Historical Setting, 562 C.E. Gaul
My intention in placing the ladder was to instruct Ezra on the necessary thickness of thatch. He works and moves and even speaks with a rural pace – or has he simply the peace that is leftover in this place after the anxious push of Rome’s progress toward metropolis fell short here up against the Frankish warlords. He stares as though he were a listener to my advice on bundling straw and pushing the bound stems firmly in place.
“Yes, Papa. I failed to gather reeds at the river when they were so abundant last fall.”
“Of course, Ezra. I know you were then about the tasks of helping at Saumur. How could you have repaired your own roof?”
“It’s good you could fix this for us Papa. But I don’t know if you can fix the splitting thatch of my unholy thoughts. Did Jesus teach of jealousy, or did he not even know of such petty evils?”
“Oh, Jesus knew well of siblings indulging in envy for one another…” But I wonder to myself what Ezra was noticing of this.
“So you have a Jesus story to tell me? Don’t say it Papa; it is a lesson Colleta should hear and I don’t suppose she will listen.”
“Why would you think Colleta needs a lesson? The story you told us is for Eve and I to ache in envy – with all of Colleta’s wonders – Colleta’s success with the new baby, providing her own family in Tours to take-in the young father and the baby. How could it be Colleta’s jealousy that concerns you? She’s simply all goodness.”
And haven’t I given that my thoughts? My own envy cut deep when Colleta offered a different grandfather’s love to my grandchildren. It is my own short vision that needs a fix. And apparently this struggle is always about families intertwined with one another.
I reminded Ezra, “Even the Jesus story I know is a tangle of hurts and it’s not at all a clear story of righteousness.”
“Papa you are thinking of the Jesus story of the Righteous Son who stayed home? I don’t need to hear that again. This is not about a rich father’s inheritance and a wandering second son. This is a true life story about Colleta’s raging envy and what really happened when we went to call on Jesse and the new baby.”
“’Colleta’s raging envy?’ Maybe you should tell me that story Ezra. What really happened?”
(Ezra tells the story tomorrow)