On facebook, I see this concept “Throwback Thursday.” In the spirit of that I shall post the beginning of a story I wrote 10 years ago, which is sort of a story all in itself. I apologize for any typographical errors. I wrote it a long time ago.
She stood waiting for battle. The sky was clear and it was hot: the kind of hot that absorbs a person and inebriates them. She stood looking out into the distance. She was ready. Images flashed into her mind: images of glory, of pain, of suffering, of relief, of victory. It did not seem possible to have all of them, but she knew that it was. Before setting out, she glanced to her King. He had thousands of warriors, or soldiers, and yet, as she looked at him, he stood tall and everyone around her seemed to disappear as he looked back at her. “He loves me,” she thought. She knew it was true. She had proof. She looked down at her armor and remembered the occasions he gave each piece to her. Nothing she got on her own. She was not even there because of her own efforts but because of his love and desire to shower his gifts on her.
It did seem strange that a King would give to her whom he loves a place in battle. Others explained to her that he should desire to keep her safe always, set apart and away from the fighting.
There always seemed to be a war going on. She thought to herself: “He wants me to be with him, by his side.” We are far apart now because the battle is about to start. Part of the readiness is that moment beforehand when you stand with some distance. Every thing must be sure, he said, we must test it first.
She remembered the moments when he stood there in front of her, looking at her with love and he fitted the armor on her. She felt so much warmth.
She had to explain to others why she was there. Well, in all honesty, she had to explain to herself. It was perhaps harder to understand the actual battles. Times of preparation were wonderful. They spent many moments together. With all his love and nobility, she felt noble and dignified in his presence.
The explanation: he wanted her near him. His love was so strong that following him into battle was sure of victory, sure because of his promise to her. Those words echoed deeply in the caverns of her heart. “If you fall, I will be there. If you feel your arms growing heavy from the sword look to me, I will rush to you and hold up your arms and we will fight together. I want you by my side. I love you. I want you to love me. I want you to love the purpose that I am fighting for. I know it seems like the war never stops, but we have a cause.” He held her hands and spoke so strongly and passionately, longing for her to have faith in his Words.
The risk seemed so great. He reassured her:
“I know the enemy. I know his soldiers and his weapons. I know his strategy, his plan. I know he is no match for us. He cannot hold you. He may push, but we will push back. It may seem like we are at a standstill, but we will be standing. We shall not fall.”
It was in this moment -looking out at the battle- that she questioned, that she feared. In all the preparation, she was only in love. Love alone drove her and she promised all her heart to her King. She said she desired to give him a gift, whatever she could. He asked first for her love. Then when he had it and was sure that it would remain, and she knew it could and would remain, he asked her to fight for him, for his glorious cause.
Of course she would. She would then serve him and love him and help him. What more does love want but to be needed? He could win on his own without his soldiers, but he desired her help and he asked her. Her mind was looking back –no; he did not even ask her- he waited for her to ask to join him.
It was thrilling. They would prepare and it would get difficult. He would stop everything and hold her for a moment until she felt safe and at ease. It was only a few days ago that she asked to stop preparing. She just wanted to feel his love. “Not for always,” she told him, “only a little while, please?” He answered her right away and her heart was filled with his love so fully. Every time she looked at him or spoke to him, he rushed to overwhelm her with love. At the times when she did not look or did not speak he was very secretly giving his love to her. When a couple days had passed, she thanked him and told him she was ready to prepare again, and so they began.
Training was not only for the battles but also for the lifetime afterwards that they would have together. It had been six years already since they fell in love. She already knew him longer than others placed in her life. He asked her not to think about that. He asked her to serve those around her, who served him. He asked that she become lower and lower.
Others complained to her about that. Well, in that same honesty, she complained about it and he explained to her that he honored her and raised her up each moment they were together, but in regards to others, he wanted her to truly love the others who loved him, because they loved him. He wanted her to understand that while they trained and were in battle that his love belonged to her not in a privileged way that put her above others. The times when she struggled to understand that she was no better; that others were beautiful and amazing and should be awed, he gave her an example. He served and made himself a servant.
To serve is to rule.
His every motive was love. For all eternity he was asking her to love her brothers and sisters. “you want them here after the battle. You want to serve them now. Pour yourself out and serve them while you have many things to do. It will show them that you love them and it will show me that you love not only them, but that you really love me.” He said it slowly. Her heart burned to serve because she loved him.
She felt like she was in the shade, but the sun beat down. What long moments they were. Such little battles took place. It was hard to tell what this would be like. She laughed to herself as she remembered the times she was so full of zeal to serve him that she ran headlong into battle. She fell, and not before too long. He smiled, looked at her with love and picked her up. She had tripped over her own feet while running.
“Look to me. I’ll teach you how to fight.”
She remembered all the times she stood there ready for battle and as she stood there and the enemy grew closer, she was overcome with fear and ran. She ran recklessly. He kept his promise. He ran to her, wrapped his arms around her and held her while she lay on the ground shaking and crying. At times she did not even acknowledge his presence, but he was there. Sooner or later, she would see him and they would go back to preparation.
She did remember their very beginning. What a martyr she was! Why, a day without him was equivalent to the battles before her now. She shook her head at her ridiculousness. She felt everything so honestly then, so passionately, but she was never ready. He asked many things of her, but had made it so easy.
Here she was. She was not running. She only waited. It was pain enough. But she looked at him and saw him looking at her. There was the distance, but she could see victory not too far off. He was with her. She was scared and she had to remind herself of all these things. But because she loved him, she would fight for him.
“Lord, I am ready for battle, and I will not rest till I rest in you.”