#41.4, Weds., Feb. 8, 2023

Historical setting: 590 C.E. Cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil

         Colleen’s prayer aloud this morning was a bit of a surprise to Ana and me. We learned that Colleen has been worrying that she would be helping Ana deliver twins with no one to help but me. And now, she is bursting with gratitude to God for sending two women to stay with us while Luxeuil can be made ready for them. Ana said she assured Colleen I would be an able helper. But Colleen doesn’t know of my strange gift of life and life again which has led me to be present for births of my children in other times; and unlike Thole, becoming a father for the first time, I have had experience being allowed to help. I already know of ways I can be useful.  I really don’t think they will need to send me off for water in order to get me out of the way. But apparently, Colleen’s prayer to God asking for some knowledgeable women to come and help has been answered boldly and on time. 

         Thank you God, Amen.

         At noon Brother Servant arrives with the two young women and  we already have a place prepared for them to sleep these nights with fleeces and straw near the hearth. They have chosen the names of chaste women who were saints, Sister Paula and Sister Marcella.

         I greet them at the door and Sister Marcella remembers who I am.

         “I saw you last summer.  Are you still a follower of the wise teacher, Ana?” Turning to Sister Paula, she adds, “Don’t you recall this fellow? He is the same man who was following Ana when she visited us in Laon.”

         “Oh, yes, now I remember the teacher Ana did have a man with her when she visited us.”

         “I’m her husband.”

         “Follower, husband, whatever…”

         I have to admit, I’m not accustomed to being known as a ‘follower’ of Ana. Husband has never seemed so humbling before.  I glance at Brother Servant who perfectly understands the humility of title.  He is grinning at my fluster. And here he is leaving me with this bevy of chaste women who seem to have no use at all for a man. It’s a strange twist I may have to become accustomed to.

         Colleen scurries around in her bliss of guests, preparing a fine tasting broth that she even seasoned for this special occasion, perfect for dipping the oven-hardened biscuits.

(Continues tomorrow)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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