A Girl and Her King: Nights of Prayer

The story of A Girl and Her King, joins the young protagonist as she grows in her commitment towards her good king. She is young and he is old. He teaches, her watches over her, protects her. He has taken her to the battlefield, the arena, and now asks her to find her place inside the calm environment of her old home, where challenges abound to test her dedication to him in even in the smallest matters. She does not yet know what form their love will take, if he will one day bring her to live with him in the palace, or request she stay in that quiet home forever. But willing to wait, she receives the lessons he has in store for her.

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The First Night

Philothea stood beside her queen mother. The images she saw with the king stayed ith her. Considering her future, she told her queen, “I might turn away one day in some terrible way and run from him, if only for a moment, but it will seem so big. Please, stand in the way. Intercept me, and hold me as I run. Stop me before I get too far…just in case.” The Queen Mother nodded in assent. If Philothea ran for any hurtful reason, she would run straight into the arms of this mother. And with her heart near her Queen Mother’s heart, hopefully she would cry, not fight, maybe she would fight…resist, but hopefully she would cry. And then, the king would come and lead his weak little bride away to be cared for.

“The king would not even care that I ran. He would still love me,” Philothea murmured. It did her good to know that no matter what she did, she would always be welcome back. She did not have plans to turn, but it did her good all the same.

Philothea looked at the king and became as serious as a child, “not to the beasts. I won’t run to them. It’s better that we fight, King, than run away.”

And it seemed like fun to fight by the king’s side because they would always love each other, always been on the same side.

Then she reasoned, “I’m bound to be wrong often.”

Philothea became shy after these nights of conversation. At the end of a shy day, when she had hardly talked to him, Philothea would approach the throne and pour out words and emotion and love. All this she poured into a basket to hand to him. Some times he was quiet and just held her. He liked to comfort her and have him close to him. Some times he spoke. She cried from missing him. Oh, she wanted to stay with him for hours. Their short moments were not enough. Philothea’s love grew deeper. It filled every part of her.

“It makes me sad these thoughts, to think of leaving you. I will not leave you. I love you.”

Then a lady-in-waiting from the court, a good friend, who had been away on a journey, took Philothea outside. They talked for a time. Philothea mentioned her shyness to her friend. Her friend says simply, “don’t run.” She knew nothing of Philothea’s vision.

The Second Night

A day and an evening passed. Philothea came to her senses. She knelt before the king at his throne and said, “I have run from you.” She wept.

The king lifted her chin with his hand and spoke gently, “stay close, keep talking, listen to me. Tomorrow, we’ll fix everything. I love you, my darling, my very little princess. I love you.” Philothea’s heart burned with this love.

The Third Night

Philothea stood in front of the king with three creatures behind her just waiting for her to back away from him into their hideous arms. You must draw closer to the king. Wrap herself in him. Fly and jump to all the very frightening things great love had in store. Why was she terrified of the future? What would happen? This good king had always taken the girl, taught her too quickly. Perhaps the king did not want to wait for her wedding. The beasts were closing in. Philothea could feel their breathing on her back. There was a sound like grinding teeth or chalkboard in her ears, hearing them breathe. They were evil.

Philothea jumped.

She had to keep her feet in the air. “Do not touch the ground,” the king said. “They are there.” He held her up. “You must keep your feet up.” He reassured her, “Don’t worry. We will keep talking.”

They talked all night long. In the morning, her heart felt swollen. She could not see the inside of her heart. All night long Philothea lifted up her heels. Her back hurt. She stayed talking, stayed close to the king. In the morning, the king was no where in sight. His presence remained inside her. That much she knew. It comforted her. She smiled.

What a time night is! Every night was so important. It was so very important.

 The Morning

The new day was different. The king spent much of the two days prior drawing her back to him, back to his arms, back to comfortable conversation with him. Philothea had felt so awkward. Yes, she loved him. He was so magnificent at times. Just looking at her king made her smile. On this new day, she felt sad. Drawn back to her home, she saw her mother, who had ever been strong, now looked weak. Something had changed.



That evening the queen asked the girl to stay the night in the palace. She went, not thinking or considering what this invitation could mean. When she entered she could feel that evening was different than all other evenings.

She was honored to stay specifically at the lady’s request, specifically at the king’s request. She was in awe of the magnitude of this invitation as she walked through those large wooden doors. It was five years ago when she stayed last. She knew so little then. She felt young and scared. The girl was not so scared now. This time the girl had been asked to stay. That request touched her heart.

The girl knew the king better too. It was rare the king should open these inner doors. He invited several to stay to share this audience in the middle of the night. The setting is intimate, private and sacred.

These days the girl saw her king everyday, during the day. To stay longer in the palace in his presence was altogether different. It would be surrounded by the darkness outside and the shining stars, the deep quiet around them and the whispers between them as they talked, candles flickering at his sides.

She could remember.

Because of her memories she dared to return.

What beautiful moments they had! When she saw him the next day, she could see a difference. He was always a king, always noble, always glorious. But during their audience in the night, he was vulnerable, because his love was very simple, very calm, and very strong. He asked little of her in that time. It was her time to come to him with special needs or just to be near him. He welcomed her. She was tired. Her mind wandered over and over again. The hour felt long though it passed by quickly.

If the girl married him the audience would be every night because he would have taken her to live with him. But she she did not go that night thinking of marriage. She was more patient than before. No, she went, honored by the invitation. She went to learn and love.

He listened attentively as she spoke. He spoke intentionally, his words intense and great. The girl rattled off her thoughts, got distacted. He caught her attention, smiled and said hello, called her back to him. He did this several times. Each time she stopped dead in her thoughts and responded, “hi. You’re wonderful” or he would say the same words to her, “you’re wonderful.” That was the time they began to use the word wonderful for each other. The two delighted in their company.

Whatever it had been or for whatever reason this was her invitation. Perhaps the girl could have made more of it. She nearly jumped at the end of the hour, ready to go, ready for sleep. In the morning, the girl felt her place. Still tired, her mind wandered while he spoke. She was a terrible listener.

Oh love! His love and her desire for it would never be satiated. It was a love she knew she could never have enough of. Her heart knew it as well and it breathed, swollen and filled with that living water of his love. Yes, she loved. No matter what, she would follow him in this love.