Tuesday, January 2

My reading of The Robe continues...

"'Were you amazed?'

'No--not amazed; but eager to press on. Bartholomew urged me to leave him. He would make it alone, he said. But the good old man was dead with weariness, so i supported him the rest of the way. When we came out at length on the little plateau in a shady grove, we saw him. Jesus was standing, with both arms outstretched in a gesture of blessing. The disciples were kneeling about his feet. Simon, with his great hands covering his face, had bowed over until his head nearly touched the ground. Poor old Bartholomew, much moved and thoroughly spent, couldn't take another step. He fell to his knees. So did I, though we were at least a hundred cubits from the others. We bowed our heads.' Justus' voice broke, and for a moment he was overcome with emotion. Marcellus waited silently for him to regain self-control.

'After a while,' continued Justus thickly, 'we heard the murmuring of voices. We raised our eyes. He was gone.'

'Where, Justus? Where do you think he went?' asked Marcellus huskily.

'I don't know, my friend. I only know he is alive--and I am always expecting to see him. Sometimes I feel aware of him, as if he were close by.' Justus smiled faintly, his eyes wet with tears. 'It keeps you honest,' he went on. 'You have no temptation to cheat anyone, or lie to anyone, or hurt anyone--when, for all you know, Jesus is standing right beside you.'

'I'm afraid I should feel very uncomfortable,' remarked Marcellus, 'being perpetually watched by some invisible presence.'

'Not if that presence helped you defend yourself against yourself, Marcellus. It is a great satisfaction to have someone standing by--to keep you at your best.' Justus suddenly came to his feet, and went to the door of the tent. A lantern was bobbing through the trees.

'Someone coming?' inquired Marcellus, sitting up."

~The Robe, pgs 440-441


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