Far From Water, Far From Home

And God came to him, stepping into his tent out of the afternoon heat, voice a little hoarse from swallowing dust, and he bowed in the politest ways, offering figs and wine to the stranger.

“Thank you,” said God, shaking his hands ceremoniously over the food, bowing His head in thanks. “I am weary.”

“I have a bed in back,” he offered, stumbling a little over the words. “Only a roll, alas, on the hard ground, but clean and warm. You are welcome to it if you wish.”

“Thank you,” God said again. “You are most kind.”

He rose and went to the tent flap. “I must check on my herds. The hired men –“

God smiled. “Yes.” He took a bite of fig and smiled, his teeth yellowed and his lips stained from chewing betel nuts. “I understand.”

Yeshua had left the herd alone to go after a single wandering goat. He beat him, not harshly, away from the tents, and sent him back to the flocks. God was asleep in the back when he returned, hand curled around a half-eaten onion.