The second chapter in a new fictional series exploring the life of St. Anna Schäffer.
Note: This is part of a serial fiction series focusing on the life of St. Anna Schäffer, following the life of a fictional character as she encounters the saint. New chapters are released every Sunday! For past chapter(s) click here.
KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.
“Anna! We are going to be late for work!”
Sofia was waiting impatiently outside Anna’s bedroom. They had another big laundry day at the Hubers’ and she needed Anna’s help.
“Frau Huber is already not happy with you! Why aren’t you coming out?”
“Sofia! I can’t! I just can’t! Tell her I’m sick!”
This greatly frustrated Sofia. Every time something wrong happened, Sofia would be the one who suffered for it.
“Fine! I’ll cover for you this time, but you better have an explanation when I get back today!”
Sofia walked to the Hubers’ house and endured a long day of laundry and cleaning. It wasn’t easy doing it all by herself, but she was able to convince one of Sofia’s younger siblings to come and help for part of the day.
Anna better have a good explanation!
Sofia walked inside the small Schaeffer home, and sure enough, Anna was still in her bedroom! The nerve! She better have the plague or something terrible to explain her absence today!
Just as Sofia was about to bang on the door again, it opened and Anna was standing there. Tear stains were still on her face and parts of her dress were drenched from her weeping.
It startled Sofia, whose disposition changed from anger to concern.
“W-what’s wrong, Anna?”
Anna waved Sofia inside her small room and sat down on her bed.
“I’m afraid, Sofia. I saw something last night that I can’t get out of my head … a promise of … of …”
“A promise of what?”
“What do you mean by a promise of suffering, Anna?”
Sofia was deeply confused now. Was Anna sick in her mind?
“Sofia, you probably won’t believe me if I told you. I don’t know what to do … the future is so scary!”
“Anna, it would be better to get it out of your mind, than to keep it in. Just tell me!”
Anna looked seriously at Sofia and started to explain what happened.
“Jesus appeared to me in a dream last night as the Good Shepherd. He was strong and gentle and a light enveloped him. He was holding a rosary in his hand and then spoke with piercing words. He said that I would not become 20 years old and that I would have to suffer a great deal!”
Anna burst out in tears again, covering her face.
“I don’t want to die, Sofia! I don’t want to suffer! I don’t ever want to get sick! I am going to stay in my room forever!”
Sofia wasn’t sure how to respond. It was clear that Anna believed Jesus appeared to her and the words he gave her were not pleasant. Was it Jesus? Or simply a dream?
She inched closer to Anna on the bed and rubbed her back.
“Anna, it was a dream! Why are you so concerned about a dream?”
“A dream? It felt so real! I could feel Jesus’ presence. It was comforting … but the words he said pierced my heart. I am too young to die! I am only 16!”
The two sat in silence for a few minutes and then Anna blurted out an idea.
“What if I change jobs! Surely Jesus meant that I would suffer if I stayed in my job! Maybe Frau Huber has something else for me to do that will never cause me great suffering!”
Sofia didn’t understand Anna’s reasoning, but at least she was on the right track. This would get her out of her room and take her mind off of this strange dream.
Trying to match Anna’s enthusiasm she said, “Yes! Let’s go to Frau Huber tomorrow, and I am sure she can find something for you to do!”
In her mind Sofia worried about Anna, but this was a step in the right direction.
Come back next Sunday for the next chapter!