My latest from Christian Flash Weekly Event 53, prompted by “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” (John 10:15). Though not required, the judge recommended placing Jesus in a time and place outside of his own.
Heads bowed, the family of five held hands around the table, a veritable cornucopia overflowing with organic fruits and vegetables and grain-fed, non-GMO beef. The father concluded the prayer with “Thank you Lord Jesus for putting food on our table” and they each made the sign of the cross.
He shielded his eyes from the glaring sun. He’d developed a headache over the course of the past three days because he had to squint as long as it shined. And these days, the dog days of summer, it shined much too long.
Steinbeck’s central California was a thing of the past; not like Jesus ever read any Steinbeck. Probably never heard of him.
He and the others—hundreds of them now—had settled down, as much as they could ever settle down. As always Jesus went where he was needed and he was never needed in any one place for too long.
His feet ached and it hurt when he straightened his back as it did when he heard her scream. None paid the scream, all-too-common these days, much mind, but when she screamed again, a few did lift their heads more out of curiosity than concern.
But Jesus, being Jesus, ran. Ran through the dusty strawberry fields kicking up dirt. He’d been praying for rain. They—the hungry and thirsty— had all prayed for rain. They needed it. California needed it. The whole damn country needed it. He’d seen his last cloud—white and fluffy—three weeks ago.
He stopped at the hovel and, hearing her weep, asked, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you looking for?”
“My boy,” she said through her sobs.
“May I come in?”
Jesus Lopéz García made the sign of the cross upon seeing cradled in her arms the dead infant.