Showing posts with label danger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label danger. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Fleeing Safety

Fleeing Safety
 Not everyone in that lovely glass fortress was so enthused to be there. On a lower floor, in a back corner of the basement to be exact dwelt two naysayers who rarely mingled with the others. That their section of the glass wall had gotten smudged goes almost without saying. After all, they didn’t want to be there, so why bother polishing windows?

            Gilbert and Arthur were involved in something that looked similar to a game of Chess. They laid out their game pieces to plan their strategy.

“We will be cut off from friends and family if we leave,” Arthur pointed out, moving one of his men.
Gilbert shook his head. “They’ll get over it. They’ll be disappointed, of course, but we’ll keep in touch”—
 Arthur snorted, If we get around to it.”
For a few minutes, all that could be heard was the shuffling of game pieces and the occasional squeak of a chair.
 “They say that the Outside World is flat and there is a tremendous drop off at the edge.”
Gilbert grimaced. “And that we will fall and fall and never stop falling even while being engulfed by flames.” 
                        “Sounds scary.”
`”Sure it does, but we’ll stay well away from the drop off point—if there is one.”
 “Granddaddy says one can be sucked in quite unexpectedly just about anywhere.”
 “How does he know?” 
  “He was there: escaped by the skin of his teeth as it were when a friend was sucked in.”
                   “We’re sitting here scaring each other. That desert looks so beautiful with the setting sun and there’s hardly any chance of sinkholes there.  We are much too confined in here—and bored: let’s just go. We can always come back.”
 Gilbert swept all the game pieces into a cloth bag and tossed it into a drawer.
   “OK, let’s go.” They let themselves into the hallway and looked both ways before continuing.
 “Where are you going?” a sister paused while scurrying down the hall with a tray for an invalid. “It’s almost suppertime.”
 “We’ll be back,” Gilbert answered evasively.
She leveled a thoughtful look at them but didn’t try to block their way. 
             “Let’s try to go out by the concealed trapdoor. That way we won’t be noticed by so many.”
             “Help,” Arthur yelped, “I didn’t know the descent was so steep!” They looked over the embankment, almost chickening out.

The castle was built on top of a cliff with slick embankments on all sides. “I didn’t mean to descend so rapidly,” Arthur muttered, trying to keep his balance while slowing his pace.
                                   Windows flew open here and there.
                                  “It’s Arthur: looks like he’s in trouble!”

 “And Gilbert: throw out the lifeline!”
“No, no, that’s okay,” Gilbert muttered, grabbing on to a thick, twisted root that reminded him ominously of a huge snake. “We’ll make it.”
Prayers ascended up to the King while they picked their way carefully down the steep embankment but they didn’t listen.
“It’ll be better after we get on to the level ground,” Arthur said. He took the liberty to glance back. My, the castle had never looked so beautiful…so strong…and secure…before.

Now that they have faded from our view we will check back at the castle.

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Unknown Messenger

While stooping to fasten his sandals
So no one could look on his face 
The messenger hid his emotions 
Then accepted the final embrace.

 The apostle with tenderness sent him
 On a journey precarious and hard 
And prayed that he would be kept safely
 In the sheltering arms of the Lord.

 In the city of Rome Paul was impris'ned 
Though his mission was not truly fettered 
The youth was his faithful assistant
 To deliver his wonderful letters. 

The streets of the city were crowded 
And the envoy was jostled by throngs
 The Appian Way lead him outwards 
Til at times he traveled alone. 

In a pouch on his belt was the parchment
 Protected most oft by his arm 
More precious than water or victuals
 He was careful to keep it from harm. 

The cobblestone road lead him at length 
To a bustling harbour and dock 
But sailors must wait on their omens 
They were a timorous lot.

 At last the sea journeys were ended 
And on foot he would travel again 
With Christ as a caring companion 
He never did feel all alone. 

At noon the sun beat without mercy
But night left him feeling the chill 
Though hunger and thirst often hounded 
The mission he vowed to fulfill.

 At eve he lay down in the starlight 
And thought of his Father and Guide 
But if storm clouds would thicken above him 
An inn was the place to reside.

 At last he reached troubled Colossae 
With words from the famed brother Paul 
The scroll was cherished and preserved
 A message for saints then and now.

Marilyn Friesen

Monday, 7 December 2015

The Flood From a Child's Viewpoint

The Flood from a Child’s Viewpoint

Have you ever gotten the feeling that there were things in the Bible that didn’t seem right but you thought you should bury your head in the sand and pretend you didn’t notice? One question you might have asked yourself is: why did God allow man to have a free will then destroy him with a flood?

Shaba’s eyes rounded in horror and he clasped his hand over his mouth to keep from vomiting, or worse yet screaming. He couldn’t keep from staring at the charred bones in the pit of ashes. At first he was totally frozen to the spot then completely involuntarily his foot nudged at the bones. Yes, it was a skull, a tiny human skull. He knew it was, had known it would be. A shadow felt across the pit, a huge black shape holding a machete. Before he had a chance to flee or even scream he was yanked by his hair and dangling a foot above the ground.
                “Ha! I knew your curiosity would get the better of you sooner or later! Yup, that’s your kid sister alright. Made a mighty good sacrifice, she did, but not as good a one as you would have.”
                Shaba wanted to wriggle and try to get free but was too terrified. The monster-like man whipped the machete within a hairbreadth of his neck then slowly pressed it closer, drawing blood.
                A small crowd was gathering around, some cheering him on.
                “What do you think guys? Should we take this one?”
                “Nah,” one of his companions drawled. “He’s too skinny. One brute a night is plenty or it will get too common.”

                Faintly over the breeze they hear someone with a strong voice speaking.  Shaba saw the crowds’ attention shift from him to the distance preacher. Mobid’s grip slackened and Shaba fought desperately to get away.
                “Hey, I didn’t say you could go!” But Shaba had vanished, a ripped piece of his tunic dangling from Mobid’s hand. Mobid lunged after him but he didn’t have a chance.  Shaba was fleeing for his life.
                “You okay, Shaba?” The small boy shrank back in terror into the dark recesses of his thatched roof hut. He was pretty sure who was looking in on him but wasn’t about to let his presence be known. Not yet.
                “C’mon Shaba, you’ve been hiding here most of yesterday and all night. Mobid and his gang are picking on other prey. Let’s go find out what Preacher Noah is talking about. It’s pretty safe if we get up close to the ramp.”
                Shaba knew that was true. People hurled insults or even rocks from a distance at the old man but they seemed afraid to do it within twenty feet of him. Did they think he would strike them dead or something? It took a long time for Raibo to convince him to come out, and when he did it was only because Raibo had slashed open a pineapple and coaxed him to come out and help him eat it.
                The boys slipped stealthily through the lush, over-grown jungle, ever keeping a wary eye open for vicious animals and even worse humans.
                Raibo pushed his way through the restless, scoffing multitude hanging around the ark that was being built, with Shaba at his heels.
                Shaba felt his tension slowly ease away when he gazed into Noah’s kind, gentle eyes.
                Most of his sermon was hard to understand but he knew that Noah was pleading with the people to repent of their wicked ways. Shaba knew what wicked meant. He saw it every day. Every day someone was being abused. He didn’t know the words to describe what was happening mainly to little kids like himself and Raibo, but he knew it was evil, very evil, and terror haunted him wherever he went. He looked longingly at Noah and his wife, his three sons and their spouses and knew with a certainty that they never ever had treated each other in the way that every kid and women in his village were molested.
                Noah was begging them to find safety in the Ark because a flood was coming to drown all the bad people. Shaba didn’t need anyone to tell him what a flood was. He would never forget how some older boys had thrown him over a small waterfall and he had thrashed and screamed his way to shore. How he had survived he would never, ever know.
                “Shaba!” The barked command made Shaba’s knees buckle. Was it Mobid? No, but it was just as bad.  The crowd quickly parted as his dad shoved his way through and flung Shaba on the ground. A woman tittered nervously as Jakal thrashed him.
                A sharp cry came from the Ark’s doorway. Jakal rose and shook his black hair out of his eyes, glared at Noah then continued beating the lad.

                Another stern command came from above, and Raibo said later he thought for sure Noah and his sons were going to plunge into the crowd and break up the fight, but just then Jakal yanked Shabo to his feet and dragged him away. Raibo didn’t dare follow, he was sure Shaba would be killed anyway.