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4463Re: [Shazam Earth S Lives on] Times Past: The Shepherd Part 5

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  • Frank Murdock
    Dec 22, 2013
      An enjoyable rad so far. You have me thinking the modrn incarnation of
      Captain Marvel should be rooted in Christian heroes.

      On 12/22/13, drivtaan@... <drivtaan@...> wrote:
      >
      > Part 5
      >
      >
      > When the couple finally arrived in Jericho, Joel debated within himself on
      > whether or not to change back into his original form. What if I am unable to
      > again become as I am now? He asked himself over and over. A thought
      > eventually popped into his head, one that could have only come from the
      > wisdom of Mordecai--the mission was not over, therefore, he should still be
      > able to change back and forth at will.
      >
      >
      > “Shazam,” he whispered, once he was certain there was no one around to
      > witness the transformation. Moments later, the small shepherd boy stepped
      > from the shadows onto one of Jericho’s busiest streets.
      >
      >
      > Much better, he thought to himself, as he weaved among the animals and the
      > grown-ups. A shepherd boy attracts a lot less attention than a shepherd man
      > would in this place. Never in his life had Joel seen a city as big as
      > Jericho, and as much as he wanted to explore and see everything, he knew he
      > had been entrusted with the task of watching over the couple. Having spent
      > the majority of his young life searching for lost lambs, the shepherd boy
      > had little trouble locating his charges.
      >
      >
      > The final stage of the journey was the most dangerous, for the road from
      > Jericho to Bethlehem ran through the Wilderness of Judea. It was a barren
      > place that was fit only for jackals and thieves.
      >
      >
      > Joel found the couple at a stall buying supplies for the remainder of their
      > journey. He tried to remain inconspicuous as the couple looked through the
      > merchandise, but twice, the woman glanced his way and caught him watching
      > them. The first time, she gave him the sweetest smile and his face reddened;
      > he quickly looked away. After a couple moments, he looked up at her again.
      > She and her husband were now closer, just a few stalls from where he stood.
      > This was the first time Joel really got a good look at the couple.
      >
      >
      > The man was a strong-built looking fellow that immediately put the boy in
      > mind of a tradesman of some sort. His hands were big and rough, and his face
      > seemed to show the burdens of the world…until he looked at his wife. In that
      > instant, there were no burdens, no worries, not a care in the world; in that
      > instant, there was only love for his pregnant wife. Joel had seen his father
      > look at his mother with love, but it was in no way as intense as the look
      > between these two. For a moment, the boy felt like he was intruding on
      > something very private. The woman, and Joel only referred to her as such
      > because of her condition, looked to be barely out of her teens. Where her
      > husband’s face was burdened down, her face was almost glowing. As he stared
      > at her, she looked at him a second time.
      >
      >
      > She whispered something to her husband, who looked Joel’s way, then started
      > towards him. He was prepared to apologize when she stopped in front of him.
      >
      >
      > “When was the last time you ate, child?” she asked.
      >
      >
      > “It’s been several days,” Joel said, without thinking. It hadn’t dawned on
      > him until now that he felt no need to eat while in his other form. When she
      > mentioned food, though, his stomach seemed to respond.
      >
      >
      > “I thought so,” she said.
      >
      >
      > Before Joel could apologize for the gurgle, the man approached and offered
      > him a piece of fruit.
      >
      >
      > “Thank you, sir,” the boy said.
      >
      >
      > “My wife tells me we seem to have caught your attention,” the man said. “Is
      > there something we can help you with?”
      >
      >
      > “I’m sorry,” Joel said, between bites. “I didn’t mean to stare.”
      >
      >
      > “I don’t believe he has wicked intentions towards us,” the woman said,
      > addressing her husband.
      >
      >
      > “Oh, no,” Joel responded. “I only wanted to make sure you were okay.” The
      > boy groaned inwardly, wishing he would have worded that differently.
      >
      >
      > The man’s eyebrow arched upward while a nervous laugh escaped his wife’s
      > lips. “Why would our welfare be of concern to you?” the man asked.
      >
      >
      > Things really weren’t going as Joel intended, and every question asked
      > seemed to wedge him tighter between the rock and the hard place. The couple
      > wasn’t supposed to know he was protecting them, but he also didn’t want to
      > lie to them.
      >
      >
      > “I saw the two of you come into Jericho by yourselves,” he began, slowly,
      > “and I know that a lot of people who travel alone sometimes draw the
      > attention of thieves and bandits, and you look like a nice couple. Since you
      > were buying supplies, I just figured that you weren’t staying here.”
      >
      >
      > “You’re pretty observant, boy,” the man said. “We aren’t staying in
      > Jericho, but, rather, we are on our way to Bethlehem to pay our taxes.”
      >
      >
      > Joel knew this already, but acted surprised. “Then, you must be traveling
      > through the Wilderness of Judea. If you wish, I will see if there are any
      > caravans that haven’t left yet.”
      >
      >
      > The man smiled. “I appreciate the offer, but I have already asked around.
      > It looks like my wife and I will be going on alone.”
      >
      >
      > “Wouldn’t it be better to wait a day or two?” Joel asked. “Surely another
      > caravan will arrive by then and allow you travel with them. It would be much
      > safer.”
      >
      >
      > “We appreciate your concern,” the man said, not sure why the boy had taken
      > such an interest in their welfare, “but, we must be on our way as soon as
      > possible.”
      >
      >
      > “Besides,” the woman added, “we have nothing to fear. God will protect
      > us.”
      >
      >
      > Joel was amazed at the couple’s faith. He only hoped that if God was using
      > him as their protection, their faith wasn’t misplaced. “If you are sure you
      > don’t want me to keep searching for a caravan, then I’ll be on my way and
      > leave you alone,” he told them. After thanking them again for the food, Joel
      > ran off.
      >
      >
      > He looked back once and saw the woman watching him. He waved at her, and
      > then cut between a couple of stalls after she waved back.
      >
      >
      > Joel spent the next few hours doing his best to watch the couple while
      > staying out of sight. He hoped they would find an inn for the night, but
      > wasn’t too surprised when they began walking towards the city gate.
      > Something in his gut told him the challenges he had faced thus far were
      > nothing compared to what lay ahead.
      >


      --
      sincerely,

      Frank G. Murdock
      Acadiana Area Council of the Blind President and founder
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