Historical setting: 589 C.E. Annegray in the Vosges Mountains
Again when we stand for the chanting of the psalms and I look down the row passed the elder monks and to see Brother Crathius, he once more leans forward and makes eye contact with me. This time he is prepared with a nod of recognition rather than shock. We share in knowing that the stiff joints of the elders he is attending, and my strange circumstance of life and life again are both ways of restoring usefulness after suffering. This is all about the hard flexes of healing. Creator love is the constancy of new life and healing – hallelujah anyway.
A pigeon flies over, and lands on the wall top.
On this new day, Father Columbanus is back at Annegray and the servant monk has returned with him. I tell the Brother Servant about my idea to take some baby birds to Ana so she will have a roost there, then we can send her messages.
He asks, “What messages would anyone send to her?”
“Today I would like to send her ‘This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!’ [excerpt from Ps. 118:24] But I, or any of us could send her little words of encouragement, maybe just a kind word or maybe any phrase like that from a Psalm; She could know people are thinking of her. She would hear that others of us aren’t just thinking of our own benefit of her gifts, but we also value her as a child of God. I think that matters to her.”
“You know, Ezra, you are not supposed to imagine her as a woman. And this sounds to me like a ploy to break that rule.”
“Really I’m just thinking of her nature as human being. I think she would appreciate nurturing the little birds in her home. It would be helpful for her in many ways. But of course, I do realize you would be carrying birdcages in both directions up and down those hills. It would be an extra task for you. I can understand that.”
He offers, “I will take your idea to Father Columbanus.”