(The following fictional interview by first-century writer Caleb is based on historical Gospel accounts, taking place soon after Jesus of Nazareth’s execution. As Caleb adjusts a small tape recorder, Mary Magdalene’s sister, Huldah, stirs a huge pot of stew.)
Caleb: Huldah, thanks for agreeing to talk with me about Mary.
Huldah: Yeah, yeah. People are saying crazy stuff, so maybe I can clear up a few rumors.
Caleb: To keep things straight for readers, we’re discussing Mary Magdalene.
Huldah: There are a million Marys running around. Mom and Dad gave her the popular name, of course. Leave that alone! (She waves a big spoon at the curious kid sneaking behind Caleb, then apologizes.) Sorry. I didn’t mean you.
Caleb: Um … no problem. You’re her older sister?
Huldah: Yeah, been looking out for Mary since forever. She was always different … then she started hearing voices. Saw stuff that wasn’t there. Got really mean. Our parents passed her around to relatives like she was a bad cold. Before they died, they made me promise to take care of her.
Caleb: Mary met Jesus, called the Christ, didn’t she?
Huldah: Yeah. She’d wandered off, out of her head. I said, “Good riddance!” Maybe Daniel and I could enjoy some peace. But we had to look for her. She’d joined those groupies following Jesus, the rock-star rabbi.
I said to Daniel, “Just great. Sounds like he runs a medicine show.”
Caleb: Upon seeing you, how did Mary react?
Huldah: Mary doesn’t hug anybody — she slugs ’em. But this time, she hugged me. Then she laughed! I couldn’t remember the last time I heard her laugh.
Caleb: I saw Jesus, maybe twice. Did you?
Huldah: Yeah. For a rock star, he wasn’t real good-lookin’. There was nothing special about Jesus, until he talked — and healed a leper who used to live next door.
I told Daniel, “I’ll take his brand of crazy, anytime.” Turns out, the more Mary was around Jesus, the better she got.
Caleb: Has she regressed since then?
Huldah: Well … you be the judge of that, after you hear the whole story.
To be continued tomorrow, April 25.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever considered what happened the week after Easter? And don’t you just hate “to be continued” stories?