It’s a hot day at the side of the Sea of Galilee and a crowd jostles around a bright red food van. The sign advertises fresh sandwiches and clearly the grilled fish wraps are popular.
I don’t want to get squashed, so I wait and watch. A Roman at the front asks for a BLT.
‘Sorry sir, no bacon,’ the lady replies. ‘See the board – it’s all on there,’ and he grunts and shuffles to the side to read the specials again.
Another man, an important priest by the look of his get-up, moves forward to make his order. The lady reaches down from the van and grabs his hand between both of hers and gives him a big smile. He grins back.
‘Jairus!’ she exclaims. ‘What will it be today? The usual?’
‘Yes please,’ he replies, and she starts asking about his work and his family.
‘Get a move on!’ someone behind calls out.
‘Don’t be so touchy,’ Jairus says to him. He pats the lady’s hand before he leaves.
‘And you?’ he asks, ‘how are you?’
‘So much better, sir, so much better, praise God. Enjoy your food, and greet your family for me,’ and she turns to the next customer.
I watch as the crowds are all fed and the queue dies down. Finally the sandwich lady wipes her forehead.
‘Are you ok?’ I ask, ‘you’ve been very busy!’
‘I am so busy these days,’ she says, ‘I am finally making a profit and doing something I love. Last year, before Jesus healed me, I could not stand for long. I couldn’t even handle food.’ She steps out of the van to sit down and I realise she is pregnant.
‘My husband and I had almost given up hope of having a baby,’ she says. ‘Twelve long years I was in great pain and then I heard Jesus was in the area. Jesus the healer! I thought if I touch his clothes, I’ll be healed,’
‘You just touched his clothes?’ I ask.
‘Yes! He wanted to know who had touched him,’ she giggled. ‘And I was so embarrassed. But he healed me. And blessed me.’
A young teenage girl approaches.
‘My dad forgot my drink,’ she apologises and the lady gets up and fetches her one.
‘Sit yourself down,’ she tells the girl, ‘come and eat with us. I was only resting.’
Lucy Marfleet is a writer and educator who tries to tell the truth in imaginative ways. She has degrees in Theology and Biblical Studies and has worked in schools and prisons. Lucy lives with her husband and two children near Cambridge and blogs at www.lucymarfleet.com. Follow her on Twitter @lucymarfleet