Historical setting: A dark age in Gaul
More voices stir around in the darkness.
“Look, it seems to be a man here who was stripped and beaten and yet this horror is all so close to this busy road.”
“Has no one passed this way yet and taken notice?”
“Why doesn’t someone do something?”
“Did you ever hear the story of the Saint?”
“Of course I hear stories of saints every day, and in fact twice a day at Matens and at Vespers. Every message is of saints.”
“I mean the story of St. Martin himself offering charity to a poor man who had no cloak. Even though he was well off and a soldier he used his sword to sever his own cloak into two parts then he leaned down from his horse and gave the poor man half his cloak.”
“I could never damage my cloak. Such faith he had!”
“Such charity! No wonder he was a saint.”
“And then, of course, his torn cloak was miraculously restored with no damage done. God must have known he was a saint all along.”
“If only I were a saint I could show charity for this man …”
They seem to have walked on.
Thank you dear God for staying near. Thank you for this infernal darkness where I can hide. But it is very cold so if you have any extra saints about with abundant cloaks might you send one on this road today? Amen.
I have somewhere in my pounding head some small glimpses of remembering. I hear the river running near here. Maybe my little sister is close-by. I know she comes here sometimes to wait by the river. She has her little infatuations and she is so taken with Jesus. Sometimes he is all she talks about. Yes, I think I hear her chatter… or maybe it’s just the little settling sounds of birds nesting and feeding. It is incessant.
Mary only chatters on about Jesus. “Jesus noticed the trees coming into season with buds.” “Jesus mentioned the beautiful morning.” “Jesus noticed that Martha and I brought fresh flowers for the table board.”
Whenever Jesus is near Bethany, or even if Jesus is just expected to come near the river with his friends for lessons or baptisms, Mary wanders over to wait by the river to be sure not to miss him. Sometimes my little sister’s sillies get annoying. But right now, I would be so happy to know that is her voice I’m hearing.
But really it seems to be only evening songs of birds smothered so deep in this darkness? Is it really evening now? Was there a daytime and I missed it?
(Come back Tuesday, April 7, for Holy Week)