(Glossary note: Iosa is the Irish word for Jesus)
“What am I looking for?” I whispered.
Tyra pulled her blanket up to her chin and stared up at the thatched roof above us.
“Sometimes I feel like there’s this huge space inside me, wider and emptier than a starless night. Nothin’ I do can fill it up. Nothin’ but God, nothing but the grace He has given us through Iosa. That may not be what you’re looking for, but it’s what we all need, Sigrid. If it weren’t for God bursting inside of me, I wouldn’t be able to stand Ragnar. I’d run. He’d catch me and whip me. I’d run again. But with God, I’ve learned to have compassion on Ragnar. I’ve learned to fill up this void with Iosa’s love and His… strength.”
Tyra gave a gentle, rippling laugh. “God is good, Siri. He is so, so good. He gives me strength. He gave me the strength to tell Ragnar about Him. Ragnar hasn’t changed, but I have. And I pray someday he will change—and ye will, too.”
I said nothing.
“Good night, Siri. I love ye. Iosa loves ye.”
I closed my eyes, moving my tongue around my mouth. But I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t tell her she was wrong about her god, about everything. She had felt something, but it was only a feeling; she had thought something, but it was only a thought. Her perspective on life was radically different than mine. Iosa didn’t love me. Iosa didn’t even know me! Tyra’s experience with Ragnar was awful, so she had to deal with it the only way she knew how.
Yet… my heart was touched by her love and her strength. It couldn’t have come from her god, but it was beautiful. It was a pity her beautiful soul was wasted pouring into the life of that wretched man. Would she ever realize her efforts to love him could never thaw his icy heart?