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Portrait of a Hero

Part 1

At last! With a deep sigh, he was home for the day. The nobleman was weary from a long day at the palace. His favorite part of returning home was her warm embrace.

After his wife passed away, his connection to his daughter became especially important to him. Their grief forged a special bond between them. After tying up his horse, he rushed through the front door of his large estate. With joyful anticipation, he called out for her. “Father! You’re home,” was what he expected to hear. His only greeting was silence. It was the kind of silence that leaves you with an eerie feeling in your gut. Something was wrong, he could feel it.

“Ah.” He thought. “She is likely feeding the fawns which pass through our back fields!” Still, he had to know where his Princess maiden was. Exiting through the back of his massive home, he looked to the fields. Both near, and far she was not seen. The fawns were roaming with their mother. She was nowhere.

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He called out to her. No answer. Concern turned to worry. “What is happening here?!” He muttered in frustration. Sure she was a maiden and no longer a child, but even at fourteen, a girl needs her father!

Wasting no time at all, the Duke strapped his sword on, wrapped his cloak around himself, and mounted his steed. “Yaw!” He hollered, and away they went. He rode past the estate and through the village. Upon arriving at the town marketplace he searched with expectancy. Unable to find her, he questioned with angst, everyone in the crowd. Sadly, he was met with solemn faces, shrugging shoulders, and shaking heads. His search produced nothing more than confusion, and then panic. (It was highly unusual to see the Duke in the marketplace or riding through the town at sunset.)

It was getting dark outside. The Princess maiden was nowhere to be found. After searching the high side of town and turning up empty, he resorted to searching the slums. Jolting his horse down one street and up another, he was desperate to make up time. (Who knows how long she had been gone.) Just as he was pausing to dismount, and canvas on foot, he heard a voice from the shadows. It was like the sound of an alley cat swallowing nails. “She’s not here your Grace,” the voice said.

“Who said that?!” He called out. “Show yourself” he demanded.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Portrait of A Hero.

The Fallacy of Collective Guilt

I found this article and I agree with it. The Rabbi has very good points. Peace through individualism, peace through unity….both can co-exist.

Rabbi Russell McAlmond

Our criminal justice system is built on the fact that an individual is responsible for the crimes they commit – not their family members or people who look like them.  We don’t judge people to be guilty only because they may look like a person who has done something wrong.  Even identical twins would not be judged equally guilty if one committed a crime and the other didn’t.  This also applies to social justice as well.  There is no such thing as collective guilt – only individual guilt.

The Holocaust, the worst human tragedy in history, was committed by individuals who were primarily German in nationality.  Does this mean that every German who was born after the Holocaust bears a collective guilt for it?  There were some light-skinned people who had slaves in the United States over one hundred years ago.  Does this mean that every light-skinned person in the…

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Portrait of a Hero: Pt. 2

The story continues…

“She’s not here your Grace.” The voice said.
“Who said that? Show yourself!” He demanded

“Who said that?” He called out. “Show yourself!” He demanded. Out of the shadows, an old vagabond woman, devoid of basic hygiene approached. “What do you know?” The desperate father asked. “Tell me NOW old woman, or so help me….” he was beginning to lose his noble decorum.

“Sir, you seek your Princess maiden, yes?” She inquired. “Yes! How do you know?” he was beginning to panic. “Have you seen her?” He peppered her with questions.

“Before the sunset, while sitting there,” she pointed to the roadside, “I was asking for bread.” “I looked up in time to see a well-adorned maiden, passing through; she was strolling with a handsome gentleman.” The old woman went on. “He had her attention,” the father winced as she recalled. “It was like she was under a spell, the way she was drawn to him, Sire.”

“It was like she was under a spell….”

His heart sank, and his stomach seemed to rise to his throat when he heard what was next. The tattered old woman described a kidnapping. “I saw four men,” she began. “They were obviously the criminal kind; nothing like you, Sire”. She contrasted. “What happened?” The father prompted.

She described a well orchestrated attack.” As her attention was devoted to the handsome man with her, the criminals hit her over the head.” “They killed her?!” The nobleman father’s emotions nearly split the seams of his composure.

Looking down with sadness, she said “They took her away, Sire.” Pointing at the roadway, she said, “They quickly put her in their wagon with their stolen goods, and placed a covering to conceal it’s contents, and, they raced off.” She said, “The handsome man did not defend her. He turned, and walked away! It seems he was paid to steal her attention and affection your Grace.” She said, puzzled.

Looking in the direction the vagabond pointed, he saw the edge of town. This was where the town ends, and the dark forest begins. “Did they say where they were taking her?” The father asked. “Only one place those thieves would go.” She replied. Taking in a deep breath and coughing up the sound of a frog…

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“The Hollows, your Grace,” she said with dread.

“The Hollows?!” The father despaired. He had heard of The Hollows. Only drunkards and rotten thieves would be found there. According to legend, The Hollows was the fortress of The Great Violator.

The Great Violator and the nobles had been at war with each other over a decade ago. Until now, there had been an armistice between them. This taking of the Princess maiden was an act of war. The nobleman father knew this. Protocol dictated that he report this to the King. There was no time for that! A father’s urgent pursuit had overcome his noble duty.

Nothing else mattered!

Quickly, with sharp precision he devised a plan. The father turned mercenary, turned hero, stopped at a costume shoppe. He knew he would have to disguise his nobility if he was going to enter The Hollows.

Changed into the clothes of a commoner, he smeared dirt and grease from the road on himself. Mounting his steed he rode off into the dark forest. Coming toward a clearing, he saw a group of thieves standing over a bonfire. He set his horse behind a tree, and tied him to a holding place. With a pat on the neck, the disguised nobleman quietly said to his horse, “Good boy. Stay here.”

The group of thieves were too busy arguing and drinking spirits to notice the disguised man approaching. “Hey!” He said, distorting his voice. Wobbling in their drunken stupor they looked up, with agitation. “Yeah whaddo you want pal?” “I’m looking for some company, the fair and female kind.” He said, with demand in is tone. “Blow off pal!” One of the four exclaimed.

While trying to conceal the fire burning in his eyes, the disguised father lifted up a bag of gold coins. Asserting his request again, he said “I will have myself a girl! Now are you going to get me one, or do I need to talk to your boss?!”

The filth saturated men saw the payment he was offering, and got quiet. “Ha ha?!” The leader burst out with greed. “Right this way, Chum.” Leaving the others standing over the bonfire, he lead his “client” to an extraordinarily large tree. The rancid smelling leader knocked, as though by code: “Knock. Knock, knock, knock, BANG”!

A strange and hidden door, from within the tree opened. Peering in, the disguised father could see a corridor dimly lit with an amber glow. They stepped in. Walking in tandem, they proceeded down the glowing hallway. The corridor led them to a tunnel. An underground tunnel.

The tunnel seemed like a gateway of sorts. A large iron door was in front of the entrance. Once it was opened, the disguised nobleman, and his criminal guide continued their trek. This tunnel was lined with cells. Prison cells! Trying not to stare, but very curious, he saw young maidens chained to their beds! The smell of mold and dirty clothing met his senses. Catching the sight of a couple of these maiden inmates, he realized that these girls were the ones missing from the towns! They had been unseen and presumed dead for months!

He felt his anger rise and his stomach with it. Still, he had to push past this moment. He had to find his child. Feeling as though he could not keep quiet a moment longer, he was about to grab his guide by the throat. Right before he lost his inhibitions, they arrived. Standing at the boss’s door, his guide announced that he had a special customer awaiting. “This one wants our best, boss. He’s willing to pay for it” The guide added.

The deep and hissing voice called out, “Well show him in.” Secure in his disguise, the father walked in. Sitting at a large table, and counting money, there he was. He knew him as soon as he saw him. This was certainly The Great Violator. He was short and rotund. He barely had any teeth, and his beard was wildly unkempt. “I got him from here. You may go.” He said while looking over at the guide.

A door closed behind him and now, it was just the nobleman father, and The Great Violator. He desperately wanted to extinguish this criminal, but deferred. Lifting his payment up to the boss, he insisted he wanted the fairest and the freshest (purest) girl he had.

The Great Violator had eyes fixed on the bag of gold. His eyes twinkled. “Yes. Yes. I believe I can help you….” his words slithered out. “We’ve got a new arrival; soft and untouched. He smiled craftily.

He was lead to a final cell; just a few paces beyond his chamber. Pulling out a ring with large keys, The Great Violator selected the largest one and unlocked the door. As the cell door swung open, he looked in, anxiously. There she was!

The nobleman father had found his Princess maiden, and just in time. Her clothes were torn, and she was chained to her bed. A tray of food was before her, and untouched. Her appetite was lost in the downpour of her tears. The door swung shut. They were alone. She laid there half conscious, and half vacant.

She was scared and helpless. She thought it was her fault that she was taken. If she would have turned away from the handsome young man, she would never have allowed herself to be hit on the head, and stolen away. She felt hopeless; terrorized and exhausted. Seeing a strange, and tattered figure moving toward her, she started crying and flinching in fear. Begging for her life, she did not recognize the man coming to her bedside. Then, he spoke.

That loving, reassuring voice she knew, asked with urgency, “Are you alright? It is I. I’m here, my precious child.” “Father?” She whispered, with confusion. “Yes my child. It’s me.” He gently replied. Looking her over, he saw only minor scrapes and bruises. She had no sign of real injury, heinous, or otherwise. The disguised nobleman reached under his cloak and produced a tool. It was a special tool used to break chains and other solid items. He effortlessly cut through her bonds, and freed her.

Now he must get her out of this dungeon, and back home.

Quietly, like a mouse, her father the Duke quickly subdued the Great Violator before he even saw him. He motioned to his Princess maiden to stay close behind him. Going back the way he came, he and his daughter made their way through the underground tunnel. “The guards must be attending the corridor,” he warned her. “Stay in the shadows until I call you,” he instructed.

Slowly, and carefully, he breached the door from the tunnel. The guards in charge of the amber-lit corridor did not see him, until it was too late. In short bursts, the Duke subdued them all. As they collapsed to the ground, his daughters eyes grew wide; she was in awe and dread as she watched her father subdue her captors.

The disguised Duke turned back toward her and said, “Okay. Come out darling, we’re almost there.” The Princess maiden was unconscious when she was brought to her cell. She wondered how he knew where they were. Still shaken by her recent captivity, but full of love and trust for her father, she followed him as they stepped past the guards on the floor.

One last phase on the course and they would be out. He saw a rope and pulley by the exit. He motioned for her to be quiet and stay in the shadows. He gripped the rope and began pulling, and the door inside the tree opened. Standing over their bonfire, swapping stories, and spirits, were his guide from before, and the four criminals. He saw their wagon of stolen goods close by. “These must be the thieves that the old vagabond told me about,” he thought to himself. With the sound of rushing wind, the nobleman hero took them out! The guide who had called him “Chum”, and one, two, three, four, all the criminals were subdued.

Relieved that his opponents were no more, he was ready to escort his Princess maiden home. She would need comfort, and tenderness from him, to heal from this traumatic experience. But then, his heart sank. He could not abandon those imprisoned maidens he’d seen chained to their beds.

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He secured his daughter onto his faithful steed and rushed back into the corridor. He ran toward the tunnel, (the door was still open). He went to each of the cells which lined the tunnel. One by one he opened the cells, broke their chains, and helped them out of The Hollows.

Once all were evacuated, our hero father gathered all of the oil from the storeroom near the chambers of the Great Violator. Systematically, he doused the tunnel, corridor, and all of The Hollows, using their entire supply. With quick and certain action, he used their torches to ignite the entire realm.

The Hollows burned to the ground that night. The Great Violator, and his entire network of slavers and thieves were no more.

The nobleman father used the very wagon employed in their capture, to deliver all of the daughters of the townspeople who had gone missing. His own daughter stayed close to him the entire ride home. She was comforted and secure. Now that she had been delivered from a fate worse than death, she was able to heal.

He was no longer just a father. He was not only a nobleman. He was a hero; her hero!

The End

A final message from the author: This is dedicated to the fathers who’ve rescued their daughters. My life would have looked much different if mine had done so. But with gratitude I declare that Jesus is my Hero. It is He who rescued me from my chains. You’re never too far gone, that he could not rescue you.

Stay tuned for more from Lady Rock’s Tales-Stories for the Heart

The Provider

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Sharon was a young mom of twenty. Her son, Ben was just four months old when his father left in springtime. This family of two have been on their own for only a few months now. Standing at the window, her gaze fixed on the autumn leaves settling to the ground, Sharon drifts into reflection. She and Ben had seen a lifetime of heartache in the time it took for the leaves to change. Motherhood was proving to be difficult. A recent graduate of childhood herself, she was really raising two people. For Sharon, it seemed hardly possible.

Sharon and her baby were all alone in this world. Fatigue was her closest companion. With two years of college before baby, she was able to get a job that paid just enough for rent and groceries. The abandonment by Ben’s father left her without child support. They were making it, but barely.

Yesterday, Sharon was asked to donate food for a neighbor whose family had been starving. Sharon couldn’t bear to see another family go without. She knew too well, how hard that can be. She quickly opened her cabinets and grabbed everything. She emptied her fridge too. Out of her motivation to help, she didn’t realize that she had given all she had. At dinner time, she and Ben ate leftovers from a community event they had been to the day before.

The next day, while looking through her mail on her way back from the mailbox, she found an unexpected letter. Upon opening, she saw that it was an urgent tax bill. Her eyes widened as her heart sank. The letter said that if she did not submit payment immediately, they would garnish her wages. This would jeopardize her rent money; she couldn’t lose her home! Scraping together the last of her money, she paid the bill.

She turned to her kitchen cupboards to begin preparing their dinner, and they were empty. Even the half cup of rice left in the bag from six months ago was gone. Her fridge had only a small box of baking soda and a light bulb.

The baby must have picked up on her despair because he started to cry. As she sank to the floor, head in hands, Ben’s cries turned to wailing. Now, she was crying too! They both cried until they fell asleep. A couple of hours later, she was startled awake. There was a knock on the door. Feeling spent from crying, and listening to her son cry, she got up and slowly shuffled to the door. Upon opening, she saw that no one was there. As she was about to shut the door, she looked down. There in front of her, on the ground was a big box. Certain that the mail service made a mistake, she checked the label for an address. It was for her! Surprised, and confused she tried to pick it up, but couldn’t. It was too heavy.

With all of her strength, she managed to scoot the box inside. Cutting away the packing tape, and pulling back the flaps she saw that the box was full of food. It had to be three times the amount she had given away! She opened the letter that was laid on top. $300 in cash fell out. Quickly unfolding the letter, she read:

” Dear Sharon,

You are not alone, and you have not been forgotten. With one act of tremendous generosity, you’ve out-given the rich. You have shown great compassion.

Please accept these gifts as a reflection of the generosity you’ve shown. I will send you another one just like it every month. You are seen; you are loved.

Yours, faithfully

The Great Provider”

And every month from then on, she opened a full box just like the first one. Cash included. They came every month until Ben grew up.

For this, she gave thanks.

The End

Happy Thanksgiving from: Lady Rock’s Tales

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It Started With a Dream

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It happened one night as I was drifting off to sleep. I was all snuggled up under the covers; my eyes were heavy, body exhausted, and head sinking into the pillow. The events of the day seemed to fade away, and soon I was off in dreamland.

In what felt like ten seconds, I awoke; alert. Where was I? I was certainly not in bed, nor my room, for that matter. Looking around, I heard only one thing. “Drip, drop, trickle,” was all I could hear. Nothing more, and nothing less. The air was misty, and the space around me, dark. It was cold in this dark and empty place.

I moved two steps, in what direction? I could not tell. Not even my own footsteps broke the silence. Peering down at my feet, I could see that I was standing on the ground; it was dark, cold, and damp. Lifting my left foot to step, a dim, but glowing light appeared. The light shown just enough to perceive that I was in a cave. Glancing down to see where to step, I felt confused. There were pathways leading off in all directions and each of them started right from where I stood.

Taking a guess, I took a third step moving to my left. The silence broke for a brief moment. “It’s not that way,” I heard a voice say. I looked around intently to find the one who spoke, but I saw no one. Feeling scared, I stopped; I took three steps back. Tentatively moving in a different direction, I heard nothing more than the same ” drip drop.”  “Which way do I go, go, go?” I called out, but all I heard was my echo. The glowing light brightened ever so slightly, and now radiated warmth. ” I have got to get to that light,” I whispered to myself.

My clothes went from damp to drenched as I moved faster, attempting to reach the light. But no matter how many steps I took, the light seemed to escape me. Obviously my navigation toward the light was a futile effort. I felt a tightness in my chest, and realized that I forgot to breathe. I stopped, drew in a breath, and exhaled an outcry of frustration; “Where am I,  I,  I ? Where do I go, go, go?” I felt so alone.

Just then, the light extinguished itself. I gasped. At first I was terrified, then angry, and flustered. I opened my mouth to yell, but my voice was gone. Only sounds of wind, and distant waves crashing were heard.

“Tink!” The cave was completely illuminated! The source of the voice was still a mystery, but the way out was now obvious. As I moved forward, determined to exit the cave, I saw that the light was leading me. Leaving the cave, I saw the shoreline. It was dark outside. Moonlight danced on the swells, as the tide came in. What a breathtaking sight. Stars speckled the night sky.

Right before me, there hovered the source of the voice I’d heard. He was glowing with soft white luminescence. His presence was noticeably sheer. He had bare feet and they were not on the sand, or wet from the water. His eyes seemed to peer all the way into my soul!

“But,…” I blurted out, ” I don’t believe in ghosts!” He responded with patience, ” I am not a ghost, child.” Reaching his hand out, I placed mine in his. ” I am here to guide you,” he said, tenderly. His voice pushed past my ears, through my mind, and beckoned my soul. My heart fluttered.

I still had questions that I wanted to ask. “Where are we going?” Or, “Where am I?” And, “Who are you?” Somehow, none of it mattered. He held my hand in his, and I was content. Somehow I knew I was safe.

We hovered the shoreline as we moved forward. Along the coast, was a village filled with people. They could not see us. I observed men, women, children, and babies living and working in a less than lively community. They wore clothing made from animal skin. Their conversations were inaudible to me. It was like we were in a bubble. One thing was obvious. No one smiled.

My guide led me on. Next, we came near another settlement. This looked more like a compound with its’ tents and sheds all neatly lined up. In this place, I saw only men and boys. All inhabitants were dressed identical. They were in matching green clothes resembling a uniform.

No one interacted with the other. All seemed to be driven with a strong sense of purpose. Their faces had no expression, at all.

I looked over at my guide, and tears were falling like bricks from a high rise. Opening my mouth to try and offer comfort, my voice was still gone. My eyebrows pulled in tightly over my eyelids, and I looked at him inquiringly. He saw my concern, and smiled. He attempted to reassure me.

I looked back to the shoreline as our journey continued. We passed by many ocean side communities; they were as far as the eye could see. We made no other stops. He seemed intent to complete the journey.

Sunlight was beginning to breach the horizon. Our journey was at its’ conclusion. I looked at my Spirit guide for an explanation, farewell, or…something.

He spoke with clear, and melodic tones as he told me how our journey was meant to show me something. “Show me what?!” I prompted him abruptly. “You had to start where you were, to see where they are,” he said. “These colonies were from where time began. We moved forward in time, along the way.”

I looked into his eyes, intensely focused. His message seemed very important to him, and I wanted to understand. “You had to see,” he struggled through emotions while trying to explain. “What has been and what will be…” “Yes?!”  I interrupted with anxious inquisition.  “Could you not see their despair?” He probed. “They must know that I love them.”  Next, came the clincher. I heard him say “To save them from a fate worse than death; they have to know that I love them.” ” I need someone to tell them,” he seemed to ache with concern. Tears puddled in his lower eyelids as he seemed to flinch in pain. ” Unless you tell them I love them, they have no chance of survival,…at the end,” he said, sorrowfully.

“The end of what?” I had to know! He said, “…at the end of days; dear one.” That message hit my heart like a thunder clap. I felt the heaviness in the moment. I tried to relate. I wanted to match his concern with mine. My efforts were fruitless. Reflecting back on our ocean side tours, I remembered that no one smiled. They seemed either sad, angry, or empty.

Afraid to disappoint him, I stuttered “Uh…I uh…um…..I’m not sure it should be me.” He turned, and stood directly in front of me. Now holding both of my hands in his, he looked into my eyes, as though intent on viewing my soul. “Will you be my messenger to the people?” Asking solemnly, he said “Will you do it?”

What is holding me back?” Looking away, I questioned my heart. Just then, he touched my cheek and I looked back at him. Our eyes locked for a split second, and then my chest began to ache. Aching turned to gut-wrenching pain! I doubled over, feeling like I had the wind knocked out of me; I nearly threw up.

“That pain you feel, is the feeling of heart break,” he declared. He told me “I have given you the love I have for them, so that you may know with first-hand urgency that they should be spared.”

Feeling his heart for them, I no longer needed to ask what or why. His concern was now my concern. “Yes,” pausing, and then I repeated loudly “Yes!” With much resolve, I said, “I will go! I will be true! I will give them your message; I will go, as you’ve called me to.”

“Well then,” he smiled. Pausing for a deep breath, and then with a sigh, he said, “prepare yourself. It will be like nothing you’ve imagined; it will be better!” He assured me with one final statement, “With me as your guide, you will not fail.”

And, with that,… I woke up.

The End

Roxy and The Great Wall

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Vroom rumba vroom! You could hear her revving up the engine in her small, but powerful sportster. Just a hair shy of reckless, Roxy screeched around corners; she loved the thrill of driving fast. The vehicle? The Spirit 2000. The driver? She is Roxy; a child of The Living God. She was raised by custodians on this earth, but when she became of age, her wheels turned, taking her to many far-away lands.

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Bearing the likeness of a car, the Spirit 2000 was no ordinary sportster. Oh, it had four wheels and a driver’s seat, but it was a cherry red, candy covered super racer. The front grill was made of shiny licorice twists; red, green, purple, and blue gumdrops embellished the trunk. With red, and white striped lollipops for wheels, and a pineapple life-saver as a steering wheel, it was truly one-of-a-kind. This motorized joy ride, with a trumpet shaped tail pipe, sounded just like a tuba when she got moving! (It was her spirit vehicle, rolling on the wheels of life.)

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On a day very much like today, while speeding along, she looked down at her radio, and “Crash!” She hit a wall. Stunned and disoriented, she tumbled out of her mangled vehicle. Looking up, her view foggy, she squinted, to try and read a sign in gleaming font. ‘Truth’ the sign read. This was “The Wall Of Truth“! Roxy had heard of this Wall! She was told that it was kept by an angry overseer.

Curiosity proving stronger than fear, she drew in for a closer look. Rather than running away from The Wall, she studied it. Words like ‘grace, mercy, and kindness’ were inscribed around the word ‘Truth’. Where the lettering was formed with flowers splashed with glitter, she saw her name!

It was then, that she recognized The Wall’s true identity. It was The Pardoner. “This was no accident!” She spouted out. Just then, like a magic hologram, The Pardoner took the shape, and sound of a human.

An extraordinary human, his scent was like sweet, summertime strawberries. He looked and sounded like ‘Amazing Grace’ personified! Kneeling down to her view, he introduced himself. He told her how much he loved her and how often he thought of her. “Don’t be afraid; you will not be put to shame”, he said. Love rippled to her very core.

She felt enchanted, but confused. She believed that The Pardoner was not this loving person standing before her. Roxy believed that he was The Pardoner-of the pitiful. “After all,” she thought, “how could I ask for more than a pardon, on my life? Right?”  “Wrong” he said,  perceiving her thoughts. “I love you with an everlasting love, Roxy.”

She was shocked, yet excited! She couldn’t wait to go and tell her friends about him. This Great Wall Of Truth was love. Looking away from him for only a moment, to check the damage to the Spirit 2000, The Pardoner faded back into the form of a wall again.

Her spirit vehicle was beyond repair. It was totaled. She turned back to see The Pardoner, but she only saw the wall. There was no one around, to ask for help. Feeling stuck, and alone, she became frustrated. Tears turned to sobs. While leaning against The Wall, she cried herself to sleep.

The next morning, she awakened to the sight of her sportster! The Spirit 2000 was mended, grafted, and remodeled as she slept. As she slept?!

How could this be? The accident was her fault, yet it was repaired, and restored while she slept. Studying The Wall, she looked for an explanation. Once again, The Wall transformed. There was The Pardoner. This time, he seemed to her, like a loving father, not just a pardoner. He simply said, “Behold! I make all things new.”

This loving father, motioned for Roxy to climb into her newly remade spirit vehicle. With a grin that seemed to reveal all of her teeth, she jumped in. The engine started up. With gears shifting, wheels turning, putting pedal to the metal, “shzoom!” She took off!

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To this day, Roxy is telling anyone who will listen, about her wonderful car accident. She runs a business now, drawing road maps, and programming GPS trackers. Destination? The Great Wall- Of Truth. She even offers curbside pickup to anyone willing to ride with her.

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Keep an eye out for her. She may be coming to a neighborhood near you!

The End

Identity: Part 2

At first, the guardians were nice. They showered her with gifts. They even doted on her. Back at home; life was tolerable. There was still an absence of laughter. “At least they aren’t hurting me,” she said to herself. One morning, she was startled awake by a familiar sound. She heard a loud BANG! Rubbing her sleepy, confused eyes she got up quickly, and went to her door. As she opened her bedroom door to the hallway, she saw something. There, before her eyes, stood her miserable matron with that same look of scorn she knew from before. Their eyes met. Instantly, the matron had her hands gripped around the little girl’s throat. While being lifted off the ground by her throat, she tried to fight back. It was no use. The matron’s grip was too tight.

What magnified the terror this girl felt, was how quickly the matron’s anger had escalated. Usually it took a while before the matron wanted to choke her. It was as though, new breath in the girl infuriated the miserable matron; she could not stand to see her girl drawing in new breath, and sparkling with new life.

This time the horrible guardian was past the point of no return. Her grip was the death grip. The paternal guardian happened upon the scene and the girl motioned for help. This time, instead of turning away, he blurted out “Oh go ahead!” “Do it already!” He ordered the matron. At that moment, the little one blacked out. Silence…

When she came to, there was her Comforter. Arrayed with brightly shining golden clothes, he stood before her. Was she dreaming?! Was she dead? She looked around and saw no sign of her angry guardians. “It’s okay now, child”, the Comforter promised with an assuring, and affectionate tone of voice. She lifted her arms. Even without speaking a word, he knew what that meant. He picked her up and placed her on his lap. As she leaned into him he could hear her heart beating. He wiped her tears. “Why does it hurt?” She asked. While choking in between sobs she looked up at him and asked, “What did I do wrong? Why do they beat me?” The Comforter drew in a deep breath as he paused; ” because darling, they don’t know who they are.”

He spoke great words of truth, and life to her and she stayed in his arms, for a very long time. He taught about identity and she struggled to understand. With a furrowed brow, she asked, “So, when you don’t know your identity, that means you want to hurt others?” “Not right away,” he responded. His eyes showed sadness as he commented, “I don’t know why they wanted to take away your breath of life; I gave them their own.” “What I do know, my lovely, is that when you lose hope, and have forgotten who you are, it makes for a wicked , treacherous combination.” He continued. “When you know who you are, and the breath of life has been given you, farthest from your mind, is the thought of wounding another.”

“Your guardians lost sight of the truth, as children,” he explained. “You see their guardians failed to nourish their breath of life, so with no cultivation, they never really knew how to breathe.” They did not like that you could, and they could not.”

Looking up at him, while searching his eyes, she asked, “Do I know my identity?” It was as though she was begging, from the depths of her soul, for hope from him. “April?” She was startled and then smiled. “Yes, Lord?” She asked. He winked at her and said, “I think you do; for I have called you by name, you looked at me, and answered me.”

“April!” As though she were trying it on for size. “Yes. I like that,” the girl said. “My name is, April. The Comforter called me by name.” With a sigh of relief, she leaned back into him, and thought, ” Now I know who I am.”

The End

Identity

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

“Why does it hurt?” She looked up to him wincing in pain. Turning his gaze toward her, he replied “You were wounded because they don’t know who they are.” Arms raised up above her heart. Tears streamed down her alabaster face. He knew what she wanted. He reached down, picked her up, and placed her in his lap. She leaned into him. Her heart was beating so hard that he could hear it as she sat with him. “There there darling one,” he said, tenderly.

“How does not knowing who you are, mean hurting others?” She asked, while gasping in between sobs. He could feel her tangible grief. He took in a deep breath, and paused.

This little one needed comfort, and answers. She did not understand that second hand pain was what caused her grief. For a parent raises a child while reflecting their parents. If no love was shown to them, no love is seen by them. Looking back in time, we see the reason for her flinching, grief stricken posture.

This precious soul lived in a world where her innocence was not cherished. Many a criminal had robbed her of this quality. If value, and beauty were objects they would be, to her, a revolving door. Her purity was enchanted, captured, and destroyed.

Where were her protectors while this was happening? The ones assigned to her covered their view of her with the care of another. He was one who came before her. The first born arrived with broken pieces; they were too distracted, by him, to care for her. From their brokenness they attended. Not to her, but to him. For her, the blessings were rare. Their curses were the norm for her.

The matron guardian was especially harsh. She beat the girl; frequently so. The miserable matron left horrid cuts and bruises. They were the kind that cannot be seen. Whenever the blue-eyed girl cried out in pain, the matron silenced her, abruptly. The miserable matron painted such a tainted view of the girl to the paternal guardian, so that when she called to him for help, he would simply turn his back. It became such, that she knew his back, more than his face.

As the girl’s cries for help were treated with unshakeable contempt, she eventually lost the will to cry. She felt angry; broken. Not broken like the first born. Hers’ was manufactured brokenness created by the guardians assigned to preserve her.

With hope broken, despair ensued. She soon found herself sitting in the dirt at the roadside. “Won’t somebody love me”, she called out. She’d heard of the Comforter, but had no hope of meeting him. Or, so she believed.

One day out of desperation, she tried to end her suffering forever. Her hope exchanged for sorrow; she crawled her way into the middle of the road.

Halt!

Everything stopped. Even time itself stood still for a moment. Was she dead? “Where am I?” She asked in a weakened voice.

The most amazing voice answered, ” I have come to give you life dear one.” While stammering to explain, she muttered “Uh….umm. There was…” “No words necessary, my child,” he interrupted. She fainted. He lifted her body with its’ lifeless spirit, and carried her away. As she was coming to, she heard yelling voices, crashing sounds, then footsteps. Panicked, she began to squirm. She was terrified that he would return her to her guardians.

The Comforter did not return her home. Instead he carried her, safe in his arms, for a full days’ journey. He had rescued her, and now it was time to restore her, beside still waters. Her quick and shallow breaths turned into relaxed sighs. She was quite frail, so he fed her first.

As she regained strength, he spoke words of life to her. For every word that she believed, she took a step. After some time, she was laughing, and playing. When she lost sight of the Comforter, she would start to panic. Feeling her chin being tilted up, her eye caught sight of his, and instantly she was calm. Hearing his voice was not only magnificent, it was magnificently needed. Hope returned to her.

With hope reclaimed, experiencing love became possible. The Comforter was, indeed, a miracle maker! Though her wounds were healing, scars were forming. He never pointed them out though. His approach was mending by giving. He mended her wounds by giving her love. For love and comfort were his specialties.

The great Comforter established her in a new home. As she settled in, she was soon dancing, laughing, and climbing trees. The girl made new friends. She’d forgotten about her reviling guardians.

As soon as she forgot them, they remembered her. There was a knock at the door, one morning. Smiling, and completely unsuspecting, she opened the door. “We found you at last,” the guardians exclaimed. Her breath and life were sucked out, like a vacuum, instantly. She tried to scream for help; no one heard. Quickly snatching her, they brought her back to her old home.

….to be continued

Stay tuned to see what happens next!

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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