Historical Setting: 561 C.E., Gaul
What can I say to her? The huge chasm between us is more of deaths than of measured time. She keeps enough distance between us that my longing arms would not reach her for hug in case I should follow my impulse.
I try to fill the hollow silence with words.
“Of course you are no longer the child of my memories. You are a grown woman now. Seeing you and your brother is such a joy for me. I’m overcome with the gratitude for it all. You both have taken the tragedy I left you in and reshaped it to loving-kindness for others who are themselves, in the same need as were you. A father who can see the changes in his children from child to adult has a gift of God’s Creation. But the greatest blessing a papa could ever have through his children is to see them grow up caring for others, quenching the thirst of their own sorrows at the great well of empathy.”
Dear God how many ways can I say thank you? I love you too. And like you, I too long to wrap my arms around my children and dry their tears. I’m grateful for this odd turn of grief and for hopes. Amen.
“So my dear Eve I should ride back to Poitiers soon. If you or your brother would want to see me again just send word to the monastery at Poitiers.”
“What are you, a priest or a monk?”
“No. I have no Holy Orders from the Roman Church. I’m a guest at the monastery for prayer and I use the scriptorium.”
“Oh. So why would you do that?”
“My work is as a messenger of the teachings of Jesus so I copy scriptures onto scraps of papyrus or scrapings of parchment then I take that to the those who are yet meeting in the old ways of Jesus which sometimes seems far from the Roman order.”
“So you have become pagan?”
“You already know my faith; I’m sure it is also deep in your own child’s heart. But in these times I would be called a heretic with every ilk of heresy changing with the winds.”
“Christian is different now. So I suppose you are a pagan, Papa.
“If my brother wants to see you again I will tell him you are at Poitiers.”
“Know I love you Eve. Know you are loved.”
(Story continues tomorrow)