Rachel meets Hannah, the wife of Joseph of Arimathea and another friendship is forged…
The house was made of well-shaped stones and trimmed with brick. It stood two stories high with a courtyard of its own entered by arched gateways. Its courts and floors were paved with tile, and brightly colored rugs and cushions were much in evidence.
Rachel was awed by such opulence and was quite speechless upon being ushered into the presence of Joseph and his wife. However, Joseph made her feel at ease immediately by motioning her forward and introducing her. “Hannah, this is the wife of my new chief shepherd. She is the one who made the rugs and baskets you prize so highly. Rachel, meet my wife, Hannah.”
Rachel lifted her eyes to see a pretty, dark-haired woman slightly older than herself who sat beside Joseph on a kind of couch. She was dressed simply but her tunic and cloak were of the softest, finest linen. She smiled at Rachel and said, “I’m pleased to meet you, Rachel. Joseph was right when he told me what a fine artist you are. I can always tell which baskets and rugs are yours because of the quality and original designs. Would you like more time to work on that sort of thing?”
“Oh, yes!” answered Rachel. “I am always happiest and the most at peace when I am at the loom.”
“Then time you shall have. There is always a great deal of food cooked, and I will have Miriam take a portion of it to your cottage at mealtimes. When Jacob is in the fields, you may eat in the kitchen.”
“Thank you, Ma’am.” Rachel hesitated, not knowing what she should do next.
Joseph patted Hannah’s hand and stood up. “I must see to business,” he said to Rachel, “but why don’t you stay and get acquainted with Hannah?”
He walked out of the room and Hannah stood up. “Would you like to see our new son?” Then she hesitated. “I’m sorry, Rachel, Joseph told me of the death of your child. Please accept my sympathy.”
“Thank you for your concern, my lady, but it is all right to speak of your son. The sorrow is still deep but life goes on. I would love to see your new baby.”