He knew he’d find his friend here, in this place of the forgotten dead, among the lost souls no one remembered any longer. It was these places where he always went first, where he always felt most at home.
It was a place without the pretense of religiosity and perfection, a place where failure was so obvious the only option was honesty.
When he couldn’t find his friend, this was the only place he could think to go, where he knew he’d find him, so he’d gotten there the fastest way he could.
He’d bought a rope and a field.
But really it wasn’t the field he was after, just the errant olive tree in the corner of the field. And he’d have gladly paid double the 30 pieces of silver he’d handed over for the deed to the land.
When he had descended to the place, his friend was there just like he thought he’d be. He was holding court in a lost and lonely place, making the dead alive again with just his presence.
His friend was surprised to see him, certainly. In the space of a few seconds, his face registered shock, transfigured into deep sadness and finally clouded with a shade of joy.
He leapt to his feet and ran to meet his newly arrived friend at the old broken down gate.
“Master!” he called.
His friend enveloped him with a hug and kissed him firmly on the cheek.
“I was just on my way to see you, not the other way round! You’re not even supposed to be here. Could you not wait just one day for me?” he said.
“I had to see you,” he replied. “I had to be where mercy was, and I figured this would be the only place I could find you.”
“You still know me well, my friend. Come with me Judas. You don’t belong here. None of them do,” Jesus said, gesturing to the souls behind him. “I won’t lose a single soul given to me. Come on, everyone. We’re leaving. And never coming back.”