A short… about the mess of life and the importance of pursuing a higher call beyond the greedy and conflicting desires of men
Standing tall amid the chaos of other men, I saw The Warrior. The night air was packed with screams scrambling over each other to be heard. The wailing of the dead and dying, the panicked muttering of those afraid to be next and the wild, bloodcurdling howls of those too insane to care.
But from The Warrior there came no sound at all. He stood tall amidst the blood and sweat. His gaze swept across the battlefield and pierced the hearts of all who caught his eye.
Other men charged and flailed around with blades or spears, and made of flesh and bone, they crumbled when cut or pierced. Their bodies gave way to sharp edged iron, falling to the grave of crimson mud beneath their feet.
But not the Warrior. His bones were steel, his skin so seasoned by sun and scars that it appeared more like leather, a carapace to turn aside all but the most determine blows. He strode forward into the fray, sword wide and straight, each swing measured by experience, backed by the accumulated muscle of a hundred such battles.
Other men, clad in rings of rusted iron or patchwork plates of muddied steel, rallied to the ragged flag and the tired, tinny call of the trumpet. While unsoiled men on horseback waived stainless swords and shouted words without meaning to drive the masses forward, the Warrior maintained his own relentless pace.
When the enemy, as bloodied and reckless as his allies, formed a line before him, he did not waiver. When they pressed in to surround him, cutting off retreat or hope of rescue, he did not falter.
His eyes, so full of pain, still looked upon his foes with fondness. They held no hatred, but poured out a tale of hope and grace. Even as his allies fell, as the tide turned and the darkness grew darker, as spear and sword rose up around him so thick as to appear as the spines of a single monster, the Warrior continued on. As his skin was pierced, as his blood began to flow. As the weight of those against him became a tidal wave of men to rival an ocean. As the cries of his fallen friends called out, turn back, the way is too hard, the battle too fierce and the enemy too strong, The Warrior set his jaw and set his eyes ahead.
I lost him then, his silhouette passed over the horizon and into the shadow of oblivion. While others fled, the battle lost, while grown men wept bitter tears of loss and pain, lamenting still what might have been, I stood watching for the Warrior. While the enemy swarmed and raged with threats and swallowed us with doubt, I watched for the Warrior.
When hope was just the lonely flicker of a single candle amidst this raging storm, a thousand voices begged me, put it out, the time has passed, the Warrior is lost. When I stood, readying my last breath before I would be swept away by death, I saw it… His light. I heard the wails of the afflicted and they rose in chorus through my bones.
There was a shiver in the darkness. The shadows, woven by the frigid fear of the enemy, shuddered. As the light grew in the distance I could just make out the pale white faces of the lost. Those who had fallen, those who had given up before the end and those who never had the heart to fight. In the growing light they saw me smile and I saw them rise. In the growing light I felt their wonder as the weight of fear upon them turned from despair.
The Warrior returned. He walked in boldness across that devastation. His sword no longer held, his hands bare, open wide and in his stride a confidence that no one should possess. And with each step the shadows withered, within each moment came a thousand tiny lights of truth to melt away the lies.
As he approached, The Warrior of light, I asked, “Did you find the enemy? Did you defeat him?”
His voice reached out with a gentleness he could not possibly possess. “It is finished.” He said.
“The enemy has been killed.” I called out and rejoiced, helping up the fallen men at my feet.
The Warrior stood in silence.
“The enemy is dead?” I asked.
“I did not spill his blood.” He responded. “But it is finished.”
“Tell me what happened.” I asked.
“The enemy was many. The enemy raged and sought to overwhelm me. As I fought and persevered, as I bled and suffered wounds through my trials, the enemy taunted and disparaged. But I fought on. When I reached the end my sword was broken. I stood face to face with anger, hatred, greed, misery and fear. When I stared them in the eye, the hunters and betrayers, the enemies of man, they asked why I had come to destroy them.”
The Warrior paused. All eyes were on Him now.
“What did you say?” I asked, breaking the moment.
“I did not come to destroy you,” The Warrior said. “I came to find you, to save you and to free you.”
“What could those wretched beasts need freedom from, they harry and oppress us at every turn.” I said, heavy in my ignorance.
“They asked the same.” The Warrior said. “What do we need freedom from, we who are the lords of men? They laughed and they threatened me, they brought me low with their taunts. So I looked up to my Father. I asked His forgiveness for the enemies of man and I gave them what they needed. I gave myself too them, my love, my peace, my truth, and I freed them, from themselves.”
This story is dedicated to the glory of God and to His son who gave Himself to us and for us.
Please let me know what you think, either good or bad, in the comments below.