"The very first Easter taught us
this: that life never ends and love never dies."
Happy Easter!!! I hope you're all doing well!
So as with some prior years, we're gonna step away from
Andrew and Co. to focus on Joshua this time around.
Seems fitting! So I wrote a little vignette about
Easter morning with him.
I have a couple bigger stories planned for this year but as
both involve folks gathering in biggish groups, I'm putting
a hold on starting those until I have a better handle on how
the vaccine roll-out is going and how much of the 18-44 age
range is vaccinated since most of the characters involved
fall into that group. In the meantime, I think I'm
going to explore a couple of different avenues for short
stories to keep me busy:
1. Joshua's life in NYC, an example of which is below
2. Andrew and JenniAnn and their household being given
a new task: helping angels who are struggling to deal with
events in the modern world. So think of Takoda but
with shorter stints at Willowveil.
So that's the plan!
Have a blessed day!
A Light Shines
Sunday, April 4th, 2021
Joshua drowsily opened his eyes and stared up at his
ceiling. He turned his head to the window and saw the
early morning light peeking in. He smiled.
Joshua thanked his Dad for the beautiful morning and the day
to come then allowed himself a few more moments to enjoy the
comfortableness of his bed.
And then he became aware of the delectable scents wafting into
"Yohannan..." Joshua whispered, smiling, as he got out of his
bed to don his robe and slippers and headed to the kitchen.
"Good morning, Yohannan," he greeted as he entered the room.
John turned away from the batter he was mixing and beamed at
"Good morning, Yeshua! Happy You're Not Dead Day!" John
Joshua laughed and hugged the man tightly.
"Thank you. But now I feel very lazy! You've been
busy!" Joshua surveyed the array of muffins covering the
table and countertops.
"You're not lazy in the least. I'm just very
indecisive. I saw a recipe for oatmeal fig muffins that
I wanted to make for you today. So I did." John
waved to a particular tray. "Help yourself."
"I will! Thank you!" Joshua happily selected a
muffin then said a blessing over it.
Once he was finished, John continued.
"But then I started to crave lemon poppyseed... So I
made some of those. And then it occurred to me that
Yemimah might pop over and I better have something
chocolate. And then blueberry is such a staple and
then... well... things got out of hand. I thought we
could bring some to our neighbors later."
Joshua rose and patted his cousin on the back.
"That's a beautiful idea. And I appreciate all
this. Truly. And... that is a very delicious
muffin. Thank you."
John released his mixer then turned around and pulled Joshua
into a bear hug.
"The least I could do, cousin. I'm so grateful to have
spent this time with you... even when it's been so hard."
Joshua's eyes filled and he nodded.
"I'm grateful, too. It meant a lot to have you by my
side... especially during the worst of it."
The two men peered into each other's eyes, remembering
refrigerated trucks filled with bodies and ICU wards steeped
in sorrow but they also remembered resiliency and bravery and
Joshua rested a hand against John's right cheek and smiled
proudly at him.
"Could you maybe put that batch you're working on in the oven
and come sit with me on the balcony? Please?" he
"I'd love to," John accepted.
While he went to finish mixing the cranberry orange muffins,
Joshua prepared coffee for them both and brought their mugs
and a platter of assorted muffins to a bistro set they'd set
up on the balcony. After a few minutes, John joined him.
After taking a sip of his coffee, John took in the scenery.
"I believed that you were the Messiah... that you would
conquer death... that I'd live again. But I think if
you'd told me about skyscrapers and cars and airplanes, I
would have thought you were nuts," he commented.
Joshua burst out laughing.
"I might very well have thought the same," he agreed.
"So different from how we grew up. Not that Egypt and
Jerusalem didn't boast their own amazing architectural feats
"Not so many! And so varied!" John exclaimed.
"Although... what our people did, we did without electronic
machinery. That's something."
Joshua thought of all the toil that had gone into every
temple, pyramid, and aqueduct and nodded.
"It's amazing what people can do when they work together," he
mused before taking a bite of another muffin.
"Mmm. Cherry almond?"
John chuckled and nodded.
"Delicious. Good job!" Joshua complimented. He
noticed then that his cousin hadn't been enjoying the fruits
of his own labor. "You're not eating? Do you need
me to conjure some locusts and honey?" he teased.
John chuckled and shook his head.
"No... please, no. I'm just... taking it all in."
Joshua's left eyebrow raised.
"There's something you're not saying," he gently pressed.
John frowned and nodded.
"Today is a happy day," he replied.
"It is," Joshua agreed. "But that doesn't mean that
pain, struggles, fear, etc. are all taking the day off.
I still hear about them. I still listen. I don't
take days off. Not really. And if I can listen to
people all around the universe... I can listen to my own
John gave Joshua a sheepish smile and nodded.
"Just... the dream again. I don't die... at least... not
before you. So... so I'm there. At... the
end." Tears welled in the Baptizer's eyes.
Joshua reached across the table and squeezed John's hand.
"Abi has those dreams, too, sometimes when we're back
here. There are reasons you weren't there, Yohannan...
just as there were reasons my Ama, Mary, and my apostle
"I know... But it troubles me sometimes... to think what
I might have done... or not done. Not sure I could have
turned the other cheek... seeing them treat you like that."
"You would have because you would have known I didn't want
further violence," Joshua insisted. "But you were
exactly where I needed you to be... preaching to those in
Sheol. And preaching very, very well I might add."
John beamed, remembering.
"Can't say I was crazy about how many times you used the
phrase 'my baby cousin' but..."
John chuckled as Joshua grinned and shrugged.
Joshua patted his cousin's hand.
"You did good, Yohannan. Now eat. Please.
You should be able to enjoy your own culinary talents."
John nodded then, after saying a blessing, dug into a lemon
poppyseed muffin. As he did, he peered across the table
at his cousin, basking in the glow of his love.
An hour later, after dressing and preparing for the day,
Joshua and John divided up the muffins into baskets, donned
masks, and parted ways to visit their neighbors.
"Happy Easter, Marilyn!" Joshua greeted once an elderly woman
answered her door. "I brought breakfast."
The woman's face lit up.
"Oh! Happy Easter, Joshua! Those look wonderful!"
She waved Joshua in and he set the basket on a table.
"They are! Courtesy of my cousin John," Joshua informed.
Marilyn smirked, not unkindly.
"Ah, yes, your 'cousin.'"
"He is my cousin," Joshua insisted.
"I see, dear..." Marilyn replied, her doubt obvious.
"God love you both. You're wonderful just as you are."
"John truly is my cousin, Marilyn. Genetically related
via our mothers. But I love that you said that.
"Oh! I'm sorry that I assumed..." Marilyn's face
Joshua smiled and patted her shoulder.
"You're still wonderful just as you are," Marilyn
repeated. "And such a blessing! I was just wishing
I had something better than cereal to start this blessed day
with. And now I do! And you know... I've been
Joshua nodded, removed his mask to reveal his smile, and
embraced the woman.
"Even better than the muffins..." Marilyn murmured.
"It is," Joshua agreed. "But... they are really good
Laughing, Marilyn patted Joshua on the back then stepped away
to peruse the treats.
"Ooh... Is this orange cranberry?"
"My favorite!" Marilyn gushed.
Joshua smiled then replaced his mask.
"I better get back to my deliveries now but you let us know if
you need anything," he encouraged.
"Will do, sweetie. Thank you again. And to John,
too! Happy Easter!"
"Happy Easter!" Joshua echoed before taking his leave.
Left alone, Marilyn happy selected a muffin then said a
She smiled as she noticed a signed note from the cousins.
"Joshua and John... Like in the Gospels. I wonder
if their parents planned that?" she mused aloud before happily
beginning her breakfast.
That evening, Joshua and John returned to their balcony where
they sipped wine and took in the lights and sounds of the
At one point, Joshua noticed his cousin staring at him.
"What ya thinking?" he asked.
John smiled as he came out of his reverie.
"Just about the miracle of it all. Being alive.
Being here with you. There were times... times that
everything seemed very, very dark. But..."
"A light shines in the darkness..." Joshua intoned.
"And the darkness has not overcome it," John joined him in
Joshua raised his glass.
"To the greatest prophet," he toasted.
John smiled and raised his own glass.
"To my baby cousin... the Light of the World."
The two clinked their glasses then peered up at the heavens,
feeling the love of the Father surrounding them.
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for reminding us of
the Easter message that death is only the beginning.