Legends. These tales. Some true. Some too good to be true… Legends… Are born many a time out of the most un-assuming, inconsequential beginnings.
A boy. Just a little boy. Who loved his animals. Whose older brothers looked down on him. Last never first. Always an after thought. Always sent away to do the most menial tasks. He didn’t really complain. He enjoyed loved treasured the quiet time. When he looked up at the night sky, his heart was filled with wonder and ache at the same time. Wonder at the beauty and sublime tapestry of sun moon and stars weaving back and forth their canvass of lights and patterns. Some bright some dim. Be every night, something new flashing by. Falling. Ache, because whenever he looked up in wonder, he also believed in Wonder. Believed in the awesome. Believed in the unseen. And his heart sought, chased, longed to know this Hand that could conceive of such a piece. Such a masterpiece. Of burning fires placed just so in the sky so far away to the eye, that from here on earth below, up there was not hot but glorious. Like frozen jewels. And here in the fields while lambs and kids, sheep and goats danced pranced and played, bleated and nayed. He learnt about the simplicity of life. Simple rains make simple seeds germinate and grow. Simple warmth made simple seasons flow. Rivers rain through and streams slowly crawled by. Sometimes the flock got lost or strayed but when they bleated for help he was always near by. At home they barely remembered that he was around, till he came whistling back to bed the animals down. Because he wasn’t always there. Many a times, out under the spring sky, they lay down to sleep while he stood watch over them nearby. In that silence in that quiet. He also knew and felt that Hand, that knit him and painted the sky. The Potter that Weaver the Sower that reaper. He knew Him. This young little boy.
Beats of the field tested him. And in his childish passion and naïve courage, many which threatened, most died. Just a boy but strong, not a danger they thought, as their lives forfeit with surprise. He had no bow, he had no arrow swift. He had no pike nor sure sword to lift. All he hand was his hands and heart. A rock a stone, a rod a staff. But what seemed to the hunter passing by on padded feet, such easy meat. Quickly surely deadly proved to them not so easy to eat.
In he would trudge, with lamb on his shoulder, scars on his back as trophies for wrestling in the wild. His arms clawed, his shoulders tired but proud. Mother asking, what happended on scary solemn nights alone. Even he wondered at the miracle of life and being alive when he said it all aloud. A lion came he said. And once others like wolves prowled. Even the bear great in strength and terrible in power proud. All came none left. Neither full nor having breath. And mother looked at father, demanding her child not tell such tall tales. Till the boy upon table top kept. Trophies and skins dragged in. For the mantle piece the king of the jungle’s proud gaping jaw. Never to roar any more. For the door post, the wooly raised proud claw. Baring never that behemoth weight, never again strong or sure. When mother and father looked on at these trophies cast. And their son’s unassuming humble face. They looked into their child’s eye, and had the chance to see what could be! But even then as is often with us all. That spark of greatness in just a boy they could not see.
That boy when back to the fields until the day, his people needed to be saved. A salvation unlooked for, unwanted and even when he arrived on the day, still chastised and rebuked they tried to send him away. And he remembered. Some think, to this day that he remembered the lion and the bear and that gave him strength. Powerful and with much power were his words, not screamed or shouted but loud acclamation they rang out. Silencing the whole field. Armies gathered, miraculously all heard it. When with a boy’s youthful naïve awe, he pointed and spoke of the dead proud lion’s jaw. And staring up at a mountain of a man nearly thrice his height. Even then he still recounted of the lions dead comrade bear and his wasted might. People often mistake. As the legend is told. That it was the hunters terrible yet still slain that made the boy bold. But little do they know, of the stories his mother sang to him or with which his father raised him, of the Breaker and Maker of worlds of old. As just a babe he remember when he looked at each night’s sky. Somehow his heart was filled with magic, at how the Maker made the stars with each breath’s sigh. Of how the grass and flowers of the field obeyed his will and sprouted at a Word. Or of how just by dreams and thoughts alone taking flight this Maker spoke forth all manner of flying bird. Young in years, but old in prayer. This young boy knew what the warrior champion did not. That power in this world in this lifetime, is not by strength alone got. And that day, nations learned that lesson well. When condemned did he send that tall talking tyrant to his grave. On that day, the earth shook, as a giant fell. A boy who played the harp. Who sang and poems wrote. With just a stone, brought down the enemy of a nation. And destroyed evil’s hope. They sang … The crowd. They sang his name, his praises and honour they did sing. Of how he, a teen, saved countless. A boy. Just a shepherd boy, with more courage than their king.
But the story doesn’t end there. Again, as is, most legends tell. That the ending is not the beginning, but the in betweens of life, none of us can ever tell. Quickly as the crowd forget their Maker! They also forgot their boy hero. And humbly meek and mild, back the boy went. When all his fame and glory gone. He stood beneath trees, singing un-written psalms. His fey fame spent. Sad one might think. That to the silence quiet of sheep watching he was sent. Condemned maybe even despairing of being of any worth. Despised before he rescued them, mother brothers neighbours strangers all. Forgotten after he rescued them, no admirers or poets bards or even jesters stopped by to call. Un-remembered unthanked, by them, us, all except one. Isn’t it typical. Isn’t it human. How we discard, the greatest things which life bring. For some other foolish fickle beck and call. It is common said, that to err is human to forgive divine. But here a more insightful saying true. You and I, are habitually taking for granted, all in life of virtue. We lose what we need. We beg what we owe. We think little of choices taken. Forgetting that we reap what we sow. Ce qui qui fait les mal, les mal le trouve as the french would say. That shamed king, chased this poor boy here and there. When of his greatness only the Maker remembered to keep they boys deserved destiny in His care. That saying means…he who does evil, evil will find him. Many a sage wise men elders and even a prophet spoke. Of trying to save the king, before his own folly jealousy and envy would choke. But he would not listen. Nor would this leader of men heed. The call of mercy. Even though through many the Breaker tried to plead. “Turn!” He would send. “Leave off” He would inspire another. But the enraged embattled ashamed king, listen he would not! Instead, of a truth, all that was in his heart was murder and viscious plot. He planned the taking of life in cold blood. He tried to murder this shepherd boy. This would be, boy-shepherd king. Who knew nothing of ruling except how to praise the Maker and sing. The legend tells that even in final triumph, over his enemies when the boy took the throne, he would not forsake honour and take advantage of his enemies though prostrate and prone. So true so clear so high was his heart, that even in the death of his would be murderer this boy’s spirit was ripped apart. In despair! He cried out, lashed out, at the hand of the king-slayer, showing no mercy. Showing no remorse. Judgement fatal and swift befell that poor foolish soldier’s soul, when the boy-king took his life, and left the king-slayer’s body lifeless and cold. He turned after and asked all around, if there was any in the king, now dead, any kin of the gone king that could be found. And soon, just one, was brought, high low they had sought. And finally before the boy he would be king, did a ragged lame rabble come before princely sight. Wondering shaking this beggar looked up, at the former enemy now triumphant sitting on his dead-kin’s throne, looked up shaking with fright. And the boy king pronouned favour on this poor bereft soul. Clothed gowned, crowned a fellow prince. Sharing the king’s table. Only then was he convinced.
In all the history of the land’s days past. No one had ever heard of a triumphant victor showing such lavish mercy on a royal bloodline whose time was gone and in defeat their fate cast. No one had ever heard of enemy being honoured or treated like kin. No one had ever heard or the lame finding splendour wealth and acclaim not even in the oldest reckoning. Yet somehow, this boy shepherd king. Whose fame was born simply because of the splendour of the night sky put prayer into his heart’s questioning. No one had ever seen, such wise compassionate loyalty or dedicated bravery, on the field or the judging chair. None would ever be seen again, in any such walk of life, though the lands grew in fame and wealth fair.
This is a legend, told. In a story in a book. The shepherd boy David, whose city was Bethlehem, whose fate it was to have his hands wield both the rod and the sword. His deeds were not all righteous nor was he forever in honour. But he ended his days though grey still great. That Maker mourned not for Himself but for the nations and He marked that date. Never again would this world see his like. And all would pale in the shadow of David’s wake. His fame would spread far and wide. And his son later would also achieve things even the father had not on many frontier. But never again would the Maker proclaim blessings over generations just because of man long dead long gone. From dust David came. From David returned. But the living memory in the Living God, did David’s renown burn. No other king, would be able to make David’s claim. For eternal time to come, the Son of God Himself would take on David’s surname. And when this Son walked the earth, to do Him more honour still. You could here the poor and the needy crying out to the Son of David and His heart with grace and mercy would fill.
A simple start to a great story. With rough times though ending well. Who amoung you is an unknown legend? Let hope fill your heart, denouce the trials, and let joy in your heart swell! Who amoung still looks up and catches their breath. Something so simple, yet so powerful, is worth all the world’s wealth. That the Maker, the Weaver, loves you and has plans for your yesterday, your tomorrow your today. Don’t let life convince you of defeat, or hopelessness have, in you, final say. Are you such a legend? Are you that greatness still to be seen? Have you given up hope, when as yet you don’t understand what His plans for you mean? Why are we so weak in wonder. So pitiful in awe? Why do we mourn over today, when our God has not flaw? Why do we give up, how can we be content with less? When ever miracle and divine intervention speaks of God’s timing with finesse. Oh I mourn for you! And I mourn for me. Oh how we have fallen hard and long and deep. And in our hearts our child-like singing praising poeting faith has fallen into a deep dark sleep. We’ve forgotten how to wish. We are confused when we pray. If at all, and when we do its complaints or lists that gives us a picture of the God in whom we believe and portray. Our prayers tell who our God is! Our loves show us who our selves are. Somehow, we’ve lost the plot. Somehow God today seems so far. We speak of legends, we sing songs asking God to remember days old gone by. Forgetting that WE are on the OTHER side of the Cross. Our generation, is the apple of God’s eye. Ask yourself this question. Ask yourself quietly this piece. To whom does even the lowest low have pity, the strong or the one who needs help but cant even say please? Who catches the eye, the charming beggar or the silent despondent child by the side quietly laying in despair? Who pricks the heart, the hopeless who calls out more of your mercy? Children lost or Adam unfallen fair? Strange as it may sound, the one who needs it most gets most of help most need most mercy given. But we seem to look back and think, that all the miracle and legends stories are already taken.
Look up and say, “when I behold the works of Thy hands”, what are my troubles compared to the love of You? Show me my greatness my legend my potential make it real make it true. Give me of Your faith, yes even of Your glory and make my sorrow and weakness and chance for your perfection. So when the world looks at me, and me at myself, humbly that glorious image will only be, just your Reflection.
Are you a David? Just a shepherd boy humming waiting singing?
Are you an unknown king, unknown but destined for that crown gleaming….
Just say yes, and say, I am he, Lord, waiting, my faith is small and my vision weak and my heart close to fainting. But You oh God, can turn things so totally completely around. Make me a legend, so my testimony can be profound.
People, as is my habit, I must bid you all a fare thee well. But first of shalom I need to speak and tell. Rarely do I speak in prose and aliteration rhyming. But God is perfect. And in trial out of the heart flows hope with is perfect timing. In that cauldron of a word shalom. Peace alone is a poor shallow saying. But goodwill , enduring faith, relentless victory, holistic health and healing. Is on just part of its meaning. Be sure be blessed be known as much as you will one day know. Be covered be hedged be protected. Let salvation and heaven be put aside as things to ponder or anxiously occupy your mind. Shalom means safety and trust in God everlasting that you can find. You’ll make it you’ll be there, we’ll sing on that shore. If of increase of wisdom of the Holy Spirit you can be sure.
To you and yours all I pray. That God takes time to prove Himself over and over, that your His to keep from this day. May He guide may He lift may He always from low restore. So that one day when you can look on His face and stand tall, you’ll sing His praises ever more.