Rags to Riches stories fill our dreams, holding out whispers of hope that keep many a man going. But it is a tale of Riches to Rags that changed a destiny.
When the story first began, no man knows; although, the most ancient sages bear witness to its daring plan. A plan speaking of the unequaled skill of the architect.
Until this moment, the architect knew only success. His kingdom evidenced his skill, his heart of goodness and light, revealed in every design. He wore his sovereignty with gentleness and grace born of an unrivaled love.
But just as his skill was unequaled, so, too, this drama lay unparalleled. For the architect had a mighty enemy. An enemy from the architect’s own realm that now lived for one purpose alone. To depose the architect from his kingdom.
And he, too, had a plan. A plan birthed from knowing the architect’s heart, for he had worked by the architect’s side for as long as there had been time. He feasted at the architect’s table. He strode throughout the kingdom by the side of the architect’s son. Together the three had overseen every aspect of the kingdom as it grew in splendor. And he looked on as the architect and his son, with the greatest of care, put the finishing touches on their most cherished of all creations. A garden burgeoning with every good thing, brimming with life. A garden holding their heart.
But where the architect and his son designed from the light of love, a seed of darkness was bearing its own bleak fruit, buried in the fertile depths of the enemy’s own soul. However numerous and varied the architect’s efforts to woo back the self-declared enemy’s heart, they met only resistance. The course had been set. The looming battle now inevitable. The architect’s heart already broken would soon be shattered.
Exiled from the kingdom, the enemy put his own plan into operation. Disguised as a gleaming knight of light, he crossed the threshold of the architect’s cherished garden. There, the fruit of darkness spilled forth from the enemy’s heart, scattering its seed in soil that had never seen its kind before. And a strange crop began to grow.
Though the architect placed in the garden the creation who held his heart, the one he trusted, the one who walked with him and knew his ways, the one whose sole task was to tend the garden so lovingly designed for his every need, this strange new crop went undetected – unchallenged. Its seed spread, finding a soil intended solely for the image of the architect. The architect’s enemy, tasting success, now shadowed the cherished one’s steps. Listening in on each conversation, he twisted the architect’s words in the cherished one’s thoughts. And, unhindered, the alien crop produced such an abundance of its own fruit, the architect’s image grew distorted in the soil of the cherished one’s soul. A new image sprang forth. And with its reflection, darkness fell, eclipsing the light. The architect’s tears now watered a soil that, until now, had only tasted his joy.
But the enemy rejoiced. And the cherished one pondered, sensing a newness, a coldness he could not explain. Loyalties shifted. Though subtle, at first, the cherished one only knew he no longer looked forward with longing anticipation to times shared daily with the architect. What brought only joy now fomented a bitter brew poisoning the garden. Poisoning him.
As the enemy’s glee heightened, his dominions rushing to join in celebration, declaring an easy-won victory, the architect and his son, hearts torn and bleeding, shared a knowing look. Their plan, formulated before history measured its first beat, began pouring forth a scarlet stain upon the garden’s sod, at the feet of the cherished one. A stain of promise.
The kingdom would loose its heir, the architect his son. Setting aside his robes of splendor, the son, gazing intently into love-filled eyes, picked up tattered, stinking, filthy rags. Draping them about his body, limb-by-limb, the son’s glory dimmed, until, fully clothed in a destiny deemed to another, the kingdom lost his presence.
The stain would become a bloody stream, running down a wooden beam the enemy gleefully planted in a rocky hill. A plan stamped accomplished in scarlet letters.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor,
so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9