Claudia, a young beggar woman calls out to the people walking past. “Alms for the poor!”
She sits along the roadside, a young dark-haired woman, in ragged clothing. As she hears the clink of coins drop into her cup, her eyes light, and a smile forms on her face.
She notices children crossing the street laughing, and quickly pulls her twisted foot beneath her tunic. For a brief moment, the expression on her face is solemn, while her eyes are drawn to a small boy’s parents who walk away from her without looking. She wonders. “Are they the ones who wouldn’t keep me?”
And then she looks up, and the sun’s rays warm her. She remembers Anna, the old, crippled woman who raised her on the streets. She thanks God that Anna taught her about the heavenly Father who would never desert her.
Maybe Yeshua would heal her, as he healed her friends? Malachi, deformed from birth was now working for a family as a servant. And Ruth, cured from a disease, was back with her family after she reached out and touched Yeshua. The amazing things Yeshua did spread throughout Capernaum. Claudia hoped Yeshua would heal her too, but she’d had difficulty getting near him, past the crowds. And now he was gone, having left in a boat.
She follows the crowds out of Capernaum to find Yeshua. At night, darkness closes in on her, and she meets her greatest foe, loneliness. But, her prayer reveals God’s presence and care, and she knows a day will come when she’ll be free of her troubles. Her trust is in a God bigger than the greatest of her difficulties.
Seth notices the young woman on the streets and wants to give her coins for her cup. He’s drawn to the radiance in her eyes and her bright smile, despite her unfortunate circumstances. He sees a beautiful heart in the young woman beneath the torn and ragged clothes and dark strands of uncombed hair and wants to help her.
As he crosses the street, he looks back. His heart sinks, when he realizes she’s gone.
“Seth.” His father speaks quietly. “We need to take down the tents.”
“Yes, father. It’s time for us to go.”
He never fathoms, that this young woman is the one God intends he’ll someday bring home as his wife.