Friday, June 8, 2012

Freeform Friday Week 2

Make of this what you will. Sometimes parables speak louder than words.

An old man stared back at the soldier as he passed by a mirror, and he stopped humming. It was an old song he hummed, one his forefathers sang, and he particularly liked the chorus which said, ‘there is no glory here, only pain and only tears, only blood and only fear, there is no glory here.’

He didn’t know why he liked the song so much; perhaps because it rang true, but before he could think about it any further, he was drawn back to the face which stared at him.

If not for the eyes, he would not have recognized the haggard, graying man staring at him. Why was he so sorrowful? The soldier wondered. Why did weariness seem to define him, and why did the man in the mirror remind him so much of himself?

The soldier sighed, and went about the task of removing his armor, no longer surprised to see as many arrows and knives sticking out of its back as stuck out of its front. It had sparkled once, this armor of his, back when he was young and new to the ways of war.

He’d been excited when first he was called to serve, he’d heard the stories like other young men of his age, of victories, and epic battles, and valiant warriors who though outnumbered fought until there was no enemy left to fight.

He even used to notch his sword once upon a time, reveling in counting the number of enemies he’d felled on a given day, but with age came wisdom, and wisdom dictated that there would always be another battle, another skirmish, another enemy, until there wouldn’t, and in that moment none of the things he saw as badges of honor would matter much anymore.

The battle had intensified of late, the enemy had breached the walls of the citadel, and now it was no longer a battle of bows and arrows and spears – it was a battle of sword and knife, and fists and boot heels. Hand to hand, man to man, doing all you could just to hold your ground, and if need be go down swinging to protect those you were sworn to defend.

Each day seemed harder than the last, and each day fewer men showed up on the battlefield, and more showed up on the sidelines. Perhaps guilt over their cowardice drove them, or just something as banal as boredom, but most on the sidelines called out to those on the battlefield shouting advice, or orders... ‘advance, advance, lunge, parry, faster, quicker, bring your shield up, keep your head down.’

Thankfully there were still those few scattered among the throngs of spectators who brought out a cup of water, or bandaged a wound when the battle waned for a breath, those who saw the battle for what it was, and not a romanticized version of what they imagined it to be.

Why couldn’t they see, that if not for the duty and the calling, if not for the hope of future glory, every soldier on the battlefield would have thrust his sword into the earth, laid his shield beside it, and walked away long ago?

Some who still took to the battlefield each day knew each other only by reputation, while others among them had formed bonds of friendship. To the last, they were men of valor, bound by the calling, and compelled to duty by Him who called them to the task at hand.

Thinking of what was, and dreading what is to come, the soldier closed his eyes hoping for a few hours of restless sleep.

Blinking the sun out of his eyes, and gritting his teeth against the pain, the soldier stirred from his slumber. He went about his task with practiced efficiency, an efficiency that can only come about by endless repetition.

He lashed on his armor, every worn strap and cinch sliding into place as though driven home by an otherworldly force, took up his sword, and shield and proceeded to the battlefield once more.

Perhaps this is the day, he thought, swinging his sword as if for the last time, perhaps this is the day I hear ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’ And it will have all been worthwhile.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Jeff Conrad said...

Thank you for sharing this. Was a great way to start the day!
Your brother in Christ,
Jeff Conrad
Cumberland Road Christian Church, Fishers, IN

Anonymous said...

Wow -- thank you! I needed these words today.
Cyndi in MN

Anonymous said...

God bless you for your faithfulness, obedience, and sacrifice. I thank God that you will soon be home with your dear one for some well-deserved R&R. At least I hope you get some R&R, there is always work to do there too. And I think you need some prayer too ---

Lord, we lift up Michael to you and ask that he enter into Your rest; let him lie down, and his sleep be sweet. Let him dwell in the secret place of the Most High; let no evil befall him; only with his eyes let him behold and see the reward of the wicked. Let your angels bear him up in their hands, and keep him in all his ways. Let him be healed altogether; and be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of Your glory; show him the chariots of fire surrounding him in this battle; let his strength be renewed, let him mount up with wings as an eagle and run, and not be weary, and walk, and not faint.

Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come. Hallelujah. Maranatha.

Your sister Carol said...

Dear Mike,
I am asking the Lord to give me words for you. I read deep sadness in your words and my spirit is stirred. I will communicate again when I can.
Lovingly in Christ, Your sister Carol

Your sister Carol said...

Dear Mike,
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is nothing new under the sun. Eccl. 1:9

In Jesus' time the religious class was proud of their knowledge of the Word and their achievements.
Synagogues everywhere were full of pride and self-assurance. We are now in the fullness of time for the church age and there is nothing new under the sun. Jesus is calling us out to follow Him away from stifling, stale air to His bright sunshine and fresh, fragrant air; to look neither to the right nor to the left but to look only at Him and to learn the freedom of the children of God.

And now my parable for you, my much loved brother.

There was a solar system that had two sister planets. One planet was big and full of strange people. The other planet was small and full of warm hearths and companionship. One day a little boy living on the small planet was transported with his loving family
to the big planet. He found the planet to be arid and strange.

The Master of the solar system put him to task in a mechanical world of gears and cogs and whirling activity. He had to learn quickly how not to be eaten up by the mechanical eyes of such a strong machine. It was all so confusing, frightening, and lonely. It was a harsh world.
As he grew he learned to understand the system and sought to be trained to handle the machinery. He soon was living part of the time on his planet and was comforted at the warm hearths. His Master would send him back to the big planet to work in the cold mechanical world. He wearied of the work. But something happened one day. He had become carefully molded and shaped by the master and he now belonged to neither his planet nor the big planet. He had transcendeded the solar system and with his faithful guide leading the way He was allowed to see His true home and the Love of Loves. Enamored with the most beautiful person in the universe he forgot all his many scars and hurting places and walked brightly and lightly in all places no longer weary and dejected, his inner being dazzling with love and beauty. It was a long journey for a little boy and he was finally, truly home in his heart and his "...soul is even as a weaned child." psa. 131:2
Lovingly in Christ, Carol