Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: EERIE (07/28/16)
- TITLE: The Other Four Stones
By Donna Powers
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I used to scoff at this. After all: why does the mighty elephant have such an unseemly reaction; to such an insignificant creature?
But after the events of yesterday’s battle, I understand how the elephant feels.
My name is Lahmi. I am one of the giants of Gath. Our reputation is formidable –or, should I say – it was. Today I am in hiding for my life.
My brothers and I were on a hill, overlooking the Valley of Elah. The Philistines had promised our usual price for frightening the puny sons of Israel. We cared nothing for the cause of the Philistines. We wanted only the purse.
We are paid warriors. We were born giants, and have made the most of our relatively massive bodies. My brothers and I all stand many cubits taller than any other man in the region.
Yesterday, our most formidable brother Goliath stood on the top of the hill. His armor weighed more than some of the men below him. He bellowed his taunts at the crowd; he wanted to gather as many sons of Israel as possible, for once they gathered, the five of us would easily subdue them and lead the Philistines to victory.
We’ve done it that way countless times. We expected our usual victory, and were mentally spending our agreed-upon price.
But that’s not what happened.
A slender young man emerged from the Israeli camp. He had heard my brother’s taunts and asked how Goliath dared dishonor the God of Israel. My brothers and I laughed. We’ve heard zealots many times before; no matter which deity they honor, they are no match for our brawn.
This man wore no armor, while Goliath’s armor shone like a thousand suns. My brothers and I took bets on how many seconds he would live; before Goliath crushed his foolhardy young skull.
The young man paid no heed to our mocking. He walked by the creek and randomly chose five smooth stones. He turned his eyes to the heavens, mumbled a few incomprehensible words, and then placed one stone into his slingshot.
“Oh, what folly!” I called to Goliath. I couldn’t believe the lad’s audacity. A slingshot… for a giant? For Goliath! It was unbelievable. If I hadn’t been laughing so hard, I would have been joining in the taunts, myself.
Instead, I glanced at him. I wanted a look at this soon-to-be martyr. I’ve seen hundreds of men die in battle. All of them – no matter how resolute – dissolve in fear when they realize their puny lives are about to be ended.
Not this man. As I watched, the character of the scene changed, and it was as if time stood still. All the shouting – from my brothers; from the Philistines and even from the men who were trying to hold back the lone Israelite warrior – seemed to dissolve around the young man, and his limbs and countenance shone with a beautifully compelling light. It was as if the storm of war around him had created a pocket of calm, and he was alone inside that calm. He showed no fear; only confidence. I confess: I was unnerved.
My brother, Goliath – a champion since his fourteenth year – had no fear of the improbable young challenger. Why should he have? So, when the stone struck Goliath in the forehead, and he registered the calamity about to befall him, he lived only long enough to gasp in incredulity. “How can this be?” he moaned, as he fell.
I did not stay to see the aftermath. My brother, Goliath: gone! How could this be? I could not fathom it. My brothers and I have gone our whole lives believing ourselves invincible. And now, I could think only of those other four stones, and their implications for me.
Last night, I hid like a frightened child. Today, I am in a cave halfway to my homeland. I know not if my other brothers have survived. I only know I must wait here, until this incredible turn of events makes sense to me.
In the meantime, my steward has told me a man named Elhanan has been searching for me, and I know I must hasten to safety.
For today, I am the elephant – and Elhanan is the mouse.
1 Samuel 17:4-58.
2 Samuel 21:22
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