Historical setting: 589 C.E. Cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil
I set a fire in the pasture for smoking the deer and I took some portions to the cold cellar dug under the wall of the cottage, where now I can hear Ana and Colleen inside arguing. I’ve never known them to disagree, much less, have I heard them shouting like this. Now Colleen flees the cottage, sobbing.
I call her and ask where she’s going.
She stops for a moment and answers me through her tears, “It were a terrible sin I saw with my own eyes! God knows it were a terrible sin! I have to tell the Father!”
“Don’t go alone. I’ll send a pigeon to fetch Brother Servant to go with you.”
She turns and continues on the path alone. I release a bird so Brother Servant will come for her.
Inside, Ana is sobbing, “Colleen and I had a terrible argument. She said it’s a far worse sin for two men to lie together as lovers than for a man to rape a woman. That’s wrong isn’t it Laz? Jesus surely said rape is worse than two who are lovers together.”
“I never heard Jesus say anything at all about men laying together as lovers. His message of love had nothing to say about love as sin. But rape isn’t even about love. It’s a show of power.”
She melts in my arms as though my words were more gently heard than had been spoken. “Ana, when someone replaces the love intended for a most beloved with only a fulfillment of personal power as in rape, it is an affront to the nature of love itself. And Jesus did teach us, more than anything else, we should love one another.”
“Yes! I told Colleen rape is a worse sin.” Her tone is victorious.
I answer, “But maybe Colleen believes that two men lying together is also an abuse of love. Maybe she has a longing that she herself thinks is an evil temptation.”
“It’s not even about her! She is judging what she saw others do. She doesn’t even know!”
“Ana, one thing of this sexual love between two men or two women, is that for some, it is only about someone else’s passions. But maybe others know it as their own temptation and they’ve been given to think it is sin. The judgment she passes on others is a judgment she levels on herself.” [Luke 6:37]
“Love is personal and immeasurable by others.”
(Continues Tuesday, December 6)