshe. I couldn't understand why they would take him away from me. What had he done wrong? And didn't they know it was the time of the spring feasts, the time of the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and of First Fruits? Where were they taking him? I stood up, my little legs shaking with fear. I ran from the garden and followed the soldiers into the city.
I watched his story come to life before my very eyes. There were thousands of people there, thousands of people from all nations yelling and screaming. I was too small to see above the crowd, so I pushed through their legs to get closer to my friend. Tears welled up inside me when I saw him. His beautiful hair had been ripped from his face. His body was bloody, almost unrecognizable from their merciless beatings. I saw how they made my friend carry a wooden cross, a dead tree, up a hill. Everything became silent as my friend was being crucified on that tree. The sky went black and the sun seemed to disappear. I became inconsolable.
"My child why are you crying? Come here, I must share this story."
I went to the foot of the cross. I looked up into his eyes. In spite of all they had done to him, his eyes were still the same as before, comforting and kind, so full of forgiveness and love. "My child, this seed must first die. The long winter is now over. Soon you will see the first fruits ripening from the tree."
I watched him as he took his last breath. I watched the soldiers as they took him off the cross, ripe fruit being picked from a tree. I knew they were going to plant him in the womb of the earth. I went back to our garden and stayed there for three days and three nights. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. In my grief, I almost believed that spring would never come. In my grief, I almost forgot his story. It was then that I heard His voice.
"My child, why are you crying? Come here, I must share this story."
At first, I didn't recognize Him. Then, I looked up into His eyes. I ran to Him and slipped my small hand into His nail scarred one. He kissed the top of my head and laughed out loud with sheer delight. "Now do you see who I am? Do you see that I am the First Fruits that have ripened from the tree? Do you see that the winter has now passed over us and the real Spring Feast has come? I am the Eternal Spring, for I have come to make all things new."
I could feel his words pierce my side with their truth. I could feel my heart being transformed from a heart of stone into a heart more like His, a living seed that could now bear good fruit and share the story of his eternal spring with other hearts. We climbed back to the top of the hill where He had given His life in order to bring us life. I sat beside him, my hand still in His. We sat in silence for a moment watching the sun rising high into the sky, far above the now ripening fruit trees. Together, we looked down upon the city and witnessed it being transformed from a city of stone into a land that was His, a
Holy Land that would bear good fruit and share the story of His eternal spring with other lands.
The covenants made with my ancestors had come to fruition. I saw my friend and my Messiah as He began to shine like the sun. I watched him as He ascended into the heavens smiling down upon everything He had created. Although He continued to rise higher and higher, I could still feel His hand holding mine. I could now understand His story: No matter how dark the day, He will never leave me. No matter how long the winter, He will never let me die. Because of Him, our First Fruits, I could see that the entire earth was being transformed from a world of stone into a paradise for us to share, a resurrected paradise that would forever bear good fruit and share the story of His eternal spring with all of His creation.
The sun was in its rightful place when I climbed down the hill and went back into the garden. There I met a child, a gentile child, with a broken heart of stone. She thought she had lost her best friend, but I could still feel the warmth of His hand. I could still hear His voice. I knew our shared Messiah was alive. I knew His story of Eternal Spring was to be shared with everyone. I knew what I had to do. I stooped down and looked into her eyes.
"Child, why are you crying? Come here. I must share this story."
Theresa Veach is the mother of one daughter, the wife of one husband, and the child of one God. She shares your love of The Word. You can write to Theresa through the Letters page of this magazine.
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