A Need for Hope

Standing on the streets, with the rain pouring down in sheets of ice, the crippled man's depthless black eyes watched. He watched for the one he called Glory, but he knew that he had been waiting for a lifetime. He had no home, and he had no family. His job barely paid him enough for a loaf of bread and a chicken, but he never gave up. The beating water over his head was cleansing the earth of impurities, and he was impervious to its attempts.

He was a Holy man, believed to have been called upon his God with a mission to change man-kind's heart. However, he knew it was a difficult thing to do, despite the sacred ordinance to which his mission was sworn upon. The man had a lot of work to do. SO, gathering his cane into his hand, and fixing the cloth upon his head, the man limped out into the rain with his mangled leg and his pure heart, hoping to please his God soon.

***

"Mama! Look there, a storyteller. We should greet him and have him over for supper." The girl was merely dawning upon the age of eight years, and already she was wise beyond her years. The man was grateful for her hospitality, but he could already predict the busy mother's answer.

"Shh, Elderiah, we are full of business to attend to." The plump woman tugged on the youth's hand and proceeded away into the town, not allowing one glance back. The little brunette girl, with her brown eyes and scraped knees, turned to look back at the man, surprised by his knowing smile. He'd see her again.

"Sir, tell us about the man again. The story of Jacob!" A scrawny boy close to his fourteenth year peered up at the Holy man with great honor and curiosity.

"I will tell ye," He approved, leaning on his cane with a wide grin. "Jacob was the youngest, his eldest brother was Esau…" The man's eye twinkled as he told the boy about Jacob's love for Rachel, but her fathe'rs trickery with Leah. Some commoners didn't believe that the story was true, but the man knew. He knew why they didn't believe, and why they didn't like the story. Their hearts were undetermined to them still. They needed to discover His Glory by themselves still.

As the boy ran off, the man climbed to his feet and grunted as he began a slow stroll into the city. There was life filling the roads after a refreshing storm, most consisting of green weeds and children splashing puddles. The loud buzz of conversations from the market could be heard even from where the man stood, outside the city walls. Wagons with merchandise and goods rolled in and out, clucks and baying from the livestock was everywhere the Holy man looked.

Jerusalem was his home, and it was his starting point for a greater life. Deeper into the city were the rich men and the sinners all hiding from the wrath of the man's God. They were the ones the man wanted to soften. He was commanded to open their eyes to the power of creation and forgiveness for what they had done.

***

"Eat my chicken's egg! It is good! I promise to you! You will want more!" The beggar woman was on her knees, begging to a noble whom was strolling by. In a desperate attempt to prevent the man from carrying on, her dirty fingers grabbed onto his trailing cloak.

In flailing outrage, the noble struck the woman with a powerful smile, and she fell to the cold earth in tears, her body shaking. The wealthy man's eyes found the Holy man's eyes, and for aw hile, neither moved. The noble seemed stunned from the intensity of the Holy man's heavy gaze, but he was the first to pull away and flee from the scene.

Slowly the Holy man knelt next to the woman, his cane clattering to the ground as he knelt. His hand caressed he cheek, and he gathered her trembling hands into his. "Silence, all will be well when the Son of Glory comes."

Her nervous gaze relaxed, "May the lord bless you."

She helped him back to his feet and gave him the old cane. He nodded to her and continued forward with his steady limp, awaiting more that needed help.

However, none came, and the man went on to finding the sinners, for they were the ones that the man needed to change, not the humble commoners. Around him, people began to give him harsh looks and hopeless stares. The Holy man merely smiled at them all. He knew not to provoke any emotions until he began to preach.

***

He found a nice spot to sit and awaited the gathering people. When he had a suitable audience, he lapsed into a mysterious tale about the first people on the earth. His grumbly voice carried on to those who stood in the back, and beyond. He explained his salvation, and the people's salvation, and the Lord's son.

Most listened with open minds, but many were not persuaded completely. "What is the burning bush's purpose?"

The Holy man smiled and pattered her hand. It was the same girl he had seen earlier before entering the city. Her long, messy brunette hair was in tangles and there was dirt on her cheeks, but her eyes were sparkling with curiosity.

"God gave Moses a message. He foretold the end of the Pharaoh's rein."

"God can do all of that?"

"He can do much more." The man's eyes twinkled, just as a couple of soldiers made their way towards the old man.

"Alexander, come with us." A soldier scowled at him.

"I will go nowhere until my God commands it of me." The Holy man shook his head.

"Very well, men, take him."

***

Pain lanced up the old man's back as he was pushed to the ground. Above him, the Roman soldier raised his whip. "Ares will have your soul." One spat.

"Ares it not my god." The man protested.

"Then suffer." The whip came down hard and fast, but all the man could feel was a floating sensation and see bright white light.

You have done my bidding with love. Come home now, Alexander.