NMR identifies as Roman soldier in Jerusalem in days of Jesus.
(Where are you now) Large field. Lots of people gathered. We're standing on the outside edges. (Who?) My men and I. Small group today. (Doing what?) Watching a man people are talking about. My superiors told me to watch him. He's talking. He talks about God and love. I listen to him talk. (Are you single or married?) Married. (Where does your wife live?) Here. (You have children?) Not yet. Crowd starting to go away. I have a lot of questions. He's such a plan looking man. If you walked by him you wouldn't notice him. But if you looked. Something. Don't know how to describe it. I must warn him. He must stop. He says he can't. I tell him what might happen. He says he has a path to walk, just like I do. Tells me to go ahead, and do what I must do. I tell him what I had to tell him, then leave. I think about him a lot. He's different. We've seen others like him come before. Always been after money, prestige, honor. When people give him money he gives it back. He seems to have just enough to live on as he travels place to place. I try to be in places where he is and listen to him. I tell my superiors I'm observing for crowd control. They seem to be okay with that. (What does he talk about?) how we should be treating other people. (How?) How we would like to be treated. Talks about what the future will be like. Talks about it being full of love and light. If we come to understand ourselves. I talk to him a couple of times. He continues on. Draws more crowds. Word spread everything. When he talks he doesn't talk about money and superficial things. Talks about power and strength we have in our lives. Comes from ourselves. There for us. He talks plainly and directly to us. (You are a Roman soldier. You have power and strength already.) It comes because of title, what I am. Not power and strength that comes without a title . Inside strength. Internal. We've been ordered back to Jerusalem. They've decided to arrest him. Say what he is doing is undermining Roman laws. I was ordered to be there. He was waiting for us. (Night or day time?) Evening. He said, "I've been waiting for you." I told him, "I have my orders. I must bring you in." He said, "I understand." His men want to attack us so he can run away. He tells them to stop, that this is part of his plan. They're not happy about it. I take him and turn him over to my superiors. I feel like I've done something wrong. I return to my quarters and await my orders tomorrow. I feel like I've done something horrible. I try to discuss it with my wife. But she doesn't understand what I see in him. They order me and my men to control the crowds. Heard we brought him in. They're not happy. Unruly, loud, mad, upset. (Do you use force with the crowds?) Sometimes. (How long do the crowds stay?) Until he's dead. (How are you told he will die?) Through levels of command. He's going to be brought through the streets and killed in public. They want this ended once and for all. They tell us to gather troops around to keep people quiet and keep them out. I do what I'm ordered to do. Crowd's very upset. (Do you see him?) yes. (Up close or at a distance?) Close. Few yards away. Gathered all of us in one spot to watch what happens. (What happens?) They're going to put him on a cross. So everyone can see. I don't understand why not fighting them, stopping this. He goes so quietly. Lay him down on a cross. Nail him to it and put it up. They bring other people out, do same thing to show he's no better than murderers and beggars that hand with him. (Where are his family?) They are off to one side. Very sad. (The mother?) She's crying, but comforts others around her. Like she knows why. (Do you look into his eyes?) Before they put him up on the cross. He did, looked into my eyes. His eyes told me its okay. (How long will you stay here?) Until I'm relieved of my duty. (Is he still alive when you leave?) I think so. I go off and think. I go home and take off all my trappings of duty and my uniform. I walk. I find his family, where they are staying. I feel a need. I don't understand it. I go to talk to his mother. His father. They recognize who I am. His mother comes out and scolds them: Is this what you are reduced to now? Have you forgotten all my son has taught? What are you doing to this man?" I ask to speak not as a Roman soldier but someone who does not understand what I have done. She invites me in. I go into talk to her. She tells me not to feel so sad and guilty because this is the path her son was here for. Was here for this time, this world, this is what was supposed to happen. She thanks me because I could bring him in with dignity, not like the other Captains. I tell her I feel like the teachings I have heard from him changed me in some way. I don't belong in what I am doing anymore. She saw me many times, on the edge of the crowd, listening to what her son said. She said, maybe it's time for you to put away your past and walk into your future. I say I'm afraid.
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