Chapter 10 Standing in the gap

stand-sermon-slideWhite Flower gladly came to the aid of the Princess, assisting with the heaviness that cloaked the princess so she could shoulder into her armour. Then after consulting the King, White Flower joined in the fray.  The dragon retreated, surprised that now there were two armour clad Princesses waiting for him, ready to go on the offensive.  
‘One can put a thousand a flight, two can put ten thousand’ (Deuteronomy 32:30)

Afterwards, the grieving Princess struggled through the days, cloaked in heaviness.
“If my troubles and grief were weighed on scales
They would weigh more than the sands of the sea.”  Job 6:1-2

One night she discovered a remedy for the heaviness.  The King appeared and pointed to her stringed instrument by the fireplace. “Play for me” He said, sitting down. Playing by ear, she chose Psalms written by Israel’s King David that resonated, words that had music in them, words that she would remember.  When she stopped playing she noticed the horrible cloak had been replaced by a new garment that shone in the light. “It is called the garment of praise” said the King. He said “You wear it well, for it lights up your face when you sing. It will help with the spirit of heaviness.

“I will give those who mourn in Zion
Beauty for ashes
The oil of joy for mourning
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”  Isaiah 61:3

Then the King led her to a place beside a deep, clear pool of water. It was a quiet place, a still place where the silence waited for prayers. He stopped her in that listening place saying “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.  There was concern on his noble face.  The water reflected in his eyes as he looked at her.  He said “I have brought you here for a reason.  I need you to pray for Kate.”  She looked down. Her heart felt hard towards the other Princess.  She replied. “She has chosen her path. We both know where that will end – in the desert of need, next to the ocean of pain, where the waves of hurt roll in. I cannot stop her going there. If she needs others, I know that they are there to pray for her.”

The King made her look at Him. “Yes, others can pray for her, but I need an intercessor.   Do you know what an intercessor is?”  She frowned and replied; “Someone who can stand in the gap and pray, standing in the other person’s shoes?” “Yes” replied the King, “you have walked the same path.” She ran her hands through her hair and sighed. “Yes, Lord. She is going down the same crooked path that I trod. So I suppose that I qualify for the role of intercessor.  I will do it, even though I don’t want to go there.  I am afraid to stand in the gap. I expect I will come under attack from the dragon for it.

The King nodded his head in understanding, then picked up her helmet of salvation and put it on her head.  Her green, teary eyes met His through the visor as He promised “Tears may flow in the night, but joy will come in the morning.”  She knelt at His feet.  He comforted her.

The days passed as she interceded, walking in the Kingdom to the place of intercession.  “What should I call this place?” she asked.  “Clearwater” the King replied.

One day Kate appeared, looking fragile. Her smile was brittle.  “I have come to tell you that it is over.  I have broken free.  The Lord our King gave me the strength.”  Rejoicing, she gave thanks to the King for the other Princess.  Freedom from Silver-tongue brought friendship.  To celebrate, they ate together.  Over dinner Kate said “I have met some bad men, but this one was evil.”   The Princess shuddered and replied “I agree.  He had no conscience.  I read the book you recommended, ‘Men who hate women and the women who love them’.  It described him well.  He has all the characteristics of a Narcissist.  It has brought me understanding.”   Kate nodded as she said “I knew you would see it.”

Kate brought out a bottle of red wine, which the Princess recognised from the label.  “That was mine!” she said, shaking her head.  “He turned around and gave it to me.  Let’s have a toast with OUR wine” said Kate.  Laughing, they drank toasts to the King, each other, and even Silver-tongue who had unwittingly provided the wine.

As she drank the wine, the King promised

Never again will I give your grain
As food for your enemies,
And never again will foreigners
Drink the new wine for which you have toiled.” Isaiah 62:8

In the weeks that followed, she talked to Kate often.  It helped them both to recover from their involvement with Silver-tongue.

Silver-tongue had over-reached himself with Kate, and received more than he’d bargained for.  Kate knew a lot of people, which gave her a network of informants.  She soon found out the truth about Silver-tongue and his wife, and told everyone.  Now he could no longer hide, and had to slither off elsewhere.  The Princess had tried for three years to find out what she was now hearing, but she did not have the networks that her friend had, and Silver-tongue was a secretive man with no friends.  Silver-tongue ended up with a very bad reputation, which he probably had anyway.

The Princess laughed to imagine the discomfort that Kate had caused him, but winced whenever her name was linked with his.  She was embarrassed that she had not been able to find out the truth like Kate had.  She felt like a fool, and did not want her involvement with Silver-tongue made public knowledge.  Unfortunately Kate was talkative and spread it far and wide.  She supposed it was the price she had to pay for the truth.

When she talked to the King about what she had learned, He replied; “Secrecy was his biggest advantage. You deserved the truth.  This will bring closure for you.  The King continued; “I know what made him choose his ways, whereas you can only guess at the reasons. I have heard it talked over between the two of you.  You are straying into judgement.  I want you to become a good judge of character and have discernment, but leave it to me to judge what makes a person evil.  Do you understand?” the King asked. She nodded her head and bowed to Him.

‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live’.  Ezekiel 33:11

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