Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: Lamentations 3:40-41
The seagulls squawked as they flew above the masthead. The sun beamed directly above the Wayfarer signaling that it was noon. The wind was on our side today as the waves beat rhythmically against the hull of the ship. “Hoist the sails!” I yelled with a slight snarl.
“Aye Cap’n!” said the sailors in unison. I couldn’t help the crooked smile as my crew manipulated the rigging until the sails were completely unfurled. As soon as the sails caught the wind, Wayfarer picked up speed. Standing at the helm, I greeted my second mate as he gradually approached me. “Hello Marcus.”
The sixty something year old man had a clean shaven face with spectacles placed low on his nose. He looked more like a literary man who belonged behind a desk in a library, but the older gentleman has been sailing the seas longer than I have been alive. To this day, he always balked at the idea of ever leading as Captain of a ship. Even more astonishing, Marcus was the only man aboard that didn’t quiver in fear at the sight of me.
With my left eye covered with an eye patch and an ugly, jagged red scar running down diagonally from my left brow over the bridge of my nose to my right jawline, I looked more like a ferocious pirate. Since my near fatal encounter, I became a new man, but my former reputation instilled fear into most of my crew. Hopefully in time, they will see the true me…
“Cap’n Cole, you have a message,” said Marcus urgently.
Squinting my eyes against the glare of the sun, I beckoned my navigator to take over the helm temporarily. Nodding my thanks, I followed Marcus below deck to the Captain’s Quarters. I slightly snickered at the realization that I have been Captain for the past three years. Never would have dreamed of such a possibility for myself.
The slight rocking of the ship was once sickening. Now it soothed my racing heart as my booted feet kept pace with Marcus’ stride. As soon as I crossed the threshold of the small office, I was surprised to see the ethereal creature named Grace. “Hello Cole, it has been awhile,” she said with a knowing smile as golden sparks emanated from all around. Her gaze was suddenly fixed on my eye patch with distaste, and it took everything in me not to squirm. Without even saying anything, Grace made me feel like I was doing something wrong. Clearing my throat I asked Grace, “I’m guessing you came all the way here to give me a message perhaps?”
“Correct,” she said curtly with a nod. Then she took out a roll of paper out of thin air and placed it in my hand. She looked at me sternly, “I would love nothing more than to speak with you more, but I must return.” Then she released her hold on the paper.
“Grace, is everything okay?” Her words and actions were beginning to concern me. What was going on in the land? Grace gave me her trademark smile and replied, “Not at all, but King Elyon has everything under control. Trust in Him.” With that, she disappeared into a golden burst of dust.
Suddenly feeling drained, I sat behind my desk and unrolled the letter. I vaguely heard Marcus slide my door shut to give me privacy as I began to read:
My dearest brother Cole,
Has it been more than three years since we last saw each other? I think I’m finally used to your new name. You have no idea how joyful I felt when Grace told me how you came to meet Elyon, but I know you have had struggles since your encounter. I pray that you are well…I don’t have much time. As I write this, I am currently being held prisoner by the Ringmaster who is now claiming to be the Prince of this world. I don’t think I will get to have that reunion that I have been hoping for on this side of the Kingdom, but rest assured I will patiently wait for our meeting.
In case I die, I need you to find someone for me. She reminds me so much of you! Both of you have struggled with greed and thinking of only yourselves. (Brother, I’m just stating the facts. Not trying to be mean.)
I hesitate to tell you her former name…but her new identity is Harmony. Even though she has met Elyon, her faith is only the size of flower pollen. I am concerned that even with my sword, she may be blown away by any wind that comes by. You of all people should understand this. She is trying to save me, but Harmony is relying on her own might instead of the guidance of the Comforter. This will only lead to disappointment and heartache. Cole, you’re the only one I can trust to find Harmony, guide her with the truth, and protect her.
Okay, I have kept you in suspense long enough. Harmony is the former Harper, the bounty hunter that betrayed you and nearly killed you. I know I am asking much of you, but this is my final wish.
Your loving sister,
P.S.: Cole, don’t forget that Rick is your OLD self. Live as the new man for the High King’s will, not your will.
The letter fell from my hands as soon as I finished reading. Oh Mel…No, Melody! Shame and guilt warred within me as I recalled how I treated her after she was reborn and how I helped the bounty hunter catch Melody in the first place. In those days at the Lost Circus as Rick, I was willing to do anything for money, even working with Harper.
If I weren’t so blinded by my greedy hunger maybe I could have avoided everything that led to that horrible moment in my life. Unconsciously, my hand drifted to trace the ugly scar that would be a permanent reminder. Still, without that broken state, I would never have been able to finally meet the Great Physician.
As Melody’s words began to sink in, words began to come unbidden to my lips, “Father, please be with Melody. Comfort her while she feels so alone.” The next words took all my effort to voice, “Father, guide Harmony and help her faith to grow deep roots.” I felt breathless with the struggle, but I felt lighthearted. How odd. It felt like months had passed by since I last spoke with the Mediator, but I could still feel His presence. With sudden resolve, I stood up and yelled, “Marcus!”
“Aye Cap’n!” replied Marcus promptly outside my door.
I shook my head with a smile, “Marcus, inform the crew that we are changing course. We are heading to Slaven.”