September Chapter — catching up on the continuing story line.
The “what-if” of this fiction comes into the story line full force in September. Throughout June, July and August the partnership of Nic and Lazarus has been a tenuous friendship as they are retracing a missionary journey Lazarus barely recalls with the hope of restoring his memory and perhaps finding he has a family. Lazarus tried to tell Nic of his unusual life circumstance being healed anew even from deaths. But Nic is a reasonable man and assumes this strange “what-if” is just another symptom of Laz’s scrambled brain.
Nic joined the story in May as the patron for Lazarus. To review: Nic retired after serving twenty-six years with the Roman Navy as a galley rower and soldier. His lump sum pay made him a wealthy retiree with no family of his own. He chose to pursue a new life supporting a Christian missionary because it reflected his spiritual calling and his childhood dream of becoming a monk. In his youth his village priest and mentor groomed him as a monastic scribe but as a young man Nic was turned away at the monastery, so he followed in his deceased father’s armored footsteps into the military. When the he and the crew of the Roman galley rescued Lazarus who had been beaten and left by the river, Nic saw an opportunity to fulfill his life’s calling and support a Christian scribe and missionary. First though, Nic and Lazarus had to deal with Laz’s amnesia, the result of the beating, which is why the September chapter is entitled, “Remember.”
This perception of history
In truth, Lazarus is a time traveler created as a literary device used by this blogger to explore various epochs in Christian church history.
The church history regarding ancient heresies told in recent chapters offers an example of a particular perception of history held by this blogger. Events of history come to us more like waves on the sea rather than in a tidy chronology of happenings laid out on a timeline. This pattern of perceiving history allows more clarity for seeing changes in thinking and attitudes. For example in modern American history, timeline events offer facts and heroes but very little understanding of slavery and the ever-churning movement toward racial justice in America. Definitive transitions of experience effecting history are more like rising and sinking revelations of healing and sharpened perceptions of the wrongs; always these tides are shaping the present and underlying the lived events. In a similar pattern late Roman and early medieval heretical cults rose up repeatedly in various forms and they still hone traditions of Christianity going forward.