Kelila was desperate.
Her little girl had gone unconscious without any warning and without reason. The three years olds dark curls buffeted over Kelila’s arm and hung weightily as she lay slumped over in her mothers’ strong embrace. The pale look of death covered her small face and tainted her perfect skin.The sight made every fiber in Kelila tremble. It broke her heart that Adina had to suffer the way she did daily. When the little girl had been born crippled her father had mixed emotions towards his new daughter and his wife. It seemed to Kelila as though he blamed her for their daughters’ condition.
The day Adina had been born he begun speaking to Kelila less and had less to do with either of his children. No longer was Benjamin the apple of his eye or Kelila the love of his life. To Kelila is seemed as though Alon thought ignoring the problem would make it leave. He wanted to ignore the problems and in doing so created more. She had been startled by this irony one too many times.
Kelila could still tell he loved them all passionately. He just wasn’t certain how to show it. In fact, the way he was showing it was causing the whole family, herself included, to suffer.
As Kelila flew through the streets with Adina tucked snugly into her arms she thought back to her husband’s reaction, only minutes earlier. Oh, how her heart had dropped. How many times could a heart drop the way hers had because of Alon’s reactions? She wondered.
Alon had, as usual, become angry and distressed when Kelila rushed to him with the news about their daughter. Kelila could see it in his eyes before he slammed the carefully measured and chiseled wood into the fire beside him. The wood sent flickering, hot sparks and a painful message flying “Leave me.” Her heart burned. She would be supporting their daughter alone. Again.
As Kelila had known for some time, telling him the truth about the situation would anger him even more but she, as his wife, needed support in times like this. It was rare that Alon was able to provide this for her. More times then not she had found herself gasping for relief when her husband turned his back on her and continued his work. Whenever Kelila told him something discouraging about either one of their children, especially Adina, this was more than less his attitude.
Alon was not the man of her dreams she had thought him to be when they were first married six years ago but she still loved him. She still struggled through life with him and enjoyed the rare, peaceful moments the two them would occasionally have. The last one they had spent together happened just that night before Benjamin had wobbled down the beach looking for his mother. “Ima! Adina is sick. She isn’t moving. She won’t wake up…Ima. I’m scared. Ima!” Kelila’s heart had dropped. This wasn’t the first time it had dropped in the past year. Life had seemed to be one catastrophe after another. It seemed like the peace of her childhood no longer existed. Her childhood, especially the years she had known Yehoshua were so beautiful.
What she would give to gaze into the warmth of his eyes again. What she would do to feel accepted for who she was, again. Kelila’s mind raced through memories as she sped through the streets of Magdala. Her camel hide sandals slapped loudly against the stone walkway and echoed off the walls. They would make it to Avner’s house no matter what the cost. The man had prayed for many and seen many healings. He was also a master in healing herbs and supplements. There had to be something he could do; for certain he would understand what had gone wrong; he would fix it.
“I don’t know what to say Kelila.” The greying man lifted his large hand from her daughter’s clammy forehead and looked woefully into Kelila’s tear filled eyes.
“You have no idea what has happened to her Avner? No idea?” Her last question sounded more like an accusation. She caught herself before weakly slumping beside the stone table her small daughter lay on.
Her weary eyes gazed across her daughters’ lifeless body and met his, “I’m sorry…”
He gratefully matched her gaze.
“Kelila, you’re allowed to have feelings. We all do.”
“I don’t understand why this has to happen to us? Isn’t it bad enough she was born the way she was, unable to walk?” Kelila slammed her first onto Avner’s wall before lifting her eyes towards the thatched ceiling.
“There are times when I wonder how much Elohim cares for us. Avner… does the Lord even care?” The gentle man smiled grimly and lifted his eyes to the same ceiling.
“He does care for us and love us Kelila. Seek him and trust in his timing.”
“His timing?” Kelila seethed, throwing her dark hands up in exasperation. She was so sick of hearing about how great God was without actually seeing what he could do for the creation he made, especially the people he had made.
“I imagine his timing brought this grief upon my daughter. It was her time to be in pain and her time to die I suppose. It was my time to have an angry husband who doesn’t communicate to me anymore…” The thought of how sinful she was stung her. Who am I to judge? She began to sob.
“Oh, Avner. I am sorry. I shouldn’t question. You knew our God more that most. You understand him better than many others.” She bent her head and gazed at the dirt floor. The old man moved beside her and put his hand on her shoulder. “I know half as much as I would like to Kelila. None of us have figured out all things concerning God and his ways.” He glanced at the frail girl. He cringed inwardly as he studied her legs. They were twisted grotesquely at different angles. He had seen cases like this in elderly people but never in someone so young. Avner shook his head. She would have suffered so greatly. Why would God allow this girl, who had not sinned, be in the pain she had?
He looked up at her and started softly, “It’s good to question.” She looked up at him, it’s a good thing to know why you believe what you do.”
“Yes.” She replied hoarsely before they sat together in a quick moment of silence.
Kelila spun herself around to face her daughter, “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can’t fix this! I can’t fix this Avner!”
“Kelila…” He appeared to be approaching his next topic cautiously. He had squinted his eyes and she could hear that his voice slowed.
“Yes?” She ceased her sobbing and slowed her speech to match his.
“Do you believe in miracles?”
“I suppose so… what kind?”
He tilted his head to the right and studied her with a smile, “The kind Yehoshua performs.” Her heart leapt as there was hope for her little girl, “He’s here?”