The journey was long and Thomas and his mother had to make numerous stops along the way. They were traveling with a caravan that was heading to Jerusalem, this was done so that those traveling in numbers would be safe from highwaymen who might rob and steal from weary travelers like themselves.
After journeying throughout the day, the caravan was nearing Jerusalem. They could see the Temple towering over the buildings in the great city. Thomas stopped to see the magnificent sight. His mother came up behind him and whispered in his ear.
“Thomas, we are almost there, we must continue so that we can reach your father before nightfall. It will be the Passover soon and we must not be caught traveling at that time. Now we must hurry to catch up with the caravan.”
“Yes mother, I will hurry.”
Thomas was smiling at his mother as he answered her and she knew the reason why he was so happy. Thomas would finally see his father after such a long absence. Thomas’ mother knew that her husband and son were very close with one another. His father was teaching Thomas the trade of being a carpenter. Each day Thomas would walk in the door and tell his mother what his father had taught him that day. She could tell by the smile on her son’s face that he loved his father more than anything. She smiled to herself due to the joy that was overflowing within her heart at this moment and at this time, life could not have been any better than it was today.
As the caravan entered into the valley near Jerusalem, crowds began to gather near the road that was overlooking a distant hill. Looking up near the top of the hill, she could see the figure of a man talking to a huge crowd of people. There were so many that neither Thomas nor his mother could count the numbers gathered there. Thomas’s mother was wondering how she would find her husband with so many people in one place.
At that moment, Thomas’ mother looked to her right and could see the caravan she and her son had traveled in was veering off to the right, heading into Jerusalem, and leaving several others including Thomas and her by the roadside. She looked at her son and gently held his hand and took the donkey with their supplies with the other hand.
“Son, we must head into the crowd in order to find your father. It might be very congested with people, so stay near and do not wander away.”
“Yes mother, I will stay close by.”
As Thomas and his mother slowly climbed the towering hill it became increasingly harder to press into the crowd. Then Thomas’ mother thought of something.
“Thomas, if we let our donkey lead the way, it will have better fortune in parting the crowds because of its size.”
“Ok mother, I will stay close behind you.”
As the donkey parted the crowd, many gazed at Thomas and his mother. It was unusual to see a woman traveling alone without her husband at her side. To see a little boy trailing behind her made the scene even more bizarre to them. Finally, when nearing the top of the hill, they could hear the person who was speaking to the crowd. Both Thomas and his mother observed that it was the Galilean himself who was addressing the throngs of people before them. Still Thomas’ mother pressed on to near the point where he stood. She was tired, but was also filled with joy in the anticipation of meeting her husband after so many days without him. Finally she found Thomas and herself standing unexpectantly before this man from Galilee. They now could hear all that he was saying to those near him.
Slowly, Thomas looked around and could see many people intently listening to this man. He saw those who were sick, lame, blind, and even those that seemed to be not in their present minds. They were all waiting their turn to see this stranger. Thomas wondered what this Galilean could do for all these people who were hurting so. He became overwhelmed with sadness at seeing so many with all their needs. Thomas thought to himself, “How could anyone help all these hurting people?” Then he slowly turned and he saw a man running through the crowd yelling at the top of his lungs, “I can see, I can see!” Thomas looked up at the stranger as he ran past. This man was crying as he ran by. This confused Thomas, “If he could see, why then was he crying so?”
At that moment, Thomas realized that he was separated from his mother and he became afraid. “Where had she gone?” Thomas desperately looked around for her and the donkey. The crowd was pressing forward toward the Galilean and he found himself moving with them. Finally Thomas found himself standing before the Galilean himself. Thomas’ fear at that point seemed to dissolve upon looking into his eyes. The Galilean smiled down at him and Thomas knew in his heart that all would be well. He could not explain it, but he knew that he had nothing to fear anymore. Thomas found himself smiling back at this kind man. He could tell that the Galilean was gentle of heart and that he liked children. Thomas also knew that somehow things would work out.