#44.9, Thurs., May 18, 2023

Historical setting: 602 C.E. The secular church in the Vosges

         Gabe and Greg park the wagon behind the little secular church they’ve always known. Maybe it is her ordained priesthood, or maybe its her deafness, but they hope to find Mater Doe the comforting listener.

         They try to tell her everything that has happened, speaking softly and fast, one speaking over the other.  There is no way she can understand any of this. She does know their fountains of tears have been dammed by their huge obligations of manhood and now the dam has broken and they are flooding, sobbing rivers of tears.  All she hears of this by the time she lifts the cloak off of my face is that they are sorry. She assumes they tried to kill me, but failed.

         Mater Doe tells the boys to go away right now and send their mother up here with the other children to keep them safe from “you would be murderers.”

         I hear them leave on the horses, obedient as they are. Then Mater Doe speaks to me, “Lazarus.”

         I would answer but I can’t make a sound. She thinks I’ve answered her. She tells me she didn’t hear what I said but not to say anything more until I can speak more easily.  She seems to believe in this healing possibility.  I don’t think the plan here is to put a blade to my neck to relieve this suffering. Thank you God.

         This is good, but better would be if I could tell her the one thing she doesn’t know. These boys are the rescuers not the murderers. Like Peter hiding from the trial of Jesus, they are grief stricken at what they think was their own omission.  I know they would’ve tried a rescue but I told them to stay back. Then, these two on their own, put together this whole big plan to obtain a wagon to drag my bones from the grave then take this very long journey traveling more than a week on nothing but faith and obscure obligation.  Now here we all are safe and nearly together again. Thank you God. Thank you for these boys who are my family.

         I hope for strength enough to let Ana know that one thing — the goodness of these boys.

(Continues Tuesday, May 23)

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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