Historical setting: A dark age on the Saxony Shore of Gaul
I know people move from one age to the next in slow stages, maybe with the exception of birth and death that always seem to take us by surprise. Yet, I guess I had been expecting Nic to step off the dromon and immediately transform his useful life as a Roman soldier into an imaginary image of an old and wealthy benefactor sponsoring this heretic.
Dear God, thank you for giving me a gentle thought of forgiveness for Nic’s need to wear armor. Amen.
“I didn’t mean to sound so much opposed to your armor. I can get used to it.”
“Not to worry Brother Lazarus. I can see that these scarlet plumes and cape of old Rome make you uncomfortable. And now I hardly require a legionnaire’s shield to hang on the shipside. When we reach the market where I found your sandals I can trade these Roman accoutrements. They trade with the soldiers all the time and they will be glad to take these things that mark me as a soldier. We can get you your own pack then. The leather worker there does fine work for the soldier’s trade.”
“That is thoughtful of you, Nic. I have to admit I was bothered by the Roman Soldier style, even though you surely wear it well. So many years ago I was witness to a horrific execution of a dear friend by Roman soldiers, but perhaps now, even if you choose to wear your armor I may be able to forgive in my heart and one day make peace with my hate, simply by having another good friend who wore that same uniform. It’s a hard lesson to let go of my old bias of hate but I need to do that just to set my heart right with God who loves everyone.”
“It’s okay. I will trade off the Roman gear. But Brother Lazarus, you need to know since I was a young man with nearly ever step I’ve taken on land I’ve been clothed in the colors of Rome and looking out at the world through the window of soldier’s helmet. I don’t even know who I am now as this old and worn man mingling into the civilian milieu as though I were no one special. So you must become my shining reason now.”
Dear God, help us not to fail at all the forgivenesses needed for friendship. Amen.
(Continues Wednesday, July 1)