BARABBAS AND HIS MEN were growing restless. They had been carefully rehearsing and going over their plans evening by evening.
“Hey! We know these plans backwards and forwards. When are we going to act?”
“Yeah! What are we waiting for?”
Barabbas was silent. Should he keep waiting for the odd-looking stranger to appear, or should he go ahead? The men did seem to be ready. So, why should he wait any longer? “Alright,” he said, finally, “we’ll strike the day after tomorrow. We’ll meet here tomorrow night just to make sure we don’t forget anything, and that we have everything ready to go the following day. Meeting adjourned.”
HE THOUGHT ABOUT CLOSING the shop for the next day, but then decided against it. Perhaps the business would take his mind off of his nervousness. But it didn’t seem to work. Several customers asked him if something was wrong, but he just ignored their questions and went about the business at hand.
All morning, he kept thinking that perhaps the mysterious stranger would appear. He didn’t know why, but somehow, it didn’t seem quite right to go ahead without this fellow’s knowledge, whoever he was. It was he who had first opened up the possibility of such a thing to Barabbas’ thinking. Somehow, Barabbas thought, this man must know more about the situation than we do. Perhaps he had some inside knowledge, which would enable him to determine the best time to strike. Yet, Barabbas knew that his men were ready and that victory was possible. So then, why was he concerned about the mysterious odd-looking stranger?
But, about mid-day, just when he had made up his mind to forget about the stranger, he chanced to look up and see, through the window, the strange black and white chariot parked in front. Then he caught sight of the odd-looking stranger walking slowly toward the shop.
The few customers who were there were just leaving as the stranger entered. He walked right up to the counter, smiled broadly and said, “Greetings, my friend.”
“Greetings. I was wondering what had become of you.”
“I wanted to be sure to give you enough time. Is your group ready?”
“Very much so. Ready and restless. We were thinking of going ahead with it anyway.”
“And I came to tell you to do just that. What a coincidence! When were you thinking about?”
“Oh, that soon? I trust you have rehearsed everything carefully?”
“Many times. Believe me, everything will go just fine.”
“Let us hope and pray so.” With another big smile, he turned to go. At the door, he turned and said, “May God go with you, friend.”
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