JT Walked down the dusty path for many hours and soon he could hear the running of water. As he looked he also saw a few houses and now he could see a town. At the end of a very short main street he saw a large dock with many people milling around.
“When is it going to come, we’ve being waiting forever?” One brightly dressed woman exclaimed to the others. There appeared to be 10 ladies dressed up in finery, it was hot and dusty, yet they stood waiting by the dock.
JT looked left and right and didn’t see anything on the river. He walked up to them and asked, “What are you waiting for?”
“Why, the ferry of course! It’s the only way for us to get home.” One of the young women said impatiently. “We’ve been waiting here for days and it seems like he is never going to get here.
Some of the ladies stood there quietly, while some of the others were pacing around and in general acting like they were not happy. A man with a cart passed by and said, “Ribbons, ribbons, get your hair ribbons here! Only 3 coins for 10 lovely ribbons!”
“Oh they look so pretty. I can always get more coins by working at the cafe for the afternoon. That ferry won’t get here today anyway! We’ve been waiting here for 3 days already,” cried the impatient lady who complained earlier. “Any of you going to join me,” She looked back and forth at the other ladies with her?
Some shook their heads, and one replied, “We’ll just wait.” The others clustered around her nodded in assent. “Besides, the cold water is free.”
“Oh come on, we can always make more money. I don’t know about you, but I am going for the ribbons.” She flounced off, and 4 others followed her after the ribbon cart that had disappeared around the corner.
JT asked one of the ladies, “Does this ferry bring everyone home?”
“Oh no,” one exclaimed, “We hired him months and months ago. He is only coming once and then won’t be coming here anymore. This kingdom and our kingdom don’t get along, so this is our last chance before the borders close.”
JT nodded, “that is sad, I hope everyone can work it out.” The remaining ladies nodded, and then one by one they took a dipper of the free water at the town well and remained vigilant looking for the ferry.
He sat under a tree and took a nap and awoke later to a loud commotion. There was a boat, which the ladies we jumping up and down in glee as it came to the dock. They were on the dock and waving their brightly colored parasols. It was so festive looking with all the brightly colored dresses and umbrellas moving to and fro.
The ferryman poled in and threw a line to a large man who tied the rope to a substantial post on the edge of the dock. The large man pulled the line taut until the craft was next to the dock and wrapped it around and around the post. A quick flip and the rope secured it to the dock.
“Alright, line up, 10 coins apiece, firm!” The ferryman stood by the dock to help passengers aboard.
Some of the ladies began counting their coins and found they did not have 10 coins. “Please sir, can you help us, we only have 5 coins each!” JT noticed the ladies who had gone for the ribbons also appeared to have a handful of ribbons each.
One said to the other, “I told you we should not have bought these ribbons, now we can never get home!” She began to wail.
“Lady, 10 coins, FIRM. This is the last ferry.” He looked at them sternly and said, “If you can’t pay, get out of line.”
“NEXT,” the ferryman said loudly, and then moved the wailing lady to the side. The five ladies who had drank the free water came up and one by one handed the ferryman 10 coins. He thanked them with a kind smile and looked about, “Anyone else?”
“Please sir, you can’t leave us here! We want to go home.” The five ladies began stomping up and down the dock and pouting. “You have to let us on the ferry or else you’ll be in trouble!” One stuck out her bottom lip and pouted like a little girl. She was throwing quite a temper tantrum, but it appeared to have no effect on the ferryman.
“Ladies, you are lucky I am not charging you 17 each. I am losing money by carrying you for 10 each. I have to pay a docking fee of 3 at my home dock and 7 more to bribe the border guards to let us through. I am doing this out of the goodness of my heart, but you have to do your part too. Take it or leave it!” He stood there with his arms crossed.
“Please give us till tomorrow; we will have the money by then.” One pleaded frantically.
“Sorry,” the ferryman sighed, “the border closes at midnight and I have just enough time to get there if I leave now. ALL ABOARD!” He shouted and looked back and forth. Seeing no one thrusting money at him, he tossed the large man a coin. The rope was quickly untied and tossed to the ferryman, who began poling away.
The remaining ladies on the dock fell to the dock wailing as their last chance to return home drifted away.
JT watched them with his mouth open and shook his head. That was a good lesson to learn. He left the area just as a large group of soldiers swarmed the dock arresting the remaining ladies.
QOTD: What scripture does this illustrate? Have you ever got impatient waiting and did something you later regretted?
The answer to last weeks’ story ; Jesus Trek 3 – The Debtors was: Luke 7: 40-50 The Two Debtors
To read the introduction to this story series please click HERE