Ishmael

Ishmael, a character in my book is about to read my story.  That’s not his real name, but it suits him.  He is a Moslem.  Before reading it, I was at pains to explain who “the King,” the main character in my book is.

“We worship the same God,” he replied, wanting peace between us.

Are God and Allah same

Really?  I heard the same thing from my new age publishing consultant.  She believed the market would be fine with my story as “any deity could play the King.”

“You mean, Jesus could be the same as Allah?” I asked, to clarify.

“Well, yes – as the Bible and the Quran contain many of the same elements” she replied.

It is true that Islam’s warlike prophet Mohammed did include parts of the Bible in the Quran.  The Gospels had been around at least 500 years before Islam.

But both books can’t be right.  I made it quite clear before publishing the book that I would not change the name of the King or dilute his persona or character – not for anybody.  He is who he is.

wpid-who-do-you-say-i-am-question

“Who do you say I am?”  Jesus asked. 

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. 

These are the questions we all have to decide.  I only hope my book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” presents the King as he is in the Bible; the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God. 1 Timothy 1:17

For Ishmael’s sake, I did try to read the Quran years ago.  I got through a good part of it before stopping at the part which advocated killing Jews and infidels.  There are over a hundred verses in the Quran dealing with Jihad or holy war.  That’s why we’re having so many problems with terrorism, which would be better named “Muslim fundamentalism.”

At his arrest, Jesus, the King in my story, told Peter “Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  Matthew 26:52.

Jesus fought with a different sword – the word out of his mouth.

After praying for wisdom, I tried a different tack with Ishmael.  I looked at who Jesus, Isa is in the Quran.  Much to my surprise, in the Quran Jesus is called “Spirit of God” and “Word of God.”  And he is mentioned more in the Quran than Mohammed, their prophet.

But it’s like the truth is veiled from Ishmael.  His religion is designed to keep them away from Christ.  Knowing that only the true God can remove the veil.  I presented Jesus, Isa to him as the “Spirit of God.”  I can remember Ishmael referring to Jesus as such.

The Bible explains that with the Lord, there is freedom; “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:16-18

This poem is for Ishmael.  Although we are related through Abraham, peace cannot come through compromise.  To agree that God and Allah are the same is to break the first commandment, which says;  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:1-3

Ishmael, my brother,
 How long shall we fight each other?

My brother from times bygone,
 My brother - Hagar's son,
 My brother the wandering one.

One angel was sent to us both,
 One angel watched over our growth -
 There in the wilderness, death threatened through thirst,
 I a sacrifice on the alter, Sarah's first.

Ishmael, my brother, hear my plea:
 It was the angel who tied you to me. . . .

Time is running out, put hatred to sleep.
 Shoulder to Shoulder, lets water our sheep.

Here is a Moslem who was asked “who is Jesus?”  It’s 3.31 mins.


God is fussy about His name.

Islam has 99 names for God and they don’t match up.

How Muhammad Broke the 10 Commandments – #1 I am the Lord thy God

Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:11-12

Chapter 62 Choosing the chosen

ChosenAs soon as the Princess had closed the door on Isaac, Ishmael appeared.  He spoke of his longing for her, saying he wanted to be with her and was flying over from Australia.  It came as no surprise; she always knew when she was on his mind.

As soon as she got his message, she ran to the King. “Oh no!” she said, aghast.  “What is going on? I close the door on Isaac, and there is Ishmael. Now what do I do?”  The King replied “You know what you must do. It is time to make that choice we spoke of. Choose ‘the chosen’. Choose him now.”

The Princess scowled.   “Do you know what you are asking me to do?  The one you have chosen does not want me!”  The King was silent.  She cried out to the silent King “Isaac does not want me, Ishmael does!”  The Princess shook her head, her response a question; “This is so hard. I must choose a man who rejects me?”

Although she wanted the man who wanted her, she knew how wrong that was. Until Isaac appeared, Ishmael had her heart. Now Isaac had her will, and her grudging respect. The King had both her heart and will. It was to Him she looked now. She had not foreseen that Isaac would have a love interest.   She had known that Prince Mentor, with his ‘lady friend’ was Isaac right from the start, from the signs the King had given, signs that had been very clear and specific. Prince Mentor himself had confirmed he was Isaac. Bowing to the King, she knew her reply to Ishmael had to be that she was choosing Isaac, which meant choosing rejection. It felt like she was choosing the wrong thing. “Don’t trust your emotions” she counseled herself, as she sang a song the King had made her learn by heart;

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5

She sought the King. “Look, I am going your way, even though I disagree with your choice. I find Ishmael to be far more attractive. He was head and shoulders above the rest, and had no equal in my affections. He was the one who restored my self-esteem and got me back on my feet. Until Isaac came, he had my heart.”

The King replied You are right not to trust your preference for Ishmael.  The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

The Princess replied “Yes I agree, and for that reason I will trust you rather than my injured feelings. You know my heart. I have chosen Isaac.”

The King smiled. “Now we wait ….”

She did not have long to wait. Ishmael received her reply and let her go, and even though he was jealous, he wished her all the best with ‘Isaac’. Even though she wanted to run into his arms and tell him in her misery it was all wrong, she had chosen someone who did not exist for her, she held back and kept silent. They would always be friends, and she knew she had his respect. She thought of the choice she had made between Ishmael and Isaac. One knew the King, one did not. One was chosen, one not. One she knew, the other would have to be on blind faith.

The home grown song “Loyal’, written by the New Zealand artist Dave Dobbyn, was on the radio every day – a theme for the yacht races that were being held at this time. To mark this turning point in her life, she dedicated the song ‘Loyal’ to the three of them – Isaac, Ishmael, and the King. The last verses ended with Isaac.

LOYAL

(To Isaac)
I can’t remember last time I thanked you
Keeping my distance unintentionally
Too close for comfort just ain’t close enough
If I could have more time we would brainstorm

(To Ishmael)

And I love you tender but we must walk awayLoyal
Keeping you on my greeting card file
And if it were different – but you know it ain’t
Let’s get on with it love

(To the King)
Call me loyal – I’ll say you’re loyal too
I know you’re loyal – I feel your loyal truth
Call me loyal – I’ll hold you loyal too

And we are loyal – Keep it that way

Out in the battle flung far and used
Where does allegiance lie sometimes?
When all of your hopes and all of your dreams
Are too much to value in one moment

And all of us anxious but why hurry love
History’s here and now
Oh, oh and why are you waiting – waiting for what?
The history of some love?

Call me loyal …

(To Isaac)

We are loyal – haven’t you known me long enough now?
If I could see your heart right now
Maybe there’d be a change or two
Call me loyal … Keep it that way now.

The Princess made her choice.  Nothing was said to Isaac.  She had gone back to hiding behind her work and professional mask.  That same day, Isaac was rejected by his lady friend, telling the Princess about it at work the next morning.  Although chastened he did not seem all that upset. She remembered how the King had said “to man belong the purposes of the heart, from the King comes the reply of the tongue” and laughed, making a jibe about Prince Mentor’s map. It must have been wrong because his lady friend had not seen ‘the big sign in the sky”.  Isaac looked at her, dumbfounded at her lack of sympathy.

Stung, he replied “Well, there is plenty of choice after Claudia. I already have someone else, but I don’t think you will want to hear that.” He was right! His words found their mark. Angrily she snapped at him; “Why did you even say that?  Listen, I don’t give a stuff about your love life!  Are you fishing?” His open and honest face was flushed with consternation “Fishing? No …” he replied, as she downed tools and stomped off to the staff room with her coffee cup. Isaac followed her down the corridor. “Why are you angry?” he asked.

‘Not telling you …’ she thought, finding another reason to get mad at him.  Who did he think he was – God’s gift to women? Prince Charming, he certainly was not.

The Princess rounded on him in the staff room. “I told you right at the start of our working relationship, leave the man\woman stuff out of work and we’d get along fine. You haven’t done that!” she replied angrily, wishing that once the day’s work was over, the King would send him far, far away. Iceland would be good.

The whole day turned to custard after that. The King was not able to be there in the presence of all that deception, and left them to it. The work did not progress, the day went badly, and she was not there for her children after school. Prince Mentor behaved really badly, and she could tell the King was not with him that day. It took all of her patience to deal with him in her usual smooth manner.

The King told her of her worth, to believe in herself and not to let it get to her.  “You are the gold” He said.  If that was true, then why could Prince Mentor not see it?  Why was he treating her like this?  She had been expecting rejection, but could not cope with having her nose rubbed in it.  After the Princess was warned he did not want any uncomfortable moments, she had reassured him she was not interested in a relationship.  She had no time for anything else but the work and her children. That was the truth at the time.  He had not listened.

She went to the King and gave Him the story. “Please, I think this Isaac thing had gone far enough. You heard him. His signs, prophetic words and dreams all pointed to his “lady friend”. If it be your will, then please release him from the story. Let him have what his words have made real. Get me out of this, and find me what I do need. I do not know what you are doing! Is being treated like this what I need? Father, you are hurting me. What did I do that was so wrong that I should be treated like this? I did not ask you for a bad thing.”

Bewildered and lost, she was hurt beyond reason. Isaac plus lady friend had caused her map to make no sense, and if the signs were wrong, now she did not know where she was. It was like she was standing on a hard rock plate that rendered her compass useless. In front of her, all she could see was the vast, trackless desert. With no landmarks or reliable map, there was no way home.

The Princess picked up her shield of faith that bore the symbol of the covenant promise. Her courage returned, and she addressed the King; “Perhaps I was relying more on the signs than I was on you. If the signs, dreams and prophetic words that he has received do not point to me, then my signs must have been wrong. How I do not know, for they could not be clearer. Anyway if my signs were wrong, then please reveal it to me and lead me on a safe path.

I am sorry that I was more interested in the signs being right than I was in this wonderful Prince you found me – please forgive me for the sarcasm. I am sorry I got impatient with him. I know that his rejection of me is not your rejection of me. Anyway, it does not matter, as long as you love me. I do want this prophetic gift, but it is a hard thing to swallow when I see things and know things that I did not wish or choose for myself. Help me to take care when handling your Word.

You know, the desert is not so bad – look at what I have learned in the dry land. Please help me to forget Ishmael, for I know I cannot look back. Please help me to forget Isaac, the one I had hoped for, because I know I cannot look forward.

Iliafi said ‘let the days speak to us’. These days speak to me of Ishmael and Isaac, of rejection and dragons and impossible choices. Help me to slay the dragons and live in the present. I can make it on my own, as long as you are with me. Your shepherds rod and staff, it comforts me.”  The Princess bowed and walked away.

Chapter 61 Ishmael and Isaac

god-quote-pictures-life-quote-pics-sayings-images-600x337Ishmael was on the mind of the Princess, and she let something slip about him when Prince Mentor walked into her lab later on in the day.  Prince Mentor slowly said “That is significant. I have been told about Ishmael”.  She replied “I never meant to say anything about ‘Ishmael’. I don’t even know how that came out”.

Smiling he replied “I understand how it came out. I was meant to hear that. It will be a test of your trust in me.” She hated it when men demanded her trust, but she let it pass. The things the King had shown her were kept to herself. She was not ready to reveal all she knew. Wary, she waited to see how he would treat her before she decided about trust.

The Princess asked “What does Ishmael mean to you?”   He replied “Ishmael was conceived before God had made the covenant of circumcision with Abram. This covenant marked the point at which Abram became Abraham. The addition of the H denotes the breath of God, and by implication the holiness of God. Abraham asked God to bless Ishmael, which God did. God’s covenant was with Isaac though.   The Hebrew meaning for Ishmael is, ‘God will hear.’   Isaac means laughter”.

From his reply the Princess could see that the King had not given him anything specific about her Ishmael, and relaxed, choosing a safer subject.  She spoke of the others she had met on the path; “The only difference is that with the others, I have picked and chosen who joins me, lately I haven’t been given a lot of choice!” Smiling, he replied “You mean He has chosen for you!”

Why did he say the King had chosen for her? She shot a quick look at the King. Had he revealed anything to him about being chosen? Prince Mentor continued “He’s bringing you to a point where you will have to face some issues. When you chose who walked with you it was possible to avoid those issues”.

She could not ask what the chosen meant to him, instead asking “What are you talking about? My gut feeling is you are normally open and honest, but you are holding something back. I can and I will figure it out”. He replied “As for holding something back … yes and no. As you start to understand the prophetic gift you will realise why this is so. He has shown me stuff that I can’t tell you, He will in His time.”

He continued “I can tell you that His revelations help me from taking offense. Essentially it gives me grace to handle the ‘tantrums’.”

He revealed “I’m sharing part of a prophetic word over me, which should also give you more insight into what is happening. “….God says ‘…. For you have the ability to touch those that others can’t reach. You have the ability to really reach out to some that others don’t even want to be a part of.’….””….For God says ‘I’m releasing even within you the healing anointing that you can be able to walk with the heart that needs to be mended, needs to be made right, needs to be made whole.’ For He’s taken away the hurts, and the pains, and the sorrows, and the frustrations….” So as you can see, I’m only following part of His calling for me.”

Need Direction  Jesus is the way  John 14:6The King bid her step forward and reveal herself. Gingerly coming out of hiding, she revealed who she was. She showed him her map. “At the start of my journey the Lord told me to set up signs and mark the road, and I did. I used the bible to do it; I use it as a map – that’s how I know where I am, and what this is. I use a Kingdom story, which is my safe place where I can go to work out stuff with Him, interpret the signs, get rid of dragons, and correct my walk”. Prince Mentor replied “His word is the Atlas. He gives me dreams and visions as mud maps.”  He smiled as he added, “So that’s how I know where I am. He also gave me a good dose of discernment.”

Stunned, she said “I feel like I am going into a different world a part of me knows, but never dreamed would come true. The Kingdom was a place where I could go, hear from my Father, and work out stuff in the outside world – it was a story!!!   I am shocked to see it become real. Oh, what have I done?” Prince Mentor replied “You haven’t done anything. Remember this saying;  ‘Courage is fear that has said its prayers’.”  She described Isaac, but kept hidden the fact that the King had told her to ask from him, just before she had met him for the first time five years ago.

“In the story – Isaac is the one who knows the King, bows to Him, is taught by Him, understands scripture, wears armour, and has conquered the dragon in bloody battles, yet laughs easily. Isaac knows the desert, for he has lived there too. He’s Ishmael’s younger brother, but the inheritance is his. He is my equal.”

“I met Ishmael while I was walking through the desert. Ishmael won’t inherit what the King has, for he believes the King’s book has been changed, and so cannot accept the truth. I tried to help him towards the truth. I know the Father’s word never returns empty, and pray that He will come to know the King like we do.”

She showed him the places where she existed and walked with the King.  “The desert is a harsh place; it leads to places like Samaria and Ishmael. I had been choosing the wrong places to go for water. The only well I knew was at Samaria, and I did not want to go back there, nor could I go to Ishmael.   The Lord took me back to Samaria, showed me the woman there, taught me about living water, and showed me what to drink. I said ‘the well is deep, and there is no cup’. So anyway I seem to have ended up here, with a bucket – when a cup would have done, a mentor I have to get close to, and a well that I did not trust because I thought it was deceptive. I didn’t trust you, so I had to test the waters. I am sorry for the bad temper, but I am wary, and here be dragons. I don’t know who I am yet, in the Kingdom story I write, I have no name.”

Isaac replied “That confirmed most of what I had been shown. I did miss a couple of details, though I wasn’t surprised because they fit the scenario”. He said “Remember, Isaac has fought those dragons too”.

Cautiously testing the waters, she said “I know who you are”. He replied “Prince Mentor. There’s an irony to this that makes me laugh each time I see Him work like this.” Then he indicated where he wanted to go with her, “Some of Isaac’s mentors may appear to be dragons at first. You may be required to give them trust as well. Only time will tell on that score. To be scared is fine; just don’t let a spirit of fear take control. He never intended our walk to be a stroll in the park. We will have mountains and valleys to traverse; we just have to ask Him to be there with us.”

What did he mean by ‘Isaac’s mentors’?   She grew uneasy. Where was this going?   Then he went completely off track.   “You realise, that when things develop further with my lady friend, I will have to let her know about the ‘mentoring’. NOT THE DETAILS, just the fact that it is happening, and perhaps who is being mentored. You don’t need to worry about this, but you do need to know where I stand. I will be making myself accountable to pastoral / eldership oversight on this. No details, but my accountability person will know who it is. I’m praying who that oversight should be. If this is unacceptable, let me know, and mentoring will cease forthwith.”

She realized that although he heard nearly everything, he understood nothing, and was still focused on his imaginary lady friend! She had shared nearly every precious thing the King had given her, and watched him trample it underfoot. Who did he think he was? After the grief came anger. How DARE he try to take control?   What did he want to construct, another triangle?

Growing angrier by the minute, she threw the bucket down the hill and snapped at him, “What are you talking about? I only need you to mentor me at work!  I can look after myself, and I don’t need anybody to rescue me!”

After putting him in his place, she retreated into fuming silence and sulked.   He could see the door was closed, and misunderstanding his role he said “I believe you are missing it as far as the mentoring thing is concerned. I recognise it is my role to show you where healing can be found. Perhaps give you some insight as well. We obviously have different definitions of mentoring.”

“Obviously” she fumed. This prince thought she needed rescuing, not courting. Angry, she went to look for the King. “Where are you?” she cried.

The King replied while her daughter was watching the Princess Diaries, saying;

My dearest daughter,
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on, you will be travelling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey   –   the Princess Diaries

fear-has-two-meanings

Chapter 56 American Eagle

Desert EagleI say my purpose will stand
And I will do all that I please
From the east I summon a bird of prey
From a far off land,
A man to fulfill my purpose,
Isaiah 46:10-11

The Princess got to know Prince Mentor’s phone number by heart.  He complained she always managed to interrupt his shower or his shaving, no matter what time of the morning she rang.

She had to rely on him, and she hated it. He did not try to undermine her, or make her look bad like her “mentor” at the previous job.  The only fault she found was he could give long-winded explanations, and forget about traps for the unwary.  There were plenty of them.  Sometimes he thought something was easy, when it was not. She broke something at work “which would only take fifteen minutes to do” and he was not there that day to help fix it. She was annoyed at him.

The day after, while he was helping fix the problem, she let her resentment against him show. “If not for you, I would have got away from here.”  He shot back, “Don’t blame me for being kept here.”  Not daring to explain the King’s will she replied “If you had not resigned, this job would not have come up, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation!”  He shrugged and laughed “It’s too bad.  Find out what you are here for! I have no sympathy.”  Irritated, she kept her silence.  She knew why she was there, but he didn’t, clearly.  “To man belong the purposes of the heart, to the King belongs the reply of the tongue.” She kept silent.

At lunch, Prince Mentor revealed he was an American.  His father had been a helicopter pilot in the US Army in Central America and South East Asia, then he flew for a firm called Air America.  At the end of the Vietnam War the family settled in New Zealand.  She went still, casually asking him “Where do you come from in the States?” He replied “I come from Florida”. She stirred her cup of coffee and kept silent as her mind quickly fitted the pieces together.  Prince Mentor watched the spoon go around and around in her cup.  “I think your coffee is stirred” he said quizzically.

She listened as Prince Mentor talked about his childhood as an Air America Brat.  Princess Eve had said Prince Mentor had an interesting story about where he had come from, but she hadn’t taken much notice at the time.

At the end of the day, she said to the King who was smiling; “So, the chosen is American.  Who knew?  His accent sounds like he was born and bred here, from the South Island perhaps. No, I am not going to tell him what you said.  Stop smiling.”

Later, she dismissed it.  She was simply reading too much into things.  It was all just a lot of coincidences, one after the other. It was nothing, really.   She had to keep both feet on the ground and watch that imagination.  The King had said “From the east I summon a bird of prey.”   Both kingdoms of Ishmael and Isaac bore an eagle for their symbol, Ishmael’s was a golden black eagle, Isaac’s an American bald eagle.

Iraq and America were on the news every day, for the kingdoms were in conflict. The King told her Iraq represented Ishmael, and America represented Isaac.  She looked back at the brown eyed, golden skinned man from Iraq, who still waited for her at the oasis and said “Isaac is not interested in me, but Ishmael is.” She had not stopped messaging Ishmael.  He was a salve to her wounded heart, especially in the light of Prince Mentor’s indifference.  It appeared that both men had been summoned from a far off land.  Which would fulfill the King’s purpose for her?  Her heart already knew the answer.  Above her, the eagle flew.

Chapter 52 Closure

WholenessIshmael was angry when he heard about Silver-tongue.  She in turn got angry at him.  He was in the same company, and he wanted her as well. Who was he to talk?  Taking up her sword, she asked “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 20:6

Ishmael did not understand.  She aimed her sword at Ishmael, wanting to wound him. After Silver-tongue, the Princess had made a vow to herself never to get involved with another married man, and now she had nearly repeated the mistake with Ishmael.  “Who are you to get angry?” she snarled, “You are just like him, you are just like them!”

Stung, Ishmael replied “Yaaaa, I think you are right! It is better to FORGET IT.”  She had more to say to Ishmael, but the King got in front of her.  “Let him go” He commanded, adding “he is not the one you must fight. You have to forgive” he stated.   She looked at him with anger and deep hurt in her eyes. “If you are ever going to have a future, you have to let him go” the King repeated.

The anger came back like a boomerang, directed at herself.  What was wrong with her?  Why was she still friends with Ishmael, who could not be trusted?  Could she not trust herself?  The self-esteem that had been restored by Ishmael came at the cost of self- respect.  An affair with a married man was vomit she did not want to return to.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11. 

She studied a passage from the scriptures that she did not much like.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.  2 Timothy 3:1-9

The Princess flinched from the accusation she heard in the words.  “Am I a woman who while always learning, can never learn?” she asked in anguish.   The King came to her and sat her down so that they were eye to eye, brushed her hair back and met her tear filled eyes.  “Listen to me carefully.  Over the centuries that I gave my words through men, I could not always do much about the tone or delivery.

My servant, the apostle Paul did not mince his words.  He was a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee.  I did not intend what you heard.  When the man you called Silver-tongue wormed his way into your home, you were too trusting, swayed by desires that brought you harm. Even though he’s intelligent, because of that pride and false image of himself, he’s always learning, but never able to come to know the truth.”

Understanding came.  Wiping the tears from her smarting eyes and blowing her nose, she reflected on what she heard; “We need to be really careful in the last days, because there are bad people who prey on trusting people – people whose desires will cause them harm.  The abusers look for these vulnerable people to exploit, but it doesn’t matter how clever the abusers think they are, or how much psychology they learn – they will never change.”

Change spotsKing nodded as He replied;

“Can people change the colour of their skin, or a leopard change its spots? If they could, then they that do nothing but evil could learn to do what is right.”  Jeremiah 13:23

The Princess replied “I now understand why got me to guard myself with the words from Psalm 101.”

The deeds of faithless men I hate;
They will not cling to me.
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with evil.

He smiled and said “It worked.  In the years that your home was an unsafe place, I never stopped guarding you and the children.  You were in the double fisted grip of the Father all the way.  I will never break that grip.   She smiled at Him in gratitude, thinking of the first words she had ever heard from Him back at the Pits.  He had said;

How can I give you up, Israel?
How can I abandon you?
My heart will not let me do it!
My love for you is too strong.”  Hosea 11

She said “Thank you for your fatherly care of us, and for never giving up on me.”

Chapter 50 Wellspring

jesuswell“Oh, God, no” the Princess groaned.  The King wanted her to tell the workplace chaplain about Ishmael.  Afraid, she made a silent deal with the King.  “If he comes out of that office right now and heads over to my desk, I will talk to him”.

Immediately the King fetched him.  “Oh, bother” she groaned but kept her side of the bargain.  He was a good man and she trusted him.  “I must speak to you privately about something.”  She met him in her own time outside of the office and told him what had happened.  Prince Robert listened carefully and they prayed about the matter.  She felt she was in a safe place, and a sense of relief at being heard.

He called to mind a poem that spoke of her situation;

“There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk”

Chapter One
“I walk down the street.
 There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
 I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
 It isn’t my fault.
 It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
 There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
 I see it is there.
 I still fall in… it’s a habit.
 My eyes are open.
 I know where I am.
 It is my fault… I get out immediately. 
 
Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
 There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
 I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street."  by Portia Nelson

“Where are you on this journey” He asked.  “I am somewhere between hole number three and four” she replied ruefully.  “It could have been worse he reassured her.  “You stumbled, but you did not fall.”

“Would you like to walk a different road?” he asked.  She nodded.  He introduced her to his wife Princess Linda, who was running a course in the Kingdom called ‘Search for Significance’, a safe place where women could go to learn more about the Father heart of God.  In the beginning God created men and women in His image, to be in His family, but after the the fall they became estranged, and disinherited.  It got worse with each generation.  Instead of being a father, God became a judge.  In His attempt to be reconciled, He sent His son the King to save them.

John3_16At times the Princess had wondered why the King bothered with her, and with these thoughts doubt would follow.  It helped the Princess better understand the Father of the King.  She learned how much people mattered, how great the value of every life to Him, and the lengths He would go to save them.

One night, led by Princess Linda, they came to the well at Samaria, a desert well where they saw the King talking to a Samaritan woman.

“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’

She replied “I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (for Jews do not associate with Samaritans).

Jesus answered her ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water’.

‘Sir’, the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get the living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself?’

Jesus answered ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming back here to draw water.’

He told her, ‘go, call your husband and come back.’

‘I have no husband’ she replied.

Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband.  The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is quite true”.  John 4:7-18

The Princess understood where they were going with the teaching.  The King had already taken her there after her encounter in the desert with Ishmael.  “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvationshe heard the King promise.  The Princess smiled.  The King had given her a place to head for on her map.

Instead of reflecting back on what they were being taught, the Princess asked “Where is the well of Salvation?”  Princess Linda groaned, thinking she had gone off on a tangent.  The Princess realised she had been given a private revelation, and went back to knowledge, to show she understood what was being taught; “I can see that the Samaritan woman wasn’t sure what the living water was that Jesus spoke of, but she wanted what He offered.  She walked alone and no longer wanted to keep coming back to Jacob’s well, a place where she was not welcome, to draw water.  I know that like her, only the King can meet our thirst.”

Chapter 49 The band of gold

Hosea 2-19

The wedding band and my bible

The Princess talked to the King about Ishmael.  It was a go nowhere romance.  She looked at the King with tears in her eyes. “I hate this. I cannot have him by my side, for he is married to another, and not from this Kingdom.

He belongs to that terrible prophet who cared nothing for women and had all those wives, the youngest of who was only nine. You had no one, for you gave yourself for us, to save us. If only he could see the difference between you.”

She felt she had been put in Ishmael’s life to be a friend, and a witness for the King and the Kingdom. Everything she could do for him, she had done – but instead of wanting the King, he had turned around and wanted her.

She should dismiss him as a liar and an unfaithful person and walk away without a backward glance. If she took that road, she would shrug him off and walk away – but she would hate and despise the memory of him.

He had been her friend.  She did not want to go there. If she could not hate him then the only other choice was to feel something for him.  It reminded her of the affair that Silver-tongue had lied and manipulated her into.  She gritted her teeth. Why did he have to act like that? She had been content the way she was.

Justin's 13th birthday 2002

Justin’s 13th birthday 2002, shepherd’s staff in background

She was sick of the emptiness, the loneliness, struggling through each day on her own, the unwanted advances from men, and the children being fatherless.  There were no male relatives on her side, and the young Prince Justin had grown nearly as tall has her.  Although she made sure her children spent as much time as they could with their father’s parents, her son needed someone while his father was not around.

There was this one thing she was glad of, the regard for her she had seen in Ishmael’s eyes. He esteemed her.  In her heart she treasured it. Love was love, even if not from the right man.

At work she looked at Ishmael’s empty desk and although she missed him, she realised it was the King she wanted.  He had to be number one.  She called out to the King loudly and powerfully in her mind; “It is you I want, you. It’s got to be you!   I choose you, not Ishmael.”

As soon as she could, she ran into the Kingdom, seeking the King. Finding Him in the desert, she bowed saying “Jesus, Lord.  It is you I want, you I need, you I choose”.

The King drew near and spoke;

Therefore I am now going to allure you;
I will lead you into the desert
And speak tenderly to you.
There I will give her back your vineyards,
And will make the valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope.

Then you will respond as in the days of your youth,
As in the day you came up out of Egypt.
In that day”, declares the Lord,
You will call me ‘my husband’;

You will no longer call me ‘my master’.” Hosea 2:14-15

Soon after the day the Princess made the King first in her heart, she was sitting with her children in front of the fireplace, where they found two rings on the chair.  One was a gold wedding band, the other a smaller ring with a diamond chip.  Putting them away, she asked everyone who had ever visited the house if they had lost the rings.  No-one came forward for them, and the gold band became hers.  She kept the smaller diamond ring for her daughter to wear when she was older. It was a mystery where the rings had come from.  She held the gold band it in her hand and studied it.  It fitted her third finger perfectly.

She spoke to the King.  “Lord, this jewellery is a puzzle to us, for the rings seem have appeared out of nowhere.  Did you give these rings to us?”

The King nodded, saying “Now we are on the same page, read further.”  She read the next lines of Hosea.

I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In loving kindness and mercy;
 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.
  Hosea 2:19