Shaking her head, the jaded Princess looked away as she retreated from her friend Princess Eve’s question. They had met for lunch at a café called the ‘Red Eye’, an alternative place in an old Victorian building. Princess Eve knew the King, but did not trust Him when it came to matters of the heart.
Their lunchtime discussion had veered off into men, love, and relationships. The Princess had endured too much abuse and just wanted to be safe. Forgetting the King’s promise she had gone back to survival mode, where dreams were forbidden. She said “I no longer believe in love. Even if I did, what good would it do?”
“I believed; therefore I said,
I am greatly afflicted,
And in my dismay I said,
All men are liars.” Psalm 116:10-11
“We live in a small town, population 40,000, give or take. Of the single men who do follow the King, there are precious few, and I do not want or need a man from outside the Kingdom. Let us say this fictitious Prince did come along, even if genuine, I would doubt him, I know I would. I would be waiting for the abuse to start, or the cheating. What’s the point? Right now, I am happy. I do not need or want a man to interfere with that.”
“Help, Lord, for the godly are now more;
The faithful have vanished from among men.
Everyone lies to his neighbour;
Their flattering lips speak with deception.” Psalm 12:1-2
“What about Liang?” Eve asked. Frowning, the Princess replied; “Liang was a good man. While he treated me well, the relationship did not heal my heart. The scars remain.”
“Yes, that is a shame. I know you have grown very cynical” Eve remarked. The Princess nodded. Unseen by them, the King heard every word.
The Circle of Friends met that very night, at Mara’s place directly across the road from the Princess’s house. Princess Eve was not part of this group of friends, so no-one knew what had been discussed at lunch. Helped by the King, the Bright One passed around the circle words on ‘Discerning genuine love’. The paper went around the circle, then stopped and started again. Everyone got a different paragraph about genuine love to read out. White Flower’s was “It does not seek its own” which the Princess thought very appropriate. White Flower had to read out;
It does not pursue selfish advantage. It does not have primary concern for sexual appetites or social status but concern for the needs of the one (being dated) and the families involved.”
When it came to her, Princess was startled to find hers was “It hopes all things.”
She had to read out;
“It knows no fading of its hope.
It is not fickle. It has perfect peace and confidence that God is primarily responsible for introducing the right partner at the right time.”
The King had spoken. Her eyes met the King’s, convicted by His words. He looked at her without having to say anything. After she mouthed the word “sorry”, He replied;
Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
“According to your belief will it be unto you. Don’t doubt my promise.”
The Princess took the hope the King extended to her that night as a precious gift. Hope as strong and as frail as the butterfly that fluttered its way through the hidden land of the Kingdom, on its journey to find the tree of life.
She carefully folded the paper and kept it against the times when she would be assailed by doubt. Feeling bad about her lack of faith, the Princess repented and apologised. “Lord, I am sorry. I was wrong. In my mind I felt beaten, but pessimistically I will cling to hope!
I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” Mark 9:24