“En Garde” by Patti Corbello Archer

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Ally slammed the door as hard as she dared and walked outside. She wished she could get the satisfaction of the glass breaking but then again she was glad she didn’t have to clean up the mess. Temper was not a good thing. As she glanced around her she saw that daylight was fading fast but she had to go unwind – she was about to explode. A worn path led the way to the back of the barn where her favorite swing waited for her.

With a sigh she sat down in the area indented from many years of swinging and seeking God. She leaned her head back on the top edge and an almost imperceptible movement of her left knee set the swing in motion. The gentle rhythm and the breeze ignited the promise of peace deep inside of her. She needed to be rescued from the conflict and stress of the last 3 days.

Sold out by someone faking a God-purpose, betrayed by a trusted friend, and then finally the last straw, today, she was rejected by someone who swore they would always love her. 3 days of hell she thought to herself…3 days. Suddenly, the pain reminded her of another in this Easter season…. “Jesus,” she whispered as tears welled up in her eyes.

Behind her a tall man leaned against the edge of the barn door and watched her. He was barefoot with jeans and a loose shirt. He looked down on the shelf just inside the doorway and saw her bible. A very dusty Bible. He flipped it open with his hand and a silver sword appeared in his hand. Not saying a Word He slowly walked up behind her. He smelled her…loved her…and missed her. Suddenly feeling a flash of anger inside Himself He grabbed the chain and stopped the swing.

Ally gasped and swung her gaze behind her. Tear tracks on her cheeks testified to her distress. “Jesus,” she said. “You came!” As blue eyes gazed into blue eyes He told her abruptly, “Get up.” Surprised, she stood up and walked around the back of the swing toward Him. As she neared Him her tears fell again. “I need you,” she said. He leaned forward and rubbed His cheek against hers…transferring her tears to His face. He closed His eyes a moment and stepped back. She watched Him; sensing His intensity.

She started to say something but He put His hand over her mouth. “No,” He said, “it is my turn.” He turned and walked back to the shelf where her Bible was. He reached toward it and another sword appeared in His other hand. Only then did she notice the first sword. She swallowed hard.

He turned to face her. They stood there for a moment in silence. Then Jesus said, “Have you forgotten how to use it, Ally?” And before she had time to respond, He tossed the 2nd sword through the air toward her. As it flew she found herself getting in position to receive it – and caught it. She watched Him salute her and He said, “En Garde.” She saluted Him back and said, “Forgive me, Mighty One.”

His shout caught her off guard as He brought the attack to her, reminding her, teaching her new tricks and showing her how to go from offense to defense in the battles of the world with His Word. The swords were powerful as they clashed and vibrated down their arms. He was so much taller but the weapon that He had given her was just as powerful as the one He held.

She watched the sweat run down His face, His hair getting wet. He watched the sweat and struggle awaken the faith on the inside of her. Her eyes no longer welled with tears but glistened with purpose and remembrance of how to fight the good fight. He rushed her and brought her up against the barn wall, His sword at her throat. She gasped and looked up at Him, knowing that He was always her Champion. He grinned at her, turned His sword around and handed it to her by the hilt.

“Come on,” he said. Now let’s swing. And by the way, “of course I forgive you.”

Happy Easter…with a Reminder for the season
Patti Corbello Archer
March 23, 2013

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