While Ezra and Ezekiel are hard at work secretly planning The Event, some interesting situations are making for some stories about Nahum’s and Ezekiel’s lives.
Nahum and Ruth often give thanks for having both of their sons home and healthy. Ruth still has nightmares when she thinks of the condition Ezekiel was in when he arrived home in that large industrial caravan. Seeing him in a coma with an extremely high fever caused both her and Nahum to think he may die.
Because of the professional loving care of Elizabeth and Hannah he is alive and well today.
Nahum continues to search for answers to situations that occur and result in such good fortune for his family. He reflects on Ruth coming to his father’s shop to see him when he was thirteen, how Elizabeth found Ezra in a pile of mud after falling off his horse, how Yohanin and Miriamme sold them their beautiful property, at how Jonathon came along and bought his old property, and now this! His son comes home almost dead and he falls in love with his nurse. I truly believe God has his hand in our lives and I am so glad we get to worship his son Jesus now.
Over three months have passed since that troubling day Ezekiel was brought home by the large caravan. He is almost his old self again and working closely along side Isaac. However, his memory still plays tricks on him.
Every day, it seems, he remembers something new from his past. It often troubles him because the memory is incomplete. He would like to know more about his recovery, but knows if he asks anyone it will only bring back bad memories for them too. He is very close to asking Hannah, because he knows she is strong and will be able to handle the situation. He has to find the right time.
One night, Ezekiel and Hannah were chatting and discussing their future. Ezekiel was in a reflective mood and seemed to be day dreaming a bit. Finally, Hannah said is there anything wrong? He replied nothing is wrong, but I sometimes get this feeling that my life was spared and you and Elizabeth and my family were part of that saving event.
I have only brief glimpses of my condition and remember little things about my healing, but I cannot help but wonder why I was so fortunate to have made a complete recovery. Hannah pointed out to him that there is a place in the bible that says there is a time to live and a time to die. It is your time to live.
He again reiterated that he is so thankful to God and his family for saving him, but wonders what really happened to him.
Hannah, using all her nursing and “patient” patient training said, ok, let me tell you what happened. He was all ears!
She said that when I first saw you I knew you were very ill, but I knew in my heart you would recover.
He asked if she would tell him about his time at the clinic and what had taken place there. She told him that she and Elizabeth were waiting for him. You had a very high fever and basically in a deep sleep or coma and was unaware of your surroundings.
She told him she started treating him with a new herb she heard about from Dioscorides called Yarrow. We bathed you, put you in a clean robe, gave you lots of water to drink and let you rest, along with big dosages of the new herb.
She also confided to him that she considered him a different and special patient. I did not know what the difference was, but I found some kind of connection with you. She put it down to the fact it was Ezra’s brother, but she was not sure? With that, he squeezed her hand and said simply I am so glad you did!!!
She continued. Elizabeth had arranged for the family to take turns sitting and monitoring you. We needed to continue with our duties at the clinic. The clinic was busy and we were concerned over your slow recovery, we were getting tired and worried. Elizabeth decided to ask her younger sister, to come and help at the clinic. This was a brilliant move as the young girl possessed the same qualities as her older sister and was a big help.
One morning you really scared us! You sat up in bed, calling out names and places that made no sense. You were very delirious.
Six days after you arrived with the fever, you were still in a coma. We were now getting very worried. It is common knowledge that if it exceeds ten days the patient will likely die. I was convinced that it is a serious fever but not malaria. I had treated malaria patients before and your symptoms were different.
The following night on your mom’s watch this time, you had another delirium attack, worse than the others. Everyone is extremely concerned now. Nahum sent Simon to fetch Isaac.
All the family is awake late into the night. Isaac has arrived and he is preparing to have a prayer service for you. Your family, Miriamme and I gather around your bed and Isaac leads us in prayer.
He speaks to God as though he was speaking to a friend, asking for a favour. He is very careful to continually tell God that “we” all want Ezekiel to get well and to live. If it is God’s will to take his life, please God give us the strength and wisdom to understand and accept it.
Your poor mom was in tears and hugs Isaac for his prayer and for thanking God for the life Ezekiel has lived to this point.
Next morning. Miramme brought you some porridge, which you ate with haste, a good sign. She then asked if she could make a suggestion. She was very careful to ensure she was not interfering with our treatment, we asked her to continue.
She said that many years ago her grandmother had been given her some tea, she thought it was from India. We have kept it all these years sealed in a waxed jar. We only opened it when someone was really sick or had a fever. I used it on Yohanan some years ago and he got better. I resealed it and put it away. I just thought of it today. I asked her to mix a potion for you and she gave it to you.
We are all very tired now. It is about 3:00 am. We decided to try and sleep and leave Isaac to watch over you for a few hours. We went to sleep with heavy hearts and prayers on our lips.
It was just before dawn when Isaac crept quietly out of your room and came to my bedroom and woke me. He asked me to wake up the others as he thought you were coming to.
They stayed in the back ground as Isaac gently helped you to sit up. In thinking about it now, it was kind of funny as you sat up as though nothing had happened, you rubbed your eyes, stretched your arms and said, where am I? what is going on?
Now I am embarrassed to tell what happened next! Ezekiel said what do you mean? was I rude or something? No. she said you looked around and asked where the angel went?
We assumed you were still delirious, but you said you remember seeing a beautiful girl here patting you with cool cloths, and giving you cool water, she looked like an angel. Where is she? The family all looked at me and I was so overcome with a feeling I have never experienced before that I ran out of the room.
Ezra went over to you and very quickly told you what happened, your trip home via a caravan, your stay at the clinic and your very serious high fever. He then said you have a nurse by the name of Hannah, I think that is who you mean.
With that he called me back into the room. As i approached you, your face lit up and you almost shouted, that’s her, she saved my life. I went over and said Hi, I am Hannah and I gave you a kiss on the forehead. You tried to hug me but you were too weak, you just said thank you.
Ezra went to the back of the clinic and came back with the roller chair. A few months ago, Elizabeth went into the shop and told Simon and Bart she had a request!
She asked them if they could put wheels on the back legs of this heavy wooden chair, and handles on the back, this way she could transport patients without having to tote them or make them walk slowly. The boys smiled and obliged her with the roller chair.
Ezra gently placed his brother in the chair and wheeled him out to the latrine and then to the little pond behind the shop. Ezekiel was able to wash his hair, beard and body which made him feel like a new man. He toweled off and Ezra wheeled him back to his bed, which had been made up with clean sheets and pillows. You went back to sleep and we all met in a big circle and Isaac again led us in a prayer of thanksgiving for returning you to us. It was so emotional; we were all crying with joy.
The next day Miriamme said she would make you some hearty soup and that I should enjoy it with you, so we had our first meal together!!!
When we finished eating and were chatting you surprised and embarrassed me a little when you said: I suppose since you are my nurse you know all about me. I said, yes, I think so. You replied, OK, but I know nothing of you, tell me about yourself. So I proceeded to tell you all the things you now know. You were very pleased and we seemed to grow closer the more we got to know each other.
You stayed in the clinic two more days and on the last day Miriamme asked you to dinner, she would make one of your favourites, dumplings. She said she would make them at Elizabeth’s as she had the larger rooms. Again, she asked me to join them.
We enjoyed our feast and later enjoyed a quiet evening chatting and talking about what we might like to do in the future, I really enjoyed it. I had never spent quiet alone time with a man before.
About nine o’clock there was a knock on the door and Ezra came in. He sat and chatted and helped us finish the wine. He then said he would see to his horses and return and take you to the latrine. I said, thank you, I will leave in a few minutes.
Do you remember what happened next? She asked playfully! Now it was Ezekiel’s turn to blush! Yes, I sure do, it was my first time kissing a girl on the lips and it felt so good.
When they had composed themselves and Ezekiel was happy to find out the truth he told her some more good news.
Ezekiel said he had been asked by Isaac during one of his visits home, if he would consider taking over Isaac’s work as he was getting old and the travelling was making him very tired. I am considering his offer, but I do not feel capable of filling Isaac’s shoes.
Isaac has been very patient and kind with me, he has pointed out that it is not a case of me filling his shoes, but rather an opportunity for me to continue teaching about Jesus, but doing it my way.
When he put it like that, I felt I would try it and see how I make out. Over a year has passed and I feel the people are believing in my teachings and willing to follow me in their worship of this man Jesus. It is very satisfying, and people have been very kind and generous to me by giving me food, gifts and gold. I think I am ready for a wife!
One night after dinner at Hannah’s home, Ezekiel asked her parents if he could speak with them alone. Hannah knew what was coming! Unlike his older brother and father who both had difficulty with words, Ezekiel was quite confident and spoke very eloquently with her parents.
At the conclusion, they called Hannah back into the room and they agreed on a wedding date and of course, the young couple already have a home to move into.
The wedding took a few months later, Ezra and Elizabeth arranged for the wedding celebrations and due to the on going threats to Christians it was a low-key event.
It took place at Hannah’s parents farm and again many of Ezra’s “horse friends” served as custodians of the guests’ horses and wagon, as guards around the perimeter of the farm and some helped with the grilling of the meat.
It was a truly exciting and dramatic day for all concerned. Considering it was just over a year since Ezekiel almost died, reliving the tragic death of Isaac, remembering so many Christian friends who had been murdered recently and most importantly recognizing the contributions these two young people were making to their country and to their fellow man.
Both Hannah, for her work at The Clinic, and Ezekiel for his preaching and his work spreading Jesus’ word to so many people they were truly loved by so many, and it was with great satisfaction they were able to say a small thank you at their wedding.
Similar to Elizabeth and Ezra a few years earlier, the young couple borrowed two of Ezra’s horses and rode to a beach resort a few hours away for a few days of wedding celebration.
The photo shows, “The Resurrection of the Son of the Widow of Nain,” by Wilhelm Kotarbiński, painted in 1879.