In the Service of the Shepherd King
The battle outside was raging. It's not as bad as it's going to get though. Things are going to escalate. These clashes with the enemy are precurser to the war. I am tired nevertheless, and feeling the need for rest and food, warmth and safety where it seems not to be found.
But our King and Lord – the Good Shepherd - has provided respite in the midst of all Hell breaking loose. He can be found everywhere. The desperate cry of His soldiers always reaches His ears, and brings them into the safety of hidden places – places that the enemy cannot see or find. They are caves perfectly camaflouged and nestled in between the rolling foothills. They are sheepfolds hidden in plain sight in the fields frequented by lowly shepherds - where the King lays His body across the only door. His soldiers are safe within those walls – for now.
I enter the cave and am welcomed by the sight and delicious smells of an early morning feast on a plain table in the center of the room. The room is dimly lit by a warm light emanating from the candles set upon the table. I do not see anyone else, but feel the presence of the Shepherd King's servants. I enjoy the fragrance of coffee freshly made and poured into the mug that warms my hands as they are cupped around it – steam rising....... My hunger is awakened at the sight and smell of bacon and eggs with buttered toast and jam. There is a bowl of luscious fruit in small bite sized pieces that nevertheless drip down my chin as I eat. There are fried potatoes and other delicacies. I eat my fill, and I am refreshed. But I am also sleepy. There is a warm bed in the corner of the room, inviting me to rest.......... I had scarcely pulled the warm blankets up, sinking deep into the feather bed, when sleep overtook me. I think I dreamnt of green pastures and still waters – crystal clear. There were valleys in my dreams but always the Shepherd King led me safely through them.
I slept until my body was strengthened and refreshed – maybe for days. My armor, had been taken from me and shined and polished until it gleamed. Again, I am conscious of the servants of the Shepherd King. They are silent but benevolent. I am helped by these silent giants as I take up my breastplate and shield; my shoes and helmet; my belt and my sword............ Once more the table is set with a wonderful array of food, and I eat. I can feel His warm presence. He quiets my heart and feeds my spirit. He has left a small book for me. In it, the King has left instructions for me. I am to go out while it is still dark. I am to have my sword in hand before I open the door and step out. His words fill my mind. My shield will deflect the arrows that burn. I am to sing praises to Him as I walk. Everywhere my voice can be heard, so goes His light and the enemy dare not approach!