Faith Victorious: Chapter Two

Fiction By Kyleigh // 12/1/2009

Chapter Two: The Young Lieutenant
            Tuesday afternoon Timothy waited by the well, his back resting against the poles that supported the roof which covered the opening of the well. Young girls carried buckets to fill with water and take home. Carts rumbled by, the drivers struggling to avoid ruts in the road. Timothy breathed in the air. I love this city, he thought. Soon a hand came to rest on his shoulder, and he turned.
            “Ah, good afternoon, Keegan!”
            “The same to you,” Keegan stepped aside revealing a young lieutenant behind him.
            “Archibald,” the young man said, reaching out his hand for Timothy to shake.
            “Timothy.”
            “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Archibald smiled warmly. “Mr. Keegan has told me very much about you.”
            “Has he indeed? Well, I hope it has all been true and good.”
            “I’m sure it has, Mr. Timothy.”
            “Well, let’s find a quiet place to sit and talk,” Timothy suggested.
            “I was thinking that the North fields would be nice on a day like today. We can walk on the pathways between the fields as we talk.”
            The three men journeyed the short distance to the North fields just outside the walls of the city. There they could talk freely, without any chance of being overheard by prying ears – if they were of the wrong sort of ears, it could mean death for all three of them, or at least imprisonment.
            “So, what is it you want to know, Archibald?”
            “Just Archie, please,” the young lieutenant said, picking a head off of a stalk of wheat. Then he sighed. “Before coming here, I was stationed in Hânlïe, where things are very different. No one speaks of the Creator – no one dares to, under pain of death of the mention of His name – the king’s spokesmen there refer to the Creator as a nonexistent being, created by the first men to explain to their children creation and such things. They deny His existence. We hear of those who follow Him, but nothing is said about them except that they are poor subjects of the king as they refuse to follow his laws. I started in Hânlïe when most people had been subdued. Followers of the Creator had been subdued. I met some who used to follow Him, but in turn believed what the king was saying, and turned from their old ways. Others hinted at still secretly believing, but followed the king’s laws outwardly. Still others we say being executed or taken away to be imprisoned.” Archie paused. “I want to know, Timothy.”
            “Know what?”
            “What’s true. The king and his government says that the Creator is a lie. While I was young, I was taught that the things they say are lies. Both cannot be true, yet I do not know which one can be true. If the Creator is real, if what His followers say is Truth, then why do the kings of all of the Kingdoms of Edaled suppress that? How can we stop them if they speak lies?”
            “You ask many good questions,” Timothy said. “Some of which I cannot answer for you, but you must seek for yourself. The easiest to answer is perhaps the one that you will find for yourself as you learn, but the Creator is not the only power at work in the world. There is Daron, a dragon, who like the Creator, works in the hearts of men. But Daron and the Creator are at war. The battle has been fought that determines the Creator’s victory, but there are still fights along the way before Daron will accept defeat. He rules in the hearts of most men to twist what the Creator says.”
            “Which in turn says that the Creator is real, to say that.”
            “Which is why you will find it for yourself. I daresay you don’t believe me yet, thus you don’t accept my answer yet.”
            Archie nodded. “I see that something must have created this, as everything as beautiful, and many things less beautiful, as this world require the hand of a designer, but is the Creator of the world still at work? Why does He not just create and leave His creation?”
            “You create things for a reason, do you not?”          
            “Aye.”
            “Thus the Creator created the world for a reason, and thus He does not leave it unattended. The Creator is the most glorious thing that we can imagine. He deserves all of the glory on earth. But we often steal that glory for ourselves, glory we need to give Him instead. We were created to glorify Him.”
            “Is that not egocentric?”
            “Is it egocentric for one who is truly the greatest at all things, to wish for honor and glory that he deserves? Is it egocentric for an officer to demand the pay that he worked for?”
            Archie shook his head. “I am beginning to see, but these things go so deep that it cannot be decided in an instant. It is so complicated, yet there is an immense and uncomprehendable beauty to it, something that dares you to look into it more and requires you to study it constantly in order to understand it.”
            Timothy nodded, and so did Keegan. “And that is what walking with the Creator is about – learning His ways, learning about His glory and His character as He teaches you more about Himself.”
            Archie picked at another head of wheat. “I must think about it,” he said. A small frown appeared on his lips. “But at what cost?” He then asked.
            “Perhaps your life,” Keegan said. “Perhaps your commission. Perhaps nothing. When the Creator calls us as His children, He calls us to suffer. You must be prepared for that. But the glory we will see one day when the Creator returns in all of His glory and we can worship Him forever will be far greater than the temporary suffering we will go through here.”
            Closing his eyes, Archie shook his head. “I must think,” He said again.
            “Think as long as you want, Archie. We will pray as long as you think, and far beyond that.”
            Archie nodded, then looked at the sun. “I must get back to my post.”
 
            “How did it go?” Caithlin asked when Timothy arrived home. She took his hat from his hand and put it on a hook behind the door. Timothy ran his hand through his hair.
            “I do not know for certain. Only the Creator knows. The lad is seeking, he wishes to know what the Truth is, and he weighs what he has been told by the government and what he has heard of the Creator. I have no doubt that the Creator is at work in his heart drawing him. We must pray for him.”
            Caithlin nodded, and slipped her hand into her husband’s. “Does he know the cost?”
            “Aye.” Timothy sighed. “But I do not think he knows the cost the Creator paid.”
            “Then you must tell him next time you see him.”
            “Aye. I only wonder if I am willing to pay a similar cost. I pray the Creator will not call me to decide between my family or Him.”
            Caithlin quietly looked up at her husband. “But if He does, be sure that He will give you the strength to not deny Him, as He did your ancestors.”
            “Fagan… Brianna…” Timothy said pensively. “It has been so long since they lived, yet these times are so similar. I thank the Lord that they have preserved what they were taught by writing it down. I just wish…” he sighed. “I wish there was a way that we could get these things,” He looked toward a book on a shelf, “out to more people.” The book was handwritten, passed down through the generations from Fagan and Tabitha, when they had moved to Ladylan so long ago. But the words had never left their family except orally. Tabitha and Fagan had carefully written down the words of Adan, with much prayer so that they would not write it down wrong. Caithlin and Timothy treasured that book, reading from it every night alongside the Creator’s Law.
            “There will be a way,” Caithlin encouraged. “Though we may not live to see it.”
            Timothy furrowed his brow. “Is that supposed to mean something?”
            “Not that I know of. But any day we may die. Any day any of us may die.” Caithlin trembled, and Timothy drew his hand out of hers to wrap her in his strong arms.
            “And then all the sooner will we be in Glory with the Creator.”
            Caithlin put her head down on Timothy’s chest, quietly resting. Timothy knew she was praying, and silently joined her in prayer.
 
            “I’ve been thinking,” Archie told Keegan the next week.
            “How’s it been going?”
            “I believe that there is a Creator. And now that I look, I see Him at work everywhere, Keegan! In the beating of my heart, the birds singing… everything! And I see how He deserves the Glory for it, I see it!”
            Keegan embraced Archie, his face lit up. Almost as quickly, he released the young man. “We must go tell Timothy. There is much more to the story of the Creator than creation!”
            Quickly, Keegan and Archie walked across the town to the fields where Timothy worked during the day. “Timothy!” Keegan shouted as they approached the field. Timothy looked up and waved, then put his scythe down.
            “How’s the harvest coming?” Keegan asked as Timothy approached them.
            “It’s coming,” Timothy replied, taking his hat off and wiping sweat off of his forehead. “I am glad that this year we agreed to work our own fields and only a little extra instead of everyone working everyone’s fields.”
            “I would nod and agree, but I know nothing of fields and harvesting, only soldiery.”
            “And of that I know nothing,” Timothy said, laughing. Then he noticed Archie. “Good morning, Archie!” He greeted cheerfully. “How are you today?”
            “More than well, Mr. Timothy, more than well!”
            “How so?”
            Archie grinned. “Because I now understand more the glory of which you spoke of last week. And I’m ready to know more. Keegan says that there’s much more to the Creator’s story than just Creation.”
            “Indeed there is! I have not the time to stop and talk now, but we will eat lunch in less than an hour, and you are welcome to join me at my home.”
            “That sounds fine,” Keegan agreed. “Caithlin’s cooking is wonderful!”
            Timothy nodded, then put his hat back on.
            “Will she need telling that there will be two more for lunch?”
            “No, I often bring home others working in the fields, especially the young men who work to pay off their fathers’ debts.” Timothy shook his head. “Let me warn you both now, while you are young enough to be warned – never, never go into debt! ‘Tis an awful thing, especially when you have to sell your own children to work to pay it off.” He sighed. “But look at me! At the rate I’m talking the very same thing will happen to me.” He returned to his work in the fields, and Archie and Keegan stayed on the edge of the high stalks of grain talking.
            Soon the three of them walked toward the house. Timothy pushed open the door, and soon Jeffrey and Kianna surrounded him with hugs, climbing all over him and telling him about their day.
            “Hello, love,” he told Caithlin, stooping to give her a kiss as Keegan and Archie entered. “Keegan and Archie will join us for lunch.”
            “I’ll set two more places!” Kianna said, glad to have company. Jeffrey had quickly found his usual place on top of Keegan’s shoulders, and now looked down at Archie from his perch.
            “Hello, up there,” Archie said. “What’s your name?”
            “Jeffrey!”
            “How old are you, lad?”
            “I’m four years old!”
            “I wasn’t nearly as tall as you are when I was four.”
            Jeffrey giggled. “Time to eat!” He said suddenly, seeing the food on the table. Keegan helped the boy down and everyone took their seats around the table.
            “Let us thank the Creator for providing the food we are about to receive,” Timothy said. Archie looked puzzled, but followed suite when everyone else held hands and bowed their heads. “Creator God, we thank you for providing this food to nourish our bodies. Thank you that You are the Bread of life, and we pray that You would nourish our souls, and give us a hunger for You more than we hunger for this dinner now. Be at work in our lives, bringing us closer to Yourself and teaching us Your ways. In Your name we pray, amen.”
            Caithlin began dishing soup into bowls from a large pot. Kianna smiled at everyone, for no reason in particular.
            “Kianna, can you tell Mr. Archie and Mr. Keegan about what happened after Creation?”
            Kianna thought for a moment, the smile now gone from her face. “With Nathan?” She asked finally.
            “Aye, with Nathan.”
            “Well…” Kianna pondered this briefly, then spoke again. “Daron came, and then Nathan let him into his kingdom… Sealyn, I think. But that was breaking the Laws the Creator had set up, because Daron wasn’t excellent. So the Creator left Edaled. But he told Nathan that someday He’d send a way that would pay for what Nathan did and restore the relationship they had before…. right, daddy?”
            “Right, Kianna.” Timothy took a hunk of bread off of a plate and dipped in his soup. “Do you understand that, Archie?”
            “Somewhat,” Archie said between bites of bread.
            “Nathan broke the Creator’s Law, and because the Creator is so Good, He cannot tolerate any disobedience, and any disobedience must be punished. That punishment was separation from Himself. However, as Kianna said, He promised that one day redemption would come and restore that relationship.”
            “Adan?” Archie asked.
            “Aye, Adan. The Creator sent His son to fulfill that promise.”
            “Then why has the Creator not returned yet?”
            “Although the Creator left physically and we can no longer see His presence, we can still have fellowship with Him – we always have been able to. Do you remember the day walking through the North fields when I talked about a battle?”
            Archie nodded. He finished chewing, then spoke. “You said that it was like a battle being fought and the outcome being determined, but surrender had not yet happened.”
            “Exactly. So it is with the Creator. Through Adan He has claimed the victory over Daron, but He is waiting to make His Glory known in fullness in a way that will bring more Glory to Him.”
            “When will that be?”
            “No one knows the day or the hour. We pray it will be soon.”
            Archie turned these thoughts over in his head silently. “How does one become a follower of the Creator?”
            “Believe that this is true, and act upon it.” Timothy sat back in his chair, looking at Archie. “But that is only the beginning of it. It goes much deeper than that, as you will find.”
            Keegan nodded in agreement. “And dedicate your life to the Glory of the Creator.”
            “It’s that simple?”
            Timothy laughed. “Aye, ‘tis that simple, at least at first.”
            “But what does Nathan’s disobedience have to do with me?” Archie asked suddenly.
            “Daron now fights for the hearts of all men. He controls desires that the Creator put in for good. We are no longer good, but are sinners because we fall into his traps instead of following the Creator. Sin is like high treason. And you know the punishment for high treason.”
            “Aye, death.” Archie said darkly.  
            “And Adan took that punishment in your place.”
            Archie’s jaw dropped. “Why?” He questioned. Kianna looked up at him because of the sudden change of his manner. Instead of eagerly wanting to know more, he now quietly waited for an answer. Archie was sitting in awe of what the Creator had done.
            “So that you can be united with the Creator, and with His help overcome Daron’s traps.”
            “For me?”
            Tears filled Timothy’s eyes, and soon Archie’s overflowed as well. “Yes, for you,” Caithlin finally said when neither spoke.
            “Oh, it’s too much!” Archie said. His shoulders shook as the tears ran down his cheeks. Treason, treason, treason… he kept thinking. I did that, and yet I’m forgiven, and not just acquitted, but acquitted because someone else took my place. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
            Jeffrey climbed down from his chair and into Archie’s lap. “It’s alright, Mr. Archie.”
            “That’s why I’m crying, Jeffrey. I’m crying because I’m such a great sinner, but the Creator is a great Savior!”
            “Because Adan died.” Jeffrey said knowingly. “That’s why we’re free.”

Comments

Wow!

I really should go back and read the rest of your stories, Kyleigh, because this one is amazing!

Julie | Thu, 12/10/2009

Formerly Kestrel

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