I dashed away, stumbling over the uneven dirt, bits of mud splattering on my school dress. I quickly glimpsed back at the light and gasped, bewildered by what I saw. A enormous plate-like object came down from the heavens, a holy light surrounding it. The holy object landed in the wheat field, and the weirdest creature I have ever seen came prancing out of it. With its lime green skin, huge ears, and flowing sky blue hair, it gave me a toothy grin and came waltzing over to me. I snapped back into reality, I started screaming for help, shrieking with fear. All of a sudden, the creature was in front of me, its eyes seemed puzzled.
“ I’m sorry if I scared you, I guess I look at bit freaky on Earth. Actually, if you had come to my planet everyone would stare at you. I mean in the good way, of course, just your a bit different from us. Actually I’ll reword that. I’m different —”, the creature babbled on at the speed of light. As for me, I was in a panic, shocked that the freaky creature was not Jesus Christ, or my guardian angel. “Could you do that for me?”, the creature asked with a bright smile. I hadn’t been listening to the creature and barely managed to stammer,“Wh-what?”.
“I was wondering if you could tell me why your grandparents were Catholic, but your parents are Protestant. I’ve always thought that one family would carry on the same religion, so I was really curious what incidents caused your parents to become Protestant. If it isn’t a bother could you explain that to me?” the creature asked. I was totally taken aback. I had been under a shock, and my thoughts couldn’t function properly.
“Uh…um… sure, why not? Let’s go eat some krapfen while we talk. Krapfen is a German delicacy,” I stuttered. I wanted to slap myself, what was I saying?
“Oh! I almost forgot, I never got to introduce myself nor did you. My name is Lena, how about you?” Lena asked.
“I’m Yvonne,” I said cautiously.
“Okay, Yvonne! Lead the way!” Lena yelled happily. I didn’t want to be rude, so I decided I would try to stay calm and tell the story to Lena.
“How about I start the story now? It’s a pretty long one.” I suggested.
“Yes, please. I’ll be quiet for a change,” Lena agreed.
“My grandfather was born in 15 before the Protestant reformation began. He–”
“What was the Protestant Reformation?” Lena asked.
“The Protestant Reformation was when many people started breaking away from the Catholic Church because they felt that the church was becoming corrupt and wordly. But, my great grandfather and grandfather were both born before the Reformation that started in the 16th century, so they were both Catholic. But my father , who was born in 1526, was able to read some of Martin Luther’s writings that had been printed at the printing press. He agreed that the selling indulgences–”.
“What are indulgences?”. “Who’s Martin Luther?”, Lena asked totally engaged with the story. I laughed.
“Calm down, I’ll explain one by one. Martin Luther was a Catholic priest upset with the corrupt practices happening in the Church. He wrote many criticisms about the church, and with the help of the printing press, he was able to spread his writings all over Europe.”
“That’s so awesome! Just think about, all the people in Europe being able to know so quickly! I mean—”
“Lena? Lena? LENA?” I interrupted. Lena looked up at me.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I’m such a big chatterbox, anyway keep going,” Lena apologized.
“To continue, the selling of indulgences was one of the corrupt practices that the Catholic Church was doing. The Catholic Church said that if you bought an indulgence it would pardon yours or a relative’s sin, but actually they did this to raise money because in 1517, Pope Leo X needed money to finish building the Grand Cathedral.”
“That’s absolutely outrageous! That is abusing religion to earn money,” Lena stated angrily.
“That’s not the end of it, another corrupt practice was simony which is selling Church leadership positions instead of choosing them by the person’s good deeds. So, many of the Church officials did not do their duties but were gaining power and money. My father was very indignant when he read Martin Luther’s criticisms about the Church.”
“I can understand you father very well.” Lena nodded.
“Oh, I was curious if Martin Luther was the only one that criticised the Church,” Lena inquired.
“Of course not!” I exclaimed. “There was John Wycliffe who publicly challenged the pope’s authority and translated the bible against the Church’s tradition. Also, there was Jan Hus who agreed strongly with John Wycliffe’s words and called for corruption to end in the Church.”
“They are both so brave to do that. I admire that they stood up for what they believed,” Lena said.
“I know, there was also Desiderius Erasmus. Many people say that “Desiderius laid the egg and Martin hatched it” because he prepared Europe for the Reformation possibly more than any other person. He has passed away , but has impacted our society greatly.”
“I can tell, I mean who wouldn’t listen to–” I smiled and let Lena chatter on and on.
“Perhaps we talk while we eat,”, I suggest.
“Sure!”, Lena exclaimed. We turned right onto a big road, and I saw my favorite restaurant at the end of the block.
“See that shop with the blue words on the window? It’s the best krapfen restaurant in town! I’ll race you there!” I yelled. “Okay, 1,2,3!” and we both went sprinting down the road, the sun smiling above us.