It was easier than he thought, once he managed to get himself started. At first he was a little worried that some of his friends might disagree and perhaps report him to the authorities. Even so, he knew he had to take the chance. Each time he did, his heart was in his throat, as he expected the worst. But, each time he was surprised to find that the person agreed heartily with what he was saying, but had been afraid to express his own opinion. In each case, the response was the same: “Do you really think we could do something about it?”
Then he would ask, “Would you be willing to join a band of insurrectionists to go up against Pilate?”
Always the reply would come, “If you can find enough others who are willing, you can count me in too!”
There were a few who, due to other obligations, age or health, refused to join, but all told him they would be with him, at least in spirit.
He kept asking, and the number of active participants kept growing, as some of his contacts volunteered the names of their friends. The group grew from five to ten to twenty-five to thirty-five to fifty seven. Surely that would be enough dedicated men to withstand Pilate’s praetorian guards. Perhaps he should try for three more to make it even.
Of course, he would have to circle back and revisit the ones he had visited first to reassure them that there would be enough men. But, that could wait until the morning. It was getting late now, and Deborah would be waiting for him. Oh yes, Deborah! Again, the thoughts of what he knew her response would be returned to plague his mind. Should he tell her? Certainly he would have to sooner or later. Perhaps he could get her to see the necessity of what he was doing. Well, he could think this out later.
As he walked home, the last rays of the sun’s light glimmered on the leaves of the trees and grew steadily dimmer. The crickets were chirping loudly, but he didn’t hear them. His mind was alive with ideas, plans and strategies. He could see the praetorium clearly in his mind’s eye. He strained to remember every detail of construction, every means of access. He was planning the positioning of portions of his little army at various entrance ways. He thought to himself that he had never realized he could be a military general. It’s amazing, he thought, what one can do, if one sets his mind to it.
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