Continued from Mrs Jesus #3/7: Wed-ness Day
Friday, I have a date with a tree.
Today I am getting my nails done.
I am terrified.
It’s days like these I ask myself why I ever married Jesus…
Thor’s Hammer is the name of the hardware store in our little village.
The owner is a tall, silent man with long blond hair.
He exchanges a knowing look with Jesus, and gestures with his chin towards the back of the store.
He follows us, as I clasp Jesus’s hand between two of mine.
I feel like I’m heading to my own execution.
In a way, I suppose I am.
After clambering through store rooms and loading docks, we emerge into what appears to be an old-fashioned blacksmith shop.
A fire has already been lit, but it is banked.
Our host strips off his shirt, heaps on coal, and wields powerful bellows until the flames roar high.
Jesus catches me staring at the man’s bulging, sweat-covered muscles, and winks.
I blush and turn away.
The smith brings over a series of metal rods of different sizes, and places them one at a time against my wrists, looking to Jesus until he nods.
I try not to flinch at the cold steel.
The man heats the chosen rod until it glows red hot, then hammers it expertly until it tapers sharp.
He reheats it, then cuts of the edge and hammers it flat in a nail header.
Then does it again.
At least my feet will be spared.
The smith looks up at Jesus and frowns, the first emotion I have seen on his face.
Jesus kneels down next to where I have been sitting.
He takes my hands in his and looks me in the eyes.
“You don’t have to do this, you know.
You are already my bride.
I love you just the way you are.”
I look down.
I shake my head.
Tears fall, unbidden.
“No,” I whisper.
“I don’t want to just be your bride.
I want to be your wife.
I want to know everything about you.
I want to know who you truly are, in every fiber of my being.
“I want to feel everything you feel, the good, the bad, the ugly.
I want to be a true helpmeet to you, as Eve was to Adam when they established dominion over all the earth.
I don’t care how much it costs.
I don’t care how much it hurts.
All that matters, is whether it brings me closer to you.
If nails are what it takes to do that, then they are more valuable to me than crowns and thrones.”
Jesus scoops me up and gathers me in his arms.
For a long, glorious moment he holds me close, and I forget everything in the sheer joy of his presence.
Then he carries me outside and lays me on an altar.
He stretches out my arms to where holes have already been drilled below my wrists.
Straps are fastened around my hands, forearms, head, and waist.
Jesus kisses my forehead, lays a hand across my cheek, then leaves.
The sky grows dark.
A chill wind begins to blow.
A figure of a man appears.
It might be the smith.
His mighty arms and gloved hands carry what appears to be the same hammer.
But he wears a black hood and vest.
And I detect no kindness in him.
Nor, to be fair, any malice.
He treats me like just another block of wood.
He places the sharp spike above the bones of my wrist and hammers it in with swift, sure strokes.
I try to bite my lip to avoid crying out.
But pain rips a scream from my throat.
Mercifully, it is over almost before I know what happened, leaving only a dull ache.
Though my stomach clenches with dread,
knowing it is about to happen again.
I whimper at the thought, wondering if I should call the whole thing off.
Yet, surely the worst is over.
Can’t I hang on just a little longer?
Perhaps fortunately, I pass out before the second nail is done.
I awake in our bed.
Jesus arranges the pillows against the headboard, then lifts me to sitting position.
I stare with wonder at my bandaged wrists, sore and tender but not overly painful,
as Jesus feeds me broth with a spoon.
He looks at me.
I look at him.
He smiles, a little sadly.
“Go ahead and ask,” he says.
A lump forms in my throat.
“Why… why did you leave me?”
He puts down the bowl.
He takes my face in his hands and kisses me full on the lips.
I feel his love and compassion flood through me.
He pulls away and regards me.
His face is etched with sorrow, yet somehow seems to hide a flicker of amusement.
“There are some questions that have no answer this side of the tree.
But fear not.
You have chosen the right path.
All will be revealed.”
With that, he begins to sing a love song.
And I slowly drift away into a dreamless sleep.
Continued in Mrs. Jesus #5/7: Wood Friday