Historical setting: 561 C.E. Gaul
She can’t eat when her face is covered in bee nets. Eve sits on the hearthstone near the coals smoldering under the kettle. There is a bed but no chair. The soup is hot and good. But she has only one bowl and one spoon in this house and that was offered to me while Eve just watches through her veils.
“Have you no bowl for yourself? The broth is quite nice, but it would be better shared.”
“It’s fine Papa. I told Ezra I would give you supper.”
“Eve, maybe the missing detail of the story where Jesus ate at our table was about everyone eating together. Maybe I should build you a board and bench and get you some bowls so that you can share in the meal and not just give another a bowl of broth and sit and watch.”
“I’m so sorry Papa. I wanted this to be a good supper for you. It was I who asked Ezra if I could serve you. It was my idea. I wanted you to come here. I’m sorry it’s bare and lonely. I can see you would be much happier with your grandchildren. I thought if you came for supper it wouldn’t seem lonely.”
The net that is supposed to keep me from seeing scars is the same veil that keeps me from wiping her tears away.
I know my thanksgiving for finding my son and daughter was that they turned their hurt to empathy for others who were hurting also. But now I know better of that grace. Here is Eve known to herself and others only by her hurt. Where is her empathy for the feasting and her joy in joining into the song? How will anyone ever again hear her silly child giggles after each skip of the stone her brother tosses on the water? Does happiness not need to be celebrated with the shared empathy also?
Dear God, Thank you for revealing this emptiness and help me into the miracle of seeing by your light. Help us to know Eve as you know her, beautiful, cheerful, enjoying the simple giggles of belonging again. Amen.
“Papa, you stare with worry.”
“I was thinking a prayer.”
“Well, please don’t pray for me. Tomorrow you can sup with Ezra and Colleta and the children. It will be fine. I promise it will be better tomorrow.”
“You notice my worry well. But my prayer was for something else. So tomorrow I will be busy with a project. And I will eat again here with you.”
(Come again on Tuesday, December 17)