‘The oaken doors were heavy, engraved and stretching far above my height, the iron ringed door handles each bigger than my head. I set down my sword, shield and armor on the white marble courtyard floor. The metal and iron clattered loudly, rolling against the nearest pillar. I dropped my shredded and blood stained cloak across it and took two steps towards the doors. My heart pounded against my rib cage, so I clenched both fists together as if this show of strength would quiet the other restless parts of me.
He was just on the other side of those doors, like He always was. I tried to remember the details of His face; the color of His eyes and the crease around His smile. But endless days of battle and blood and death fogged up my memories. I knew I wasn’t suppose to be afraid, yet I was terrified to enter the throne room.
I clenched my fists tighter and willed my feet forward until my right hand grasped one of the massive iron rings. I paused, breathing in deeply, trying to steady my frantic and anxious heart. He was too good. This I knew. Yet still I was afraid.
I slowly pushed the door inward, shoving it with the full weight of my right shoulder. The hinges creaked and groaned. I slipped inside, letting the door ease shut on its own behind me. It clicked back into place with the tiniest echo.
The heady aromas of frankincense and myrrh hit my senses first as I stood silently staring forward into the throne room. The windows from the left and the right, glowed with warmth, letting in the beams of the midday sun. Dust and air swirled. I blinked, looking past this towards the back of the room where the embers of dying fires burned on two hearths, one on either side of the throne. I could smell pine and cedar, rich and deep.The throne itself was made of wood and stone, a deep bench and high back, covered in white lamb skins. The throne was empty.
My fists released as I slowly gazed about the room. The colorful cushions and rugs spread throughout the hall were empty. The drums and lyres and harps lay against the floor, strings tight and ready to play. Untouched food lay across the great table, still steaming with warmth. But no one was visible. I sighed wearily and bent down to untie my boots, fingers shaking against the leather straps.
He should be here. I felt disappointment rise in my gut now, as I jerked off my boots and shoved them into the pile of shoes to the right of the doors. Then I quietly tiptoed forward, walking between the bright beams of light. The marble slabbed floor was warm and comforting to my bare feet.
“I knew it was you,” His voice startled me from the left.
I caught my breath and spun around. He was standing with His back to me, staring out one of the windows to the city below, one arm resting along the window sill. His long hair glistened in the sunlight.
I crossed my arms, carefully forming my first words, “ Where is everyone?”
“I sent them out, when you came through the castle gates,” He slowly turned around, stepping out of the direct sunlight so His familiar features became starkly visible in the lesser light of the shadows.
As His eyes met mine a deep, indescribable emotion shook through my entire being. No one had eyes like His, those fathomless, kind, fierce and powerful eyes, swirling in an endless cycle of gray, green, blue then brown. And then He smiled and I felt my stomach tighten and constrict with a deep longing, for what I didn’t know, but it held me fast in a relentless grip. I couldn’t move as He slowly walked across the hall, eyes never leaving mine. He reached out, taking my hand and raising it to His lips.
I nearly fell over as I began to weep, shoulders shaking uncontrollably as I fell against Him. Without hesitation He pulled me close, His strength and peace enveloping me on every side within seconds. It felt heavy and light all at the same time. Yet still I wept, clinging to Him desperately.
“The sacrifice is too great,” I said, choking out the words, “ It’s too much…too painful…too costly…”
I felt His hand cradle the back of my head as He gently pulled away to look down in my eyes once more. He was my king, my lord, my brother and my friend. But as He spoke I could not resist the feeling of wanting to flee.
“Am I not enough?”
My lips trembled and I dropped my eyes, feeling so much shame and confusion. His hand reached up to gently lift my chin, regaining my eyes. I sensed the love and compassion He was offering, but I felt a growing rage inside myself.
He repeated the words, “ Am I not enough?”
Despite His grip, I jerked away, stepping several feet back.
“I don’t know! Why would you ask me to give up so much?” I nearly screamed these words as my fists were clenched once more. “I’ve sacrificed so much and yet you ask for more! How can you do this?”
He only quietly stared at me and repeated Himself yet again, “ Am I not enough?”
I shook my head, tears spilling freely, “ Is there no other way? Must it be every dream, every comfort, and every right. My desires, my hopes and passions. Are these not good? Are these not fair?”
He stretched out His hand to me once more, the twisted ugly scar stretched across His palm. I sucked in my breath staring at the dark pink circle of flesh. I reached out, fingertips rubbing against the knotted and calloused skin until my hand was enveloped by His.
“Am I not more than enough than all of these?” He whispered, pulling me towards Him once more. I leaned my head into His chest, still weeping as I felt the pressure of His scarred hand against my own.
“Its hurts…so bad…” I sobbed.
“I know…” He brushed away my tears and then took me by the hand towards His throne. We sat side by side on the lambskins. He poured water from the pitcher that sat beside the throne and washed my feet, as I wept, holding my hands in my lap. And as He washed my feet He began to speak, and as He spoke the words themselves washed over me.
“Am I not enough? Am I not enough to take your pain and replace it with joy? Am I not enough to satisfy every empty longing and comfort every aching loss. Am I not good enough to be trusted? Am I not strong enough to protect you and kind enough to show you mercy? Am I not able to give even more than what you ask for? Am I not faithful enough to give you even better dreams than your own? Are not your passions created by Me for Me? Is not all hope found in Me?” He paused, hand lightly holding my foot as He wiped it dry and then caught my gaze once more and smiled, a twinkle in His eyes, “ Am I not enough?”
I took a deep breath, as the truth of what I feared most gushed out of my lips, “ I’m so afraid you are not.”
He nodded slowly and took both my hands, kneeling in front of me as His eyes darkened with soberness and understanding.
“ You were not created to be afraid of anything. I promise to you that I am enough, but it is your choice to believe it.”
“ I want to, “ I whispered.
“Than choose me,” He stood to His feet releasing my hands, standing powerful and tall beside me, His head above mine though I sat on His throne.
“Choose me today. Choose me again tomorrow. Choose me every day, ” He waved His hand over His head, “ No matter what you feel or think or fear, choose me. For I am enough. My promises to you are faithful and true.”
He held out His hands once more and my eyes could not look away from the scars. My king, brother, lord and friend was perfect and true. Yet He had given everything. He didn’t have to, yet He did. He had suffered, more than I could imagine. He knew the struggle, the fear, the pain and the ache of unfairness. He knew it all. And yet He had laid it all down with joy. I gripped His hands, letting Him pull me to my feet.
“Show me how. Be my strength and my hope,” I whispered.
“Gladly,” He grinned, kissing my hands and pulling me towards the window He had first been standing at, “ Come. See as I see.”
Natasha is a short story writer who has been blogging for the past decade. She is currently raising four kids in the midwest United States and married to her wonderful husband of 10 years. They both work with YWAM and media missions.