“Omar called on you earlier,” she said rather excitedly. “I told him you’d come by before supper.”
Jeshua thanked her for the basin, brought it to his lips, and drank heavily. “What does he want?” he said, when finished.
“That was to wash your hands in,” Mary said flatly.
“Oh,” Jeshua said, sheepishly. “Sorry.”
“You can’t go calling on a man all grungy-looking.” she said, retrieving the pitcher of water and refilling the basin.
“Did he say why he wants to see me?” Jeshua asked again.
“Does a man tell a woman his business affairs?” Mary asked, as Jeshua plunged his arms into the basin, scrubbing them up to the elbows.
Michael followed his Captain to the very outskirts of the village where he found the wheat farmer, Omar, staring at his fields in frustration.
“What’s wrong?” Jeshua asked.
“Look at that,” Omar said with a wave. “There’s darnel growin’ all amongst my wheat.”
“Oh, would you like help pulling it up?” Jeshua asked quizzically.
“Naw, it’s real hard to tell the difference till harvest,” Omar said. “See, darnel doesn’t grow heads, and it’ll make ya sick as anythin’ if you eat it. I’ll have to wait for harvest, and then separate it. But it’s gonna be lots more work. Somebody must ’ave come in the middle of the night back during plantin’ season and threw darnel seeds all across my fields.”
“Who would do such a thing?” Jeshua asked.
Omar sighed. “Probably old Zeke. He ain’t gotta ‘nuff to pay his taxes. Romans probably gonna take his land, lease it out to strangers. He was probably hopin’ this would set me back some, and people would have to buy barley instead.”
Jeshua stared at him in surprise, evidently impressed by Omar’s calm demeanor and forgiving attitude. “Most would be furious, regardless of the saboteur’s hardship.”
“A man is more important than wheat,” Omar said with a shrug. “Zeke doesn’t want his children sold into slavery to pay his debt. It was the wrong thing to do, but a man gets desperate when it comes to protecting his family.”
“You’re a good man, Omar.”
The farmer chuckled. “I hope God thinks so.”
Jeshua smiled. “Of that, I have no doubt.”
-- This was an excerpt from the novel, Guardian of God: The Young Messiah, available now!
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