The sleep that followed was disturbing. First there were people throwing stones at Nohr and myself until Michael appeared, then the dream faded. The next dream was a group of men were beating us, they were chanting, devil get out. I woke up, I was alone and in the quiet of the night I realized it was a nightmare. Falling back to sleep, I saw a man on the cross, he looked lonely but his eyes shown with love. Then I knew what was happening. Michael was showing me that I could expect the animosity from those who didn't believe that we all were created by God in love. Somehow, I felt better and knew that the love I had for Nohr would stand against those who believed wrongly. I also felt the assurance that what Nohr and I talked about concerning him being away but being true was the truth. For the third time I fell asleep.
In the morning, I arose early and started my chores. By the time I was finished, aunty was just getting out of bed. I sat at the kitchen table, with a cup of tea. "Good morning Stephan, as soon as you finish the chores I'll have breakfast ready."
"The chores are finished. The milk is in the refrigerator at the barn, eggs are there except for a dozen I brought here. They are in the refrigerator. There is tea in the pot which I just made so it should still be hot."
Aunty looked at me, "Did you sleep ok? You must have been up early."
"I was, so I did the chores, we'll need to sell the milk, the old girls are really producing."
"I just sold one can last Tuesday, usually it takes 10 days to fill a can."
"Well, I think we should get another can, then we can better schedule deliveries. I put some cream in the refrigerator, I can make butter for you later this morning if you want."
"You can wait till we come back from church. Are you serving today?"
"I'm on schedule but I'm not sure after I had that talk with Pastor."
After breakfast I went to shower and dress for church. I was a little hesitant, I didn't know what to expect. Deep down I was afraid this would be a repeat of what happened in the States. Then I saw Nohr and everything seemed to be ok.
I felt aunty's hand on my shoulder as Pastor approached us. "Stephan, I think that you shouldn't serve today. I need time to prepare the people."
I just nodded my head and was ready to return to the cottage, aunty took my face between her hands, "No, we'll go to church. We'll praise God and thank him for sending us Jesus to teach us the way."
I looked at Nohr, Pastor must have said something to him as well. I walked over to him and for some reason I took his hand and walked into church. I don't know why I did that, but it seemed to be right. Nohr smiled at me and he seemed to agree it was right. We sat together with aunty and his grandparents. The service started, when the procession ended, Pastor looked over the congregation and he stopped when he saw Nohr's and my family sitting together.
This was communion Sunday, usually the first Sunday of the month, I wasn't sure if we should go to the altar rail. I wasn't given a chance, aunty took me by the arm, followed by Nohr and his grandparents. I knew that this would probably end poorly for us and it did. Pastor passed over Nohl and me with the sacraments. I looked up at the cross, and saw a man suspended. The church's cross was just a plain wooden cross, there was no figure attached to it as there is in the Catholic church. But when I looked at the cross, I saw a man there. He had tears in his eyes and then I saw Michael at the bottom of the cross. Michael came to Nohr and I, he offered us a piece of bread and a small cup of wine that I shared with Nohr. He smiled and then he vanished along with the man on the cross. I felt peace and I felt loved.
After church, we did not shake the pastor's hand, but we did spend some time talking with Nohr's grandparents. I wanted to talk to Nohr and see if he saw what I saw and felt what I felt. When Nohr looked at me, I knew he felt something.
"Why don't we go to the tavern for lunch?"
Aunty and Nohr's grandparents thought that was a good idea. While walking there, "Nohr, did you receive communion?"
"Yes, but it wasn't the pastor who gave it to me. A young man with a very pleasant face and he was smiling as he gave me the bread and the cup of wine."
"Did you look at the cross?"
"Stephan, you won't believe but I thought there was a man hanging on the cross. He had tears in his eyes and a very sad face."
"Nohr, I'm going to tell you something and you will find it hard to believe. You remember me telling you about when I was in the hospital and a man named Michael came and saw me. He convinced me that God made me as I am and He loves me. I decided to go back into my body and live. The man who gave you and I the bread and wine was Michael."
"Where did he get the bread and wine? It was different from what we had last month."
"Yes, it was, do you remember the Last Supper that we celebrate at communion? The bread used was unleaven bread as they were celebrating the Passover. That bread was the same as Passover bread and the wine was true wine. We had experienced Passover with Michael and if I'm not mistaken the man on the cross was Jesus."
"But how could that be."
"I think except for the bread and wine, our eyes were seeing what God wanted us to see. Like a mirage or something. Maybe we were so intent on being excused by Pastor, we felt like Jesus when he was rebuked."
"You know when I have a little wine at home I can taste it for a while, but I don't taste the one I drank in church. Nor do I remember what the bread tasted like."
"I think our souls were given the bread and wine. Michael was able to create the reality that made us think we were actually taking communion. Last night I prayed to God and asked Michael to help. I had two dreams, one of them was us being stoned and another was of us being beaten with straps. I believe those were lessons, that no matter how much we have to endure in pain and suffering, it will bring us closer to God. Jesus is with us even as we walk to the tavern for lunch. I feel him in my heart."
Nohr put his arm around my shoulder and gave me a squeeze.
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