Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
“Captain, there are five more.”
I was finishing assigning night watchmen duties before I looked at Marcus to see if he was joking. He wasn’t. I released a sigh before answering, “Fine. Gather them and put it with the rest.” Marcus yelled at one of the younger sailors to capture the bottles with nets. I recalled the thin stack of papers sitting on my desk that had already been extracted from previous bottles. Messages…in a bottle…really? I snickered at the cliché form of message delivery. Grace must be behind this since she was the one to deliver the first letter. Maybe I did this.
I had to shake off the sudden charge that bolted through me hoping no one noticed. Hearing the voice of the Comforter was nothing new, but it felt like ages since I last heard His voice. When did I get so caught up being a captain that I began to ignore my Healer? The answer left an acrid taste in my mouth, and the following guilt burdened me so badly I walked back to my office with a staggering gait.
As soon as I entered, Melody’s notes on my desk were the first things my eyes gravitated towards. Earlier it was different reading the first letter since Grace handed it to me. Now, there was hesitancy. No, it felt more like fear. Earlier, Marcus had asked me if I wanted to read the letters, but I told him that the notes were for someone else. Well, it was slightly true… Regardless, he still left a cup of tea and an oil lamp on my desk if I changed my mind.
I immediately deciphered Melody’s intent. She wanted to write out her story so anyone, no…everyone could see a glimpse of the Forgotten King even if it was through her eyes. From the very first letter, I had the feeling that I was reading Melody’s last will and testament. I was not ready to handle that, yet like a moth to a flame I sat down and began to read.
With each scrawled paragraph, my left eye began to throb even though it was covered. Finally, I gave up on my night reading and carried my lamp to my bedchamber. All was silent and none were around as I untied the leather straps around my head. As I looked at my reflection, the flickering shadows seemed to amplify the scars on the left half of my face. Even after all these years, my eye still felt the phantom burning sensation of being struck by the flaming metal poker. It was all in my head. I could see perfectly with both eyes.
When the Great Physician saved me, He not only gave me a new life, He also gave me a new eye. At first, I had no problem with my vision. If anything, I felt as if scales had been removed from my eyes, and I could see things more clearly. As a new disciple, I learned that people couldn’t see past my external features. How could Elyon possibly be revealed through such a monstrosity as I? I began wearing a covering over my gifted eye long before I left the land for the open seas. That was when the throbbing first began.
“Maybe you should burn that eye patch.”
I spun around with my pistol drawn and cocked. I sagged in relief and holstered my weapon as I recognized the familiar golden glow of the creature Grace. This time she was as small as a hummingbird with sparks shooting out to all directions. Grace just continued to float there nonchalantly, but I could tell there was a disappointment in her expression.
Clearing my throat to gather my wits, I asked, “Grace, what brings you here?”
She went straight to the answer today, “Melody has left this world, so finding Harmony has become more detrimental.”
“Stop!” I needed to process the first part of what Grace told me. “Let’s go above deck.” Once I could take a deep breath of ocean air, I finally stopped feeling like I was being suffocating. When I looked up at the twinkling constellations above me, I belatedly realized that I forgot to apply the covering back over my hideous eye. I was grateful for the late hour lest I startle one of my crewmen.
Crossing my arms, I leaned against the side of the ship, and Grace daintily landed on my shoulder. For some inexplicable reason, Grace weighed heavier than I anticipated. As if reading my thoughts, she sighed playfully. “Maybe your view of me will grow in time eventually.”
I just smiled half-heartedly. “So my sister is really gone?”
“She’s only absent from this world. Melody has been taken to Immanuel’s Land,” Grace replied. Then she continued with more resolve. “The King wants you to find Harmony.”
“Why does it have to be me?” I asked with frustration. “Of all of Elyon’s followers, why must I find her?”
Grace’s glow sparked angrily. “Elyon chose you to receive a very special gift. Even though you have yet to use this gift, the King is still giving you the opportunity to use it. In this situation, your gift would greatly aid you in searching for Harmony.”
“Gift? You call this ugly scarring a gift?” I couldn’t hold it in anymore. “Why did He give this cursed eye to me? It has only given me grief. How was giving me this eye part of His goodness?”
Grace watched me for a few seconds after my outburst before replying calmly, “Stop hiding your gift from the world. How could you possibly understand the eternal impact since you refuse to use this gift? The King has given you both eyes. Open your eyes and use them to fulfill your true purpose.”