This is a short fictional story based on the scripture in John 19:23-24 & Psalm. 22:18
It had been a bit of an unusual day for Antony. The life of a Roman soldier rarely takes a docile turn but today was especially hectic. Aside from the usual incarcerations, breaking up of riots and other public disturbances, there had been these three crucifixions.

Three! Very strange indeed, especially one of the fellows that he was put in charge of. At first, he had sort of gotten into the merry making, the jeering crowds and other soldiers and mocking of the guy who, evidently from the sound of the crowd, had been accused of heresy and blasphemy by the Jews of the city. It seemed to be about something concerning their god and this guy’s trying to proclaim that he was that god or a god. It sounded almost ridiculous, really. Antony did not make much of that. He even heard the guy talking to someone while he was hanging there, on the cross just before he died..…his father or something or someone. But the Jewish God, to him was of no consequence. Antony was a pagan and was only somewhat familiar with the multiple Roman gods, most of them fickle, anyway. So who could trust any so-called gods? What was the big deal about their god? Antony mostly believed in might and money. That seemed to be what worked for him in his life.
He and his wife Aura had a little boy, Pallus. That was Antony’s biggest interest. He did want the best for his little son and the income from his soldiering took care of the family, if just barely. When he had left the house that morning while it was still dark, he had checked on Pallus because the little fellow had become ill during the night and he had hoped that he would recover from whatever it was that was making him sick. Antony knew that little children did frequently become ill and soon , he hoped, the child would be over it. But he didn’t have much time to think about that on this hectic day of strange happenings.
And he did feel pretty lucky that strange day. The soldiers had divided up all the garments from the three victims who had been crucified. But the garment from the one in the middle, the guy whose sign said that he was some kind of king or something or a god….his outer coat was a skillfully woven garment, with no seam or binding. It was obviously an excellent piece of material so he and his buddies who were working the hangings with him decided not to tear it but to cast lots for it. And as luck would have it, the lot fell to him. So actually it was not a terribly bad day for Antony, after all.
At the end of his watch, he and his buddy soldiers had a cup or two of wine at a tavern and then he made his way home with the garment that he had won in the lottery. But upon entering the house he saw that his wife Aura was bending anxiously over the little cot where Pallus was lying. She turned to him, worriedly. “ What’s wrong? he demanded . Her worried face spoke more than her words. “It’s Pallus! He’s gotten worse she cried. What can we do?”
Antony gazed upon his little son…pale and shivering violently under the thin coverlet on the little cot. “Let’s move him closer to the fireplace.” Antony grasped for something to do to help his little son. “Can we call for a physician?” his wife asked, almost pleadingly, hoping against hope. Antony was stern-faced. “You know we cannot call for a physician to come to our house’, he rebuked her. The cost would be exorbitant. That is out of the question. And I can’t carry him there while he’s so very sick. And what could he do, anyway? We just don’t have that kind of money.” She was chagrined. Hopelessness began to creep into her heart as she smoothed the shivering child’s brow. Oh, if only the gods could help, she thought. Then, she spoke the words aloud . Antony sneered. “Ha! The gods, indeed! They would exact more than the physicians and it would not be in money, either. “ It seemed that although Antony had not much faith in any gods, he might fear them, somewhat, although he really couldn’t explain why.
That night, it seemed the little child, Pallus, grew worse and the shivering and shaking continued. Rising in the middle of the night, Antony went to his bedside where Aura had fallen asleep in the chair beside the little cot. It was then that Antony remembered the cloak that he had won that afternoon in the lottery. He found it shoved up on a shelf near the door where he had left it when he entered the house and saw his worried wife. He had sort of forgotten all about it in the crisis that met him when he arrived home. Retrieving the cloak from the shelf, he placed it over the little child , thinking that the added warmth might help keep out the cold night…and touching his brow, gently , he then awakened his wife. He told Aura that she should get to the bed and rest so that she could be ready to minster whatever she could to the sick boy, in the morning. They both retreated, sadly to their bed.
Before the the sun rose the next morning, a strange sound awakened them. They sat up in the bed and stared in astonishment. There stood their little son Pallus, in the door way of their cubicle, clasping the cloak around him, smiling and almost laughing. “Son! What is it? Why are you out of bed?” Antony asked incredulously.
“Mater, Pater! Mother, Father,” Pallus cried out.” Look! I am not sick, anymore! I ‘m healed. I am well! I don’t have any pain and I am so happy to be all well.” He jumped up and down with glee. His parents lurched forward to embrace the little, joyful boy. “How wonderful” Aura cried out. What a miracle! When did this happen, she asked, again, incredulous, as she hugged her son. “ Antony asked, “Son, What has happened to you?” Pallus answered, “Mater, pater, I awoke in the night and there was such a warm feeling coming from this blanket that was on me. It was like a covering of warm goodness or something. I began to feel better and better and went back to sleep. Then when I awoke this morning, I was all better and not at all sick, anymore. I am so happy!”
Antony took the cloak from his son and fell on his knees. “What are you doing?” asked his wife. “This cloak! I won it in the lot cast beneath the cross, yesterday afternoon. It belonged to the man whom they had accused of proclaiming that he was God. It belonged to Jesus of Nazareth and now I see why. Oh, my God, now I see, for I heard Him say, Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Now I see, my son has been healed by the power of that man on the cross whose garment I laid upon my ailing child. Oh, Jesus of Nazareth, if You are the God, I want to know You and thank You for healing my son. Save us, Oh Jesus of Nazareth. Save my family and forgive me for nailing you to the cross and let us serve You for all our lives. Now I see! Now I believe in the power of the true God..Jesus of Nazareth”

Advertisements