Sunday, July 14, 2013

Heinrich meets Martin


The next day as Heinrich was walking through the streets of Wittenberg over lunch, he ran into Martin. They both stopped and shared hellos until Luther found a bench. As he sat down he remarked. “It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that it was only 13 years ago I walked 800 miles to Rome – and back again. Now a simple walk into town causes me pain.” After a sigh, he continued, “How have you been since that rain storm?” Heinrich responded, “Now that summer is coming, work has picked up, so I’ve been busy at the shop.” Martin asked, “Do you miss school? You left before graduating.” True enough he thought, so he responded, “Actually, yes I do; it was stimulating to meet with other students, talk with professors like yourself and have time to think. A student’s life is one of ease compared to working for a living, as Heinrich looked at his rough hands. But reading doesn’t bring in income, and I’m the main bread winner now.” Martin replied, “Yes, it was very sad that your father died so suddenly. Your mother is very fortunate to have you.” Heinrich took exception to the words ‘have you’, but all he could say was, “Yes, it’s the least that I can do.” But inwardly he wondered for how long and what would happen if – and in that space he inserted Rebekah – if someone came along for him to marry. Just as his mind was starting to wander along those lines, Luther ended the conversation by rising and saying: “I better get going. Let me know when that Jewish customer comes back to your shop.” Heinrich was jolted back to reality almost as if a lightning bolt had struck, so his response was confused, “Ahm, OK, but I don’t expect him anytime soon. Have a good day.” Now his thoughts were running to ‘I wonder why he said that? Did he hear a rumor that a Jewish girl was at his house? Does he expect me to report on this hypothetical Jewish customer right away – he said when, not if? What would he do if one did come in? Life was getting to be more complicated.

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