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Yes! Erin is back at last from her long jaunt into Nanowrimo Nation. Did you miss me? 😉 Late happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 🙂

I have some news for all my beloved readers in this post. I have finished a concept drawing for The Hero’s Dream and other stories in the Shifting Tides series, as well as parts of the next installment of the series, Battlefield of the Soul. The concept drawing will be posted once I scan it into the computer (unfortunately, it’s black and white… sigh… Does anyone know how to use the program to color it in? *hint hint wink wink*), and the story will be posted as soon as I can type it up.

Also, I have a bunch of original short stories to post–I worked on them during Nano, sort of to fill up the gaps. 😉 I hope you all enjoy them!

Then, on Nano, I did not win… didn’t even make my wordcount goal. I do have two valid excuses, though: Jewel’s Birthday (Friday), and taking out the trash. Surprisingly, Thanksgiving wasn’t that much of a problem. Anyway, so I spent Jewel’s birthday with her, and the next day (the last day of Nano!) I was taking out the trash, and the garbage barrel lid came down and bopped me a good one across the back of the head, and my glasses fell off and landed in the trash can, and when I reached for them I cut myself on some broken glass, in the soft skin between my first and second fingers, at the knuckle. Ouch. So then I was bleeding like no one’s business, and it just hurt too freakin’ much to hold a pencil, much less type.

Soooo, here I am, 12k short, and still completely happy. Frankly, I’m not sure how this is even possible…

And I now have a cold. Figures…

And now, for the real juicy bit. Warning: Intense Christian doctrine and evangelization ahead! If some of you don’t like overtly Christian and/or Catholic writings, it might be best for you to simply avoid the rest of this post. However, if you are a lover of philosophy or C.S. Lewis or a fan of G.K. Chesterton (or simply just plain stubborn), you might just enjoy this (though of course my lowly work simply can not compare to either Lewis or Chesterton… or Tolkien for that matter.) That much said, enjoy or avoid at will! 😉

Comes a Time

                Arinna pulled the kettle off the stove, pouring the boiling water into a chipped, earth-toned ceramic carafe and tossing some tea leaves in on top. “What do you mean?” she asked, frowning slightly to herself.

“You’re going to die in this holy war and it isn’t even yours.” Lexi said. “How is that not…” She paused. Arinna sighed and put down the earthenware carafe.

“Do you mean to say that I’m going to die for a cause that is, in your opinion, both worthless, and already doomed to failure?” she asked bluntly. Lexi turned away, probably unused to such blunt, brash, plain honesty. It took her a moment—a very long moment—to regain her composure.

“Yes. I do.” she said at last.

“Well, let me ask you a question then,” Arinna said softly. “What do you believe in?” Startled again, especially since Arinna had broken the social rules twice in as many paragraphs, Lexi took a moment before she replied.

“I’m a Christian, too, just like you, you know that!” she protested.

“That means nothing,” Arinna said. “There are too many denominations nowadays for us to know for certain that we hold any common ground whatsoever. Besides, many people who say they believe in Christ don’t really love Him. If they did, then they would act like it. What do you believe in? What are you willing to fight and die for? If not Christ, then what?”

“I don’t know!” Lexi burst out, frustrated. “You keep asking questions without any answers!” she fumed.

“Oh, they have answers,” Arinna assured her. “You’re just afraid of the answers. So am I. So is everyone else, for that matter.” Arinna picked up the pitcher of hot tea and poured it out into two mugs. She handed one to Lexi and sipped slowly out of the other, looking at her friend over the rim. “I’m your friend. It’s my business to ask the hard questions, Lexi. I only do it because I care.” Slowly, she lowered her mug. “Do you want to go on?” she asked softly. Lexi shrugged.

“Yes. I guess. If you want to.” Arinna nodded slowly as she went on with her apology.

“All of us have something we’re willing to fight to the death for, Lexi. Something we believe in—something we believe is worth believing in. It’s part of what makes us human. Someday, Lexi, you will live, and fight, and die for something—and you’ll do it willingly, too. I can promise you that. It’s your destiny—it’s inevitable. You can’t change it, but you can decide what it is you will believe in. Put God out of your life, and you will find yourself trying to fill that void in your heart—you’ll catch yourself filling it with less desirable things. The catch, is to ask yourself what you’re willing to die for. Power? Money? Pleasure? Goods? Your home? Your possessions? Your friends? Your family? If any of that comes first—before God does—in your life, you’re no better than a pagan. You’re an idolater if you put any of those… material things before God.” Arinna looked down at her mug; for the first time her voice sounded unsure. “You may not like to hear this, Lexi, but I only say it because I care. I can’t soften this for you, without losing the message. It’s uncompromising, as hard as nails. You have to choose what you will fight for. He who will fight for nothing is no pacifist, but a coward indeed. You must choose—now—whom you will serve. No one can do it for you.” She took a deep breath. “That’s why I am here—in this camp—in this army—today, Lexi. I said to myself, ‘No more hesitation! I am going to commit—today!’ We both know that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions—if you even believe in Hell.” The evangelist’s voice was tinged with heavy bitterness. “I am willing to die for my Heavenly King. I decided that He was worth fighting for. I regret all the lives lost in this war, but there comes a time when one can no longer stand idly by. There comes a time when one must make a stand. I decided Whom I am going to serve. So what if I’m not perfect? Perfection isn’t possible for any human being. It doesn’t come until Heaven. It’s the times I worked—hard—that matter. I know my cause is worth dying for. Is yours?” Arinna looked up at Lexi with pleading eyes. The other woman was silent. She knew would have to think about it; Arinna knew it too. And while Lexi thought, Arinna would pray.

“I’ll think about it, ‘Rin. I… I promise.” Lexi said. Then, she left the tent, as evening fell over the Crusaders’ camp.

Evangelist

Let the past lie where it’s buried

By the gravestone, on the hill,

Wind wanders wild across the wastelands,

They say the spirit moves at will.

Each sad tear-fall lies there buried

In the garden, by the rill,

Every laughter a rose has planted,

They say the roses bloom there still.

Where one rose blights, sad and mournful

One by one, the petals fall,

In the garden by the rill-side

Back to the womb whence it was called.

Hold tight to what you’re given.

Hold tight to those you love.

These little blessings that we seek

Are our anchors, from above.

Ask again what you now live for

Question your heart’s desire

Many things we are attached to

Pass, straw-like, in the fire.

With the light, morning arises

A new dawn casts the night away

Each day builds on the one before it,

The future’s fragments are at play.

Congratulations go to those who actually made it to the end of this post! Oh, and please tell me… did you like the poem? 😉 It’s originally from my April/July Nanowrimo project Angels’ Reflections. Which, incidentally, I have new ideas for now. Cheers!

As always, thanks for reading and may God bless you and keep you in all your days!

“It’s a faith worth fighting for.” –Anonymous (okay, maybe not ANONYMOUS, but I still can’t remember who I’m quoting. X-P)

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