Summary: The Good Friday story told from the viewpoint of Salome
Oh my, what an exhausting day! Crucificitions should be banned! There are cruel and a horrible way to die. I know that the great and mighty Roman government thinks it is a great way to reduce crime, but I think they are wrong. They just make innocent people, like my sister, suffer. I have just spent the day with my younger sister Mary as we watch her son die a slow, agonizing death on a cross. Why does he have to die? Because he made the wrong people angry! I thought Jesus was all-powerful, but even the romans can make the mighty powerless.
Let me back up a little bit. I’m Sal-o-may the wife of Zebedee, mother of James and John, sister to Mary and the aunt of Jesus. Zebedee and I have been married quite awhile. I have known him all my life. He is a few years older than me and he used to play with my brothers. He was always nice to me, but it was quite some time before I realized that our parents wanted us to marry. I married him at the age of 15 with the dream of becoming a mother many times over and a respected and powerful wife in the community.
In the early years of our marriage, I wasn’t concerned about the lack of children. Zebedee’s fishing business was doing very well. We moved into a large home and had many servants. I became pregnant several times, but I never carried a child long enough for it to live. I was beginning to give up hope and I had already lost my faith. I figured if God was not powerful enough to give me my heart’s desire, a child, than I did not need God.
Once again, I became pregnant. I was skeptical that I would give birth to a healthy child, but the days of pregnancy grew to weeks and weeks to months. I held my breath as the ninth month approached. And then it happened, my little sister caused a scandal. It turns out she was pregnant and was not married. She claimed it was a child of God. Yeah, right. What kind of God impregnates an unmarried girl who is barely ready to be a wife, little lone a mother? In the midst of this chaos, I gave birth to our son James. James was a beautiful, healthy child and Zebedee was so proud that he would have taken James everywhere with him, if I had let him. Unfortunately, no one seem to notice our miracle. They were too consumed with my misguided sister Mary and her new husband Joseph.
With the birth of James, I finally obtained a position of importance and authority in our town. I had the respect of the other women and the money we had could buy us anything we wanted. Two years later, James became a big brother to John. The boys were wonderful. They have grown to be handsome and intelligent young men that any mother would be proud of.
As the years passed, my life began to revolve around the boys. Zebedee and I barely talked, except about household matters or the boys. Don’t get me wrong, Zebedee is not mean to me. We just seemed to have fallen out of love and neither one of us wants to put the effort into re-energizing the marriage. So, it was no surprise to Zebedee when I announced that I would be following the boys.
You see, I made the mistake of letting the boys play with that child of Mary’s. Jesus was his name. He was a very strange child and the tales the boys would tell me were unbelievable. They said he made birds out of mud and they came alive and that he healed a boy who broke his leg falling off a ladder. Amazing. Hmpf. My boys would follow that boy anywhere and do anything he asked. It’s like they could not think for themselves.
Well, that boy grew into a man, a young man who knew the scriptures and had an uncanny ability to interpret them. One day, James and John were out helping their father when that boy came by and convinced them to give up fishing and be itinerant preachers. Those crazy sons of mine followed Jesus without any hesitation. I told Zebedee that those boys had no business following Jesus and they needed to stay home and tend to the family business. Zebedee merely replied “Boys will be boys. Besides, we cannot change their minds and I don’t want to.”
“Fine!” I fummed. “If you are just going to let them go off and be with that radical, than I’m going too.”
“That radical” Zebedee reminded me, “is your nephew. Mary and Joseph would not raise a child that would be unfaithful.”