She watched him leave, something impressing her she would not see him again
He had vowed to fight her poverty, brought about by the greed of bureaucracy, and he was so sure he would succeed, there was a swagger in his step.
Surely they would listen when they understood the reasons.
Word drifted back to her from time to time that he had met up with others who felt the same way. Her hopes ran high as she prayed with renewed purpose. Perhaps some day her son would fulfil the promises for a land of peace and prosperity.
She prayed as only a mother can pray.
Disturbing news filtered back as she met up with other impoverished families. They would meet as they went out to gather wild sycamore fruit and the grapes of a lone vine growing inaccessibly in a wild ravine. There, too, they befriended and tamed feral goats and milked them each day.
News came through the friendship network that the young men had so disturbed authorities, they had to disband and flee for their lives.
There was silence of them for a long time, then news of their robberies and violence came back to their families.
One family vehemently disowned their son, but she never ceased to pray for hers. Then came news that two of the young men had been captured and sentenced to death, guilty of the crimes she had so long feared they were committing.
Guilty: her heart was pierced and near to breaking.
“But the Lord can reach him!” She remembered triumphantly, and she prayed day and night.
There was no news. Her hope gave way to despair but still she pleaded for his mercy for her boy.
Then one Friday a foreboding paralysed her. She did not go out but stayed indoors alone and fasted and knelt in silent prayer.
She was hardly conscious of time and when she opened her eyes, everything was in darkness.
The thickness of the dark felt strange. She stood up and opened the door but there was no starlight and no moonlight, just a heavy blackness so black she seemed to breathe it in.
In fear, she returned to prayer, reaching out again to her Lord for her son, trembling with premonition.
“Lord,” she prayed, “at any cost, by any road, bring him to yourself.”
When she opened her eyes, the darkness had lifted and a strange peace settled on her.
Days later, the news filtered back. Her son had been crucified that day, along with her friend’s son and another man. The third man was on the middle cross between them.
The strange report was that her son turned to the third man on the middle cross and said to him, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)