My Aunt's Wedding at Cana, Galilee
My Aunt’s Wedding at Cana, Galilee
Author: Nikki Paliwoda
I gaze out my window, wondering about the afternoon’s coming events. Thoughts still pounding, I walk over to my closet. These dirty old rags will not do. I cannot go to the wedding in dirty rags. My aunt will expect me to look nice in front of her guests. These clothes are tattered. They are just plain ugly. My aunt will not think highly of me if I go in even my best dress. Plus, they are all brown and tan. My aunt will expect color. Sorrow bites my heart like a knife slicing bread.
Creak! I jump at the sound. Turning around, I find my mom standing in the doorway of my bedroom. She holds her arms behind her back, like she is hiding something. She has a huge smile on her face and tear stains streak her face.
She pulled her hands out from behind her back, revealing a beautiful, red dress that shines like the sun. Shock and surprise ring through my entire self as I see the sleek, shining, red dress that my mom held in a tight grasp. I get down on my knees, tears filling my eyes, and stare at the dress.
“Mom! Where did you get that? We have no money,” I find myself crying out.
“Your aunt-the one who is getting married. She wore it to my wedding. She told me to pass it down to you,” my mom’s voice comes out in a whisper, clearly in shock herself.
Running over to her, I feel my heart leap. Quickly grabbing the dress, I freeze in shock. This dress is so soft and beautiful. I cannot believe I am going to wear this. How can my aunt feel such love to pass down such a beautiful, expensive dress as this? I never wore anything even close to this beauty.
Glancing up, I see my mom in the tiny kitchen ahead of my bedroom. As I close my bedroom door, I hear my mom greeting my dad. He is finally home, just in time to for him to finish getting ready for the wedding. He is always busy at the blacksmith shop. Still in great shock, I head over to my wooden bathing bucket.
After a bath, I change into the pretty dress, with my thoughts echoing a remembrance of how lucky I am. The soft silky material glows against me like it once did my aunt. I love my aunt and this gift from her heart is special to me. Spraying a small amount of the perfume from my twelfth birthday onto the red shining dress, I head over to the window. There is only the chicken coop and trees in the distance. Not wanting to use up the bottle, I carefully set down the bottle of perfume like it is a loved, delicate object. It was by chance that I came across getting this perfume for my birthday. If that girl had not bumped into me before my birthday, I would not have this perfume. As a sign of friendship, I will wear this perfume as a sign to my aunt.
With the scent of flowers, thoughts gleaming hope of friendship, and my hair in a long, black braid down my back, I walk out of my room smiling. Ahead, my mom is laughing by my dad. As I walk into the kitchen, my dad says to my mom something about my aunt inviting Jesus and his disciples. I nearly pass out at this news. The one they call King of Kings, Prince of Peace? Do I look good enough? Yes, yes I do. I got my aunt’s red shining dress on and my perfume. I got my long dark hair and my smile. Most importantly, I got love in my heart. I wonder if he is really the Son of God. Maybe he will work a miracle or something at the wedding.
“Ruth! Stop standing there and listen to me,” my dad screams, shattering my thoughts into a million pieces.
“What?” Looking down at the ground, I feel nervous and scared all at once to my dad’s angry voice.
“Come collect the chicken eggs! A gift to your aunt,” my dad’s anger raged at me.
“Yes sir,” I whine, running to the chicken coop. Trying not to ruin my appearance, I lift my dress’ skirt to knee length. Approaching the chicken coop, I hear the chickens clucking a rebellion cry at me. My thoughts rattling in my brain, I enter the chicken coop. They do not want me here. I am not welcome in the chicken world. Stealing their eggs. I am an egg thief. As I enter the chicken coop, the lead chicken gazing me down, squawking and squabbling, I look around for the eggs. Nervousness fills my body as the lead chicken charges me. I wave my hands at him, making the lead chicken squawk. It takes several tries to shoo the lead chicken away. I gather the largest, most clean looking eggs I could find, while worrying about the lead chicken. Luckily, I just feel his gaze piercing my back. He is the highest chicken and I am stealing their eggs. He must want to show his ground to not just me, but the other chickens. I am the egg thief, their worst nightmare.
I hurry out with the basket of eggs I was able to collect, worrying about my ruining my dress. I approach my parents. My mom glances up at me with a plain look on her face and my dad's whistling irritates me. My dad’s heated gaze glares down at me.
“Never thought you would hurry, child,” my dad snaps.
“Now, now,” my mom calmly says.
My dad glances at the chicken coop as the lead chicken began to squawk again. Turning around, I find the lead chicken sticking his head out of the chicken coop window. The lead chicken beat his little head around, squawking a hate call to my family. A call of hate to egg thieves. My whole family began to laugh, the tension fading away.
With those thoughts at hand, we walk past the small dirt huts in my village. Lost in thought, I walk without looking around. What if Jesus is the first one to see me? How will I appear in his eyes? What are his disciples like? People say the savior will take away our sins. They also says he cares about his people’s heart the most. Is he really the Son of God? Ooh, what if I get to talk to him? Will I be too quiet like I usually am? He probably would not care, but what would he say? Would he tell tales of God? How about his journeys? His stories? I can picture him being really nice, but really wise, as well, based on the stories I was told. I wonder if he is like the girl in my village, who has the sweetest heart I know of. She always helps everyone. Sometimes she is unable, but she always tries to be helpful. She helped my neighbor when they lost their house. The girl convinced her dad to give some of their profit to build a new house for them. So many others have been touched by her. I remember when I was walking. I was lost in thought, as usual, and tripped on a root. When I fell, she helped me up, while everyone else kept walking. She has more money than anyone else, but her heart out beats her money. I bet Jesus has a heart bigger than that! I hope he does some miracle at my aunt’s wedding! My thoughts getting deeper and deeper, make me get lost in a whirlwind of a daydream.
All of a sudden, I hear rushing water and people laughing, talking, shouting, singing, and playing instruments. I slowly look up off the ground. Realization shakes my body to my core. People swarm in between pretty landscape and architecture that is surrounding a shining, multicolored building. It did not matter that I missed my surroundings on the walk here; the beauty of this building is better than anything I have ever laid my eyes on. My village is not even half this size. So much activity going on! I am always too lost in thought to pay attention to much. I wonder too much.
A man breezes by me, snapping me out of my awe. Wearing a carpenter outfit, he appeared tough. His smile is the biggest smile I ever saw. Twelve men follow him. Jesus! Jesus! This is the king of kings and I am standing here like a fool! I gaze at him and his disciples until they disappear into the beautiful building. Looking up, I realize I lost my mom and dad. Uh-oh. Trouble already. I am too lost in thought.
Seeing my aunt by a pretty water fountain, I walk over to her and handed her the eggs. Where did my aunt get this money from? Hearing my dad’s loud laugh coming from the opposite direction, I glance in his direction. He seems to cackle louder than a dog’s loud howl.
“Thanks for the eggs, dear,” my aunt says, cheerfully, knocking me out of my train of thought.
A tall man with dark brown eyes appears from my right, making me jump.
“I am your new uncle,” he calls out.
I grin at him. Deciding to hug him, I open my arms and embrace him. Hesitantly, he hugs me back. I back away a few inches and glance at my aunt, smiling.
“My dress looks nice on you,” my aunt comments.
“Thank you,” I find my self saying, “I am so happy for you.”
As my aunt starts chatting with my new uncle, I wander in the direction of where I had seen Jesus go. Stopping when I got in the building, I observe the riches around me. A beautiful glass and diamond chandelier hangs above a multicolored mosaic floor. Seeing none of this before, my eyes grow wide and my body freezes. Inside, my thoughts rage a war at me. Where did my aunt get this money? How come we are so poor and my beloved aunt is living the higher life? Crowds start to swarm in at me. Panicking as I am pushed and shoved by the busy wedding, I run deep into the building without thought of where I was going. I pass blurs of beautiful riches, people dressed in their best attire and servers with platters of food. I almost stop to watch one server; who dances and sings with a cheese platter. I notice the crowd increasing, and head deeper into the building, fleeing the crowd as if they were beasts, for I can never take being in a large crowd.
Ahead, I hear men talking and laughing. When I draw nearer, I see that one of them was Jesus. I skid to a halt out of embarrassment the moment I spot Jesus.
I need to stop. I faced the lead hen. I can face Jesus. Jesus is the King of Kings, Prince of Peace. Here I am acting like a fool.
I look around, trying to find something to say if I were going to approach the Prince of Peace. To my left, in front of a well, six stone Jewish ceremonial jars stand. To my right, there was an empty dance floor. Ahead, in Jesus’s direction, there was an opening to an outdoor wonder of trees and architecture. Jesus glances in my direction, making me nervous. I wave and duck behind the six stone Jewish ceremonial jars. I faced the lead chicken and I cannot face him? I cannot face someone who may become a Savior from sins?
In the direction of Jesus, a noise rang out. I glance over, not really expecting to see anything out of the normal. Instead, several servers stand behind Jesus, talking. I noticed the server with the cheese platter. He slowly began to dance around with cheese platter and hum a melody. I giggle at the sight. Jesus half looks at me, making my thoughts scream at me.
I duck behind the Jewish ceremonial washing jars. What are you doing? You should go say hi to someone, anyone, especially the Prince of Peace. Your aunt wants you to talk to people and here you are behind six stone Jewish ceremonial jars. I peek out, just showing my face. The cheese server smiles at me and dances in a circle towards me. I smile my biggest smile at him. The cheese server laughs and spins around. I pluck a cheese off of the cheese platter and drop it in my mouth. My first experience with cheese, an expensive food, my eyes grow wide in delight at the flavor. The cheese server laughs and dances away.
I duck back behind the jars as a roar of talking is heard. As I glance over, I see the wedding party had grown massively. How is my aunt so popular?
The most gorgeous woman I ever saw walks over to Jesus. She cries out “, They have no wine left!”
Jesus calmly replies with “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” Realization hits me that the beautiful woman is Jesus’s mother. She is prettier than the painting I was shown of her. She looks so happy. I heard an angel came to her before his birth. She must be very blessed to be chosen. Especially if her son is the Son of God.
“Do whatever he tells you,” she calmly states.
“Yes, Madam,” one of the servers behind Jesus says.
Not hearing the conversation further, I glance in the direction of the mass of the party. They are so happy with their loud laughs and high pitched chatter. I am disappointed I have no one to communicate with personally. Maybe I can go find the cheese server.
A noise from behind me distracts my train of thought. I turn, startled, and saw Jesus gazing with his disciples and mother. Thinking they are staring at me, I panic and wonder what I did. Looking to the left of me, I realize the jars have been moved closer to the well. Confusion filling me, I look around for answers. Why during a wedding? Is there ceremonial washing during a wedding? Jesus seems to smile at me, so I put on my biggest smile. Deep inside, my thoughts are a storm. Am I in the way? Is Jesus going to work a miracle? What is with the water? What kind of miracle has to do with water? Jesus’ mother said something about wine. But that is water. Confused, I draw nearer to the jars, Jesus and his disciples. Jesus glances at me for a second, not seeming to mind my presence. I draw close to the jars, almost to the rim of one.
Jesus lifts his left hand and brushes through the air above the jars. When his arms are at his sides, I notice the water had turned red. Confused, I draw to the rim of the jar, and the smell of wine fills my nostrils. My eyes grow wide. In that moment I realize he really, truly has to be the Son of God. All of Jesus’s disciples whisper among each other, appearing anxious. As I glance at Jesus, I notice him smiling at me. He began to turn to his disciples.
The head server storms over, noticing the commotion, and scolds the other servers. The servers draw out some wine at Jesus’s command and hand it to the head server. I glance at Jesus, who seems to smile upon the commotion. Next to him, the head server took his first sip of wine. The head server’s eyes bulged as wide as saucers.
“You saved the best wine for last! How could you let everyone drink the sour tasting wine first and leave the best tasting wine for last,” the head server high pitched shriek startles everyone.
I flinch and my thoughts begin to rage. How does he not notice they are in ceremonial jars? Why is he so angry?
“Ruth,” I hear my dad holler.
“What,” I question, turning around out of guilt for disappearing on my dad.
“What happened,” He questions, losing his anger as he saw the wine in the jars.
I start to explain “Jesus-”
“Do not blame Jesus,” my dad screams
I notice Jesus coming over to us. Looking into my father’s eyes, he declared “It was I.” Glancing at me, Jesus walks away.
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