The prison’s darkness coiled around Joseph like a slithering viper. He felt the shroud of despair constrict his heart, stifling his already labored breathing. The stench of combined animal and human waste seemed even more pungent today. The Israelite slumped forward, grappling for hope.
Had it all been nothing more than an incredible delusion? Was it possible he could have been so misled? Yet his interpretations of the cupbearer and baker’s dreams had been correct. Their dreams had been realized within three days.
The candle's flame on the rock ledge above seemed to mimic Joseph’s spirit. Steadily dimming, it performed a routine of frantic jerks, as if doing so could somehow avert its descent into the warm puddle of wax.
Joseph mused his youthful dreams - the sun, moon and stars bowing down to him. A sheaf of wheat rising up as others bent low in his presence. Granted, telling those dreams to his family had come with a price. It had served only to further ignite his brothers’ jealousy against him. But the thrill at being communicated to by the God of Heaven was one he could not contain in silence. Even his doting father had mocked. Catastrophe had haunted him since.
Joseph stretched across his tattered blanket with legs blotched with bruise. He punched a pile of straw into a mound for a pillow and brushed a mass of ratted curls from his eyes. "I know, Lord you delight in performing the impossible. The ability to interpret dreams could only have come from you. But my own visions from youth have yet to be realized. The light of your promise is swallowed by the despair of my soul.”
The screech of iron doors in the distance squelched Joseph’s pleadings. The clank of keys and heavy footfalls heralded the approach of guards. After a few moments, Admah, Captain of the guard, appeared in the dungeon doorway flanked by soldiers who were brandishing torches and swords. Like a stone on a pulley, the captain raised a massive arm and motioned Joseph forward.
Joseph willed his sore muscles to obey and his thumping heart to still. The last prisoner summoned had soon thereafter been relieved of his head. Maybe this was his answer from God. Death would be quick. It would serve as a certain end to not only his imprisonment, but the anguish of his soul. He was thankful for the privilege to at least walk without the chains.
The troop surrounded the prisoner and marched down the corridor toward large stone stairs. As they men emerged into the courtyard, the bright morning light sliced across Joseph’s eyes causing him to blink against the sting. Like a thirsty sojourner, he soaked in the sounds of chirping birds and the chattering women bustling about their chores at the well. Half blind, Joseph still kept pace with the soldiers’ long strides.
The group entered the palace and after traveling down winding hallways, finally approached the King’s receiving chamber. Two sentries heaved large double doors aside permitting the mission’s entry. Joseph's head remained bowed, his eyes still squinting from the light, when Ahmad’s footsteps halted.
"I hear you are the one with the wisdom for dreams," a voice boomed ahead. Joseph nodded slowly, his mind whirling. He had not forgotten the stern voice of his king.
"I have been distressed with dreams of my own. I would like for you to provide their meaning," the king commanded.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Joseph blinked, hardly believing his eyes. His brothers were bowed low at his feet, oblivious as to the identity of the powerful man who stood before them. He was living the vision! Having been placed as head of Egypt's affairs after interpreting Pharoah’s dreams that day, He now had the power to destroy each and every one of the men at his feet. And yet, his authority had been dispensed by God. He was to rescue a nation. In addition, he was to deliver the very ones responsible for his years of torture and imprisonment. God was redeeming the years of calamity and restoring his soul. Joseph turned around quickly as grateful tears sprung to his eyes and his heart took wing. Then, composing himself, he turned back around and stepped forward to embrace his brothers.
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