Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)
TITLE: No words left
By Jack Taylor
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Nate hesitated longer than usual. The messages in his head exploded like the pins in a bowling alley after a perfect strike. There was no question he needed to go back but was he sure?
He’d heard the whispers from the war vets after the latest encounter. His friend had skipped out on his tour of duty. His excuses had been lame. He’d fraternized with the wife of one of the captains. The evidence was clear. The security detail couldn’t keep their lips shut forever.
The timing of the captain’s death during his final tour of duty was suspicious. Friendly fire? A set up? He’d heard the rumours. The lonely wife had been too much of a beauty to go unnoticed. And she hadn’t worked hard not to be noticed.
His friend was a decorated hero. His accomplishments on the battlefield were legendary. If there was a name on the lips of the new recruits it was the name of his friend. Before this miscalculation everyone wanted to fight with him and for him. Something had changed.
Oh, the usual gaggle of fans crowded around to hear him sing. His talents didn’t seem to fade with the indiscretion. There seemed to be no obvious remorse which kept him from strutting with the others over past accomplishments.
No one spoke openly but the questioning was in their eyes.
The fact that his friend married so quickly after the news of the captain’s death set everyone’s teeth on edge. Especially when it was obvious she was pregnant. It smacked of cover up.
And now the fruit of the shady union was making his presence known. Nate stood under the window and heard that pitiful cry.
Nate urged his legs to run. To sprint away from the cry. Away from the house of his friend. Away from the city where such things existed.
It was as if his feet were cemented in place to the cobbled stones on this pathway. The voice urged him to turn. To rewalk the steps to where his friend crooned a love song. He filtered the messages inside and contemplated the implications of this confrontation.
Guilt relegated to the dungeons and shackled away from conscious observation could be brutal and malicious in its self-defense if it was released without restraint.
The waning moon gave no assistance as Nate sought wisdom from above. The faint whiff of honeysuckle nudged his nostrils. The steady rustling of the olive and tamarisk leaves called him to listen harder. In the garden along the pathway the rose, lily and hyacinth danced gently in the breeze. He could wait no longer.
Nate’s step was determined as he brushed past the security detail and into the house. He was well known and no one questioned his mission at this time of evening. He could hear the music and the laughter. The cry of the little one had faded in the din of celebration.
He was welcomed without hesitation. “Back again so soon my friend. No worries. There is plenty of food and drink left to satisfy even the keenest appetite…. But, I see you have something on your mind. What could possibly trouble you on a day like today?”
“What could possibly need to be said alone? Speak up, my friend.”
Nate spoke. “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, but he poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.”
The celebrants who had been caught up in their own revelries had quieted and pulled in closer as Nate raised the curiosity of his friend. The power of the story brought smiles to the hardest face. It drew in the audience like a lamb being led to the slaughter.
“Now a traveler came to the rich man…”
Anger stormed from the heart of his friend and Nate stood his ground prepared to finish his message.
“David, you are the man!...”
Nate watched the words pierce the heart of his friend and humble him. The man after God’s own heart was left without a song. A mournful hum and groan of penitence arose instead.
“The Lord has taken away your sin.”
2 Samuel 12
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