Your Online Cup of Tea
Nothing ever seemed to change. Falling back on the bed, the young lady rested her sore hands and blistered feet. Her knees creaked, and back ached, after a long day outside. Today she had to clean after the animals around the altar. Pulling back the wet hair from her face, she cringed at ever still lingering smell of blood. Not helped very much by the prolonged shower. The T.V in the background kept talking about an upcoming census the Emperor would introduce. More taxes for her people to support the invading power. That’s what it meant. Every day, more and more riots and fighting seemed to happen. More and more people seemed to come by the Temple for food and basic supplies. She should have been on distribution today. However the much older women often took advantage of her age leaving to her any jobs they could do but wouldn’t. Not that she’d ever complain. This had been her life for almost a decade.
She never really understood why her parents gave her up to be a temple-maiden at the age of nine. They would always say “you’re destined for something far bigger than yourself.” Still, it didn’t make the loneliness any easier. The young lady always looked forward to either Chanukah or Pesach, when she had the most time with them. Scrolling through her phone, she saw some friends tagged in different pictures. They were currently out enjoying dinner by the pool. Having “forgotten” to invite her again. But she never let things weigh her down for long. When it got too much, she would just start singing. Usually songs she made up and put in her little journal. And lying on the bed, switching off the phone and tv, that’s what she did for almost an hour.
‘Miryam.” Jolting up on her bed, she scanned across the room. She must have dozed off and only heard her name being called in a dream.
‘Miryam.’ It came again, this time slightly louder. She checked her phone, perhaps someone called and she answered without knowing. But if was off.
“Miryam.” The voice was soft, like whisper. It seemed to come from everywhere. But without an echo.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“Miryam.” This time it came with a knock by the door. Looking out the window, there was no one standing there. Just an empty road with a few parked cars.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“Miryam.” Again the voice followed the knocking, but still she couldn’t see anyone as it happened.
“Yossef, is this some kind of joke?” she said out loud, carefully heading for the door. Slowly she opened it, praying in her head. Even though it was only five in the afternoon, everywhere else look like night compared to the young man that shone in front of her. The brightness should have blinding, but instead came across as soft. It were as though she were seeing true light for the very first time. It dawned on Miryam that as surprising as all this was, she didn’t seem afraid. Rather it looked like he were the one trembling. Stranger still was that as soon as their eyes met, this being went down on one knee and lowered his hands out as if about to announce something big. His eyes were fully alert, and his mouth wide open for a few moments. As though he were hesitant, or even unable to properly express whatever he were about to say.
“Greetings… Fully-Graced… Yahweh is with you…”
And from that moment on, things were never the same again…