She stood gazing upward into the warm sunshine. Jesus was gone. A smile, a loving look, and suddenly, he was leaving, moving upward, slowly, gradually being overtaken by the clouds. She remembered his words, that he had to leave so the Comforter could come. She certainly didn't understand what he meant. But she had learned to simply obey -- not question and harangue over statements He made -- so she was at peace. Even though she knew he was gone, she felt no loneliness, no dismay. Her heart was full of love towards the Father and towards His son, her friend, and there was no room for grief or sorrow.
In and among the huge crowd of people standing on the hillside, she felt totally alone ... lost in her own thoughts and searching her heart for the next step. He had said to go to Jerusalem and wait. She didn't know what she was going to be waiting for, but she was certain it would .. be.. good. She would certainly obey him.
James, John, his mother Mary, Andrew and the rest of her friends were standing with her. Andrew finally said, "He told us to go to Jerusalem. We've been standing here long enough." And immediately he turned and strode down the hill.
As the rest ran to catch up with him, joy burst through Mary's heart and she began to sing, "The Lord is my strength and my song and he has become my salvation." It was a psalm sung during the celebrations, and she was filled to overflowing with happiness as she repeated the words. Laughing, she skipped down the dirt path. She watched a bird circle lazily in the sky and smiled to herself, "I wonder if Sir Hawk saw his Master soar past ... or if he accidentally bumped into Jesus in that cloud?"
She was amazed. What was she doing? What was she thinking? How was she acting? It was almost as if she were standing to the side and watching this free-flowing woman, hardly comprehending that it was herself. Even the others, used to the more serious, contemplative Mary, were shaking their heads as she skipped, sang, and played.
That was it. Why had she not figured it out before? She. was. playing. The years of hardship and sorrow and desolation had dropped from her as discarding a cloak. She had become a child once more. A happy, free-spirited, glowing, buoyant child. What freedom, what peace, what zest for life!
And what of Jerusalem? She wasn't certain what lay ahead. Could there be years of trial and hardship? Possibly, but she wasn't frightened. She had already known trial and hardship – but without the strength of Jesus. Now, with Jesus, she could face anything to come her way. Would there be years of work as the Word of Jesus was shared with others beyond the boundaries of Jerusalem and Samaria? Hadn't he said his Word would be taken to the ends of the earth?
Suddenly she stopped and looked toward the place where she had last seen Jesus. "I will do it," she promised. "Anything you ask, anything you want, anywhere you want me to go, I will do it."
And taking a tight grip of her shawl, she joyfully ran down the road toward Jerusalem.