Chloe was in the kitchen when Tsion Ben-Judah arrived. She had a pot of vegetable soup on the boil, and was throwing together a quick salad, when he popped his head in. “Need a hand?” he asked.
“No thanks, I’ve got it all under control.” She tossed the lettuce. “So, how is everything?”
“Confusing.” He frowned. “Jesus keeps telling me something, but he won’t explain. Every time I pray, I get the same message, ‘Be watchful’, but he won’t tell me what that means.”
“God answers our questions in his time, not ours.” Chloe smiled, feeling a moment of...satisfaction at her ability to find such a pious answer. How far she’d come from the days where she’d questioned and picked at everything, subjecting it to the harsh light of intellect! How she’d grown in faith!
“I know,” Tsion nodded. “I’ve prayed for contentment and faith. But Jesus would have me watchful, and I don’t know what to watch. I mean we’re supposed to have a thousand years before Satan returns with his hordes...” He stopped.
“What is it?” Chloe asked.
“There it is again. Be watchful. Watch what?”
Kenny came tearing through the kitchen, trailing a pack of little boys. “Hi, Mom! Is it okay if I bring some friends for dinner?”
Chloe glanced over at the boys. They were mostly about Kenny’s age, with a few older ones. A rather grubby black boy stood in the back, scraping his muddy feet on the welcome mat. She subdivided the soup and salad, and came to a conclusion. “Sure, honey. I’ll just call Irene, and see if she can bring a dish of buttered vegetables to round out the meal. And I think your little friends,” she paused, glancing meaningfully at the black boy in the back, “should get cleaned up properly. What is it you kids play at that gets you so dirty, anyways?”
“I don’t know, Mom.” Kenny grinned. “I stay nice and clean. See?” He held up his hands for her inspection.
“Yes you do, dear. Very good. Now show your friends where to wash up, and you might want to lend...Chris, right? Lend Chris a nice clean outfit.”
As the kids tromped out, Chloe smiled at Tsion. “There’s some sort of trend going on. Mud pies, or mud-ball fights or something. I don’t know what. Half the kids are into it, and it involves getting really dirty.”
“Kids,” Tsion nodded. “Would you like a hand now? I do a mean fruit salad.”
Chloe sighed, glancing down at her salad bowl. “With Kenny’s friends eating here, I get the feeling the more food, the better.”
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