Nothing. That’s what we had left of those three years. So, may as well get on with life—and I did.
The family business had prospered while I was gone. It was good to sit again at my mother’s table, to see my niece ready for her bridegroom and my brother read Torah in the synagogue.
But, well, yeah, after a few days I began to miss Andrew’s laughter. Those at home hadn’t seen the storm immediately stop or those fish and barley loaves just keep dividing and dividing. They hadn’t felt the stirring in their gut at the sound of Jesus’ voice as He boasted about how deep His Father’s love is—for each of us! Amazing. It still, ya know, causes my breathing to get a little shakey.
Yeah, those people at home are dear to me, ya know, but they couldn’t remind me of what Jesus meant when He talked about sowing seeds, or couldn’t repeat the stories of how the lost were found. So now I find myself back in Jerusalem, evading pistachio baskets carried atop the heads of slave girls and dodging children running through the dust.
I wonder how many of the guys are still holed up. Ha! If they ran like they had the night He was arrested, they’ll all be clear to—but, you’re right. I ran, too. Ran fast, ran hard. Didn’t have a clue where I was headed. Guess I still don’t.
I heard the singing and Andrew’s laughter even before I entered the dark, narrow passageway. Lamp light spilled from the window slits and poured out the wide-open entry. I had almost reached the pool of light when Mary appeared in the doorway.
“Thomas!” Mary called as I stepped up to her. “Look everyone! Thomas has returned.”
I helped bar the door—gave me seconds to control the surge of joy that threatened to choke me.
“Thomas,” Andrew called. “We’ve kept your place for you. Come, the fish is ready to serve. Get yours before Peter does.” He ended with that laugh.