“I don’t get it Lieutenant, I mean, why does He care for them so much more than us? We’re half as tall again as most of them, and built to bring the fear of… well Him into just about anyone we let see us. We’re obedient, faithful, loyal. What more does He want?”
The Officer pulled at his lip as he often did when he was thinking. It was one of those questions he’d never thought to ask – of himself or anyone else – and it deserved careful consideration. Deep in the heart of his being he knew that this was right and just, but why? Eventually, the beginnings of an answer formed.
“Let me ask you a question Sarge. Did you ever – even once in your long existence – question an order?”
“Of course not, sir. Why do you ask?”
“Have you ever considered whether the orders you’re given are right? That the justification behind them is good?”
“I don’t understand, sir. He gives an order and we obey, what’s to consider?”
“That’s the things Sergeant, He gave them free will. Tell me, do you know the difference between good and evil?”
“No, me neither. We just do as we’re told. Any instruction He gives us is what we do.
"They do though.”
“You know the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?”
“Sure in the middle of the garden. Standing orders – don’t eat from it.”
“You ever thought about it, Sarge?”
“Of course not, sir. Orders is orders.”
“And yet the first man and his companion did. They were told that they’d die, but they went and did it anyway.”
“I wouldn’t dare do that, Lieutenant.”
“No, me neither, but then that’s what makes them so special.”
“You mean He wants them to be different from Him? Why would He want that? I mean, anything that’s different from Him isn’t perfect is it? We’re perfect because we’re tied into His will.”
“And they’re special because they’re not. Let me give you an example. What if He were to come here now and ask your opinion on say… the colour of the barracks? How would you answer?”
“I guess since he chose the colour, it would have to be good. That’s what I’d answer. I suppose that’s what He’d want me to answer isn’t it?”
“That’s not your opinion though is it, Sarge?”
“Not made to have an opinion, sir.”
“No you’re not Sergeant, any more than I am.”
“But choosing their own will and disobeying His, wouldn’t that mean…”
“That they’d be separated from Him? Yes, and they’d eventually die.”
“I couldn’t do that, sir. Can you imagine what it would be like, being out there on your own, no-one to tell you what to do?”
“That’s why He sending Jesus – going as Jesus. So that they can get back into a relationship with Him. They get to be connected with Him the same way Jesus and the Spirit and He are connected.”
“I wish I knew, Sergeant. All I do know is that He has His reasons, and we’re here to make sure that what He wants us to do gets done.”
“Still, sir, going outside of His will. Can you imagine the loneliness, the pain, the feeling of corruption tearing you apart every second you were away from Him. I couldn’t do that sir, I haven’t got the guts.”
“No, you’re right. It’s safest to stick with what we know, obey orders and do what He says is right.
“OK Sarge, you know what you have to do. You clear on what you’re going to say to those shepherds?”
“Yes sir, all learned off by heart.”
“Right, then soon as you’re done, I’ll bring in the rest of the platoon and we’ll give them a taste of what they have to look forward to.”
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