Eb Goes To See The Servant Of The Light

Most of the houses on the hof had enough bedrooms for the people who lived in them to share comfortably, and a family room with a stove and cupboards, a table and chairs. They had porches to sit out in the summer and keep boots dry on rainy days, and sometimes a room out back for tools and other necessary implements, and for shelves to store jam and salted beans, nuts and dried fruit through the winter.

The home of the Servant of the Light had an extra room, a Quiet Place where the Servant could meet and talk with those who were troubled, or sought his good counsel; who needed somewhere private to sit with him and pray.

Harold Whichart sat there now. He had spent the day doing what he liked best, looking over his sheep out on the hilltop pasture, walking among them, talking to them, touching each one as he inspected them carefully for any sign of lameness, any fast-adhering brambles or signs of injury.

He had come home at sunset, walked in at dusk to the wonderful welcoming aroma of a suet pudding filled with bacon, cheese, fried onions and sage, blessed God once again for a wife who could cook as Harriet did, eaten a hearty supper, shared in washing and drying the pots, and gone to the Quiet Place to centre himself into the loving presence of the Lord.

For about half an hour now, he had been reading in the holy Word and resting in prayer as he sought the mind of God. Harold was expecting a visitor.

Eventually he heard Harriet answering the door “Wilkum! You will find Father Harold in the Quiet Place – he is waiting for you. I have some cookies and a drink for you here when you’ve finished your chat.”

He had left the door to the Quiet Place ajar, and Eb knocked gently, pushed it open, and came in.

“Peace to you,” said Harold immediately; he could see the little shimmer of trepidation and concern around the edges of Eb’s being. “Sit you down, my brother. Tell me your news.”

Eb settled himself in the second chair drawn up beside the table where the holy Word lay. All conversations that took place in this room were an invitation for the Word to become flesh; for something of God’s holy breath to incarnate in honest words spoken, in the listening heart, in wise understanding and, when it was needed, in assurance of forgiveness, the chance to make amends and a new beginning.

“How can I serve you, my friend?”