Looking toward the top of the small broken down castle, I wondered how I could climb the jagged and rocky staircase. My heart sank as I looked into the hollowed out stairwell and noticed thick and out-of- control vines blocking my path. I had to get to the top; there was an urgency to get to what I had once hidden away for safekeeping.
The light was dimming - this was my last chance. Tearing at the vines with bare hands I cried out, " Please Father, help me to reach it!"
With bleeding fingers I clawed and snapped the vines, knowing that I had to reach the top of the castle remains. I would not be back - it had to be now...or never!
With darkness now upon me and only a lighter I had found deep in my pocket, there was a fear that I would again fail my mission. Breaking off a thick piece of vine, I used the lighter to set it alight. I could see crushed stairs above me and what looked to be broken windows to the side but I had to press on.
Suddenly there was a wide gap where stairs once were...too wide to stretch. Looking around I saw more vines...they seemed to be coming from one of the broken windows and wedging themselves along the wall.
Grabbing at a thick piece of the vine with one hand and trying to hold onto the lit piece with the other hand, I managed to haul myself to where there was a small place to put a foot in the wall, and then step across to a pile of large rocks.
Ripping away the last of the vines, I made my way to the top. I looked toward the place where there had once been a small room that had served as a lookout. Everything looked so different...cold and uninviting. Moving to the main watch-point hole I was confronted with more vines. They had climbed up and through it, wedging themselves in the crevices around the hole.
I had no way of knowing if I could find the pocket above the window. The small space I had hidden what I was now looking for. Laying aside the slightly burning vine on the floor, I pleaded, "Once more Father I ask for your help - these vines.. I need strength to break them."
Grabbing at the vines and sucking in my breath, I gave one mighty heave backwards and heard the loudest 'snap' I had ever heard. Falling backwards, I watched as some stones fell with the vines. Gathering up the barely burning vine, I poked about above the hole then stopped - tears began to well up - my fingers touched something; it was there.....It was still there!
Reaching my fingers in a little further, I started bringing it out. My heart was beating so fast. The tears just rolled down my cheeks as I held it in my hand. There was no more light! Pulling out my lighter and grabbing another piece of the vine from the floor and lighting it, I gasped. My eyes fell upon the dusty brown leather....."Father you did it! How can I thank you? It's here!"
Crying and laughing I dropped to my knees, touching the leather of my very first Bible. I had placed it in a leather binder to keep it safe forever. As I opened the cover I found a card that had been given to me by someone very special...It was given to me the day that I truly accepted Jesus into my life. I wept as I remembered my friend who was no longer alive...but they were tears of joy.
There was my baptism certificate, and a precious letter. Carefully opening the letter it began with: 'TO MY CHILD'. It was called The Father's Love Letter....and it was about my Father....and it was to me - and it was signed: 'FROM YOUR DAD'.
My mission was complete. My Father and I had done this together - and those vines can only be called blessed now. It seems that God's love attaches like those vines - winding and twining itself through every fibre of our being - hiding the treasure of this love from the timeless weathering away, so that it always remains warm and just like new.
Thank you Father. I love you.
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