Tuesday, November 30, 2004

 

the child, twenty-one


She gasped. 'Fall in love?' she squeaked.

'Out of all the sons of my house, I have made choice to give you to Stone, and Stone to you. He shall be your husband.'

The earth under her feet seemed to give an unsteady lurch. For a long moment she said nothing - because she couldn't. And when at last she found her voice again, she whispered, 'Are you sure?'

'Starr,' he responded kindly. 'Is it possible for me not to be sure?'

No. No, he was right. 'Then,' said she, 'make me sure.'

'I have chosen Stone to be your husband,' he said simply and clearly. 'Mind you, you are not to tell him that,' he added.

'I'm not?'

'Oh no. When he knows it for himself, then it is for him to tell you. You understand,' he said, talking her hand and leading her along as they walked through the lush grass under the nodding trees, 'that this is part of marriage being a symbol of my people and me. As the Master, I lovingly lead, and my people are to lovingly follow. Even so, Stone shall be husband; he shall lead, and you as his wife shall follow his lead.'

He stopped and she stopped at his side, looking up into his face. 'You are to trust him, Starr. As you trust me. It will be different, for Stone is but a mere man, and he will make mistakes. But your gift to him, and to me, is for you to trust him. Trust him by trusting me. Trust me through trusting him.'

'But if he makes mistakes...' she said slowly.

'When,' the Master gently corrected. 'But do not worry about them. So long as you are trusting him in obedience to me - I will see to his mistakes.' He smiled. 'I am very good at that, Starr.'

'What do you want me to do?'

'Love him. As I have told you. And do not worry, but be at peace. Utter peace.' He looked on her for a long time, and then, to her amazement, slow tears began to slide down his cheeks.

She put her hand up to touch his tears. 'Master?' she whispered. 'Beloved? Why do you weep?'

'Little Starr, my sweet, my love...' And he sighed. How he sighed! 'Little one, this shall not be easy for you. You will feel at times as if your heart is being torn in two. And there will be times when you will desire that I should release you from this. And you shall even be angry with me, for speaking of Stone to you, for telling you to fall in love with him.'

'No...' she whispered.

'Starr.' His hand lingered on her cheek, her stricken face. 'Do not be afraid, mine own. The valley shall be dark, but endure through it. Keep your hand in mine, and follow my steps before you, even when you see those only one at a time.'

'Why...?'

'You cannot understand all my reasons for why I do these things that I do. Only know this: I love you, and I love Stone. And it delights me to put the two of you together. What you shall be together is far more than either of you can be apart. But, Starr...'

'Yes, sir?'

'My enemy knows this. He knows the potential Stone and you have together, in me. He will fight this. And he is subtle. At times, he will seek to turn you against Stone and Stone against you. Be aware and watchful against such tricks.

'And always remember: Stone shall be your leader as your husband. Let him lead you in all things. Begin now. Do not put yourself forward, or pursue him. But let him lead; let him pursue. He will pursue you, in time. And in time, your love - you allowing me free flow through you towards Stone - will be a healing for him.'

He looked beyond her for a moment, his deep clear eyes clouding with the remembrance of the dungeon from which he had rescued Stone. 'Know this, my darling, that love is hard for Stone to receive. Nor is love easy for him to give.' His eyes returned to her face, and he sighed. 'As you will see.'

'He seems friendly...' she said slowly.

'He is friendly. That is no mask. But as he draws closer to you, then shall he begin to see the potential he has to be hurt by his relationship with you. And he will fear. For he has been hurt much in his life. His heart has been wounded many times, has been splintered into a myriad of sharp shards, like glass. He will fear to draw close to you, for fear of being hurt again.'

'I would never hurt him!' cried Starr, surprising herself with the strength of her cry.

'Not intentionally.'

'I - I will hurt him?' And Starr could feel her own heart nigh to shattering.

'Not so much you, as the enemy seeking to use you as a weapon to wound Stone. To cause him to fear you, and through you, me. For it is my intention to use you to heal Stone. To heal the deep wounds of his heart. Wounds that Stone yet carries within himself, unhealed - for fear of the pain.'

'What pain?'

'The pain of healing, my love. You see, often in the process of healing, there will come pain. And once the healing becomes painful, many draw back from being healed. It seems to them easier to hold on to the wounds instead of being healed, instead of hurting once more.

'But they do not understand. If they would only permit me to finish the healing, then would the pain at last be over and done. But out of fear, they cling yet to their wounds - until at last they become desparate. And then, then will they finally pursue the healing, desiring to be whole no matter what it costs.' He paused and added, 'And the same shall be true of you, dear one. As you shall find.'

'Me? But there are no wounds in me, are there, that I am holding back from you?'

He smiled gently on her. 'In my timing, you shall see what it is that I am speaking of. For now, my Starr - simply be steadfast, live in my peace, ever forgive - and trust. Trust me; trust Stone. He is a rich gift given to you from my hand, as you are to him. It will not always be easy to see that the two of you are my gifts to each other. But keep your mind stayed on me, and so shall this road not be as long nor as rough as it might be.

'And for right now, Starr - for right now...' He smiled on her. 'Go back to your room and rest. Catch up the sleep that you missed overnight. Yes?'

She smiled bashfully. 'You always know everything,' she said.

'Everything,' he agreed. A sweet kiss on her forehead he gave her, and sent her off to the house to sleep.

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