Here is a story I got inspiration to write last week I hope you enjoy…. and I would love to here your thoughts
In a kingdom long ago and in a place far from here their lived a kind and majestic monarch. This king was not only honest and just but also loving and compassionate So much so that all of his subjects were ones he rescued from slavery and other such miserable existences. To each he gave not only a new life in his kingdom but also a special gift. Each was different and priceless to him no matter what their rank, gift or talent was.
Christopher loved the King with all his heart and being raised in the castle itself had gained a deep relationship with his Monarch. To this lad the king had given the gift of painting and not just the talent but the love. There were few things that Christopher relished more than sitting down to a blank canvas and creating something beautiful with what was once nothing, it made him so happy and fulfilled. Often the King would go for walks with him, they might bring the easel and find some fine hilltop to rest upon, or maybe bring home interesting flowers for painting later.
Those were the happy days of his youth, but as Christopher grew, he began to question if he should be doing more for his Lord the King. Surely others must know of his loving Sovereign who rescued him from his life as a galley slave. Although he dearly loved his work as an artist, he felt it truly wasn’t enough. He must leave the castle and go throughout the land telling all who would listen about the King. So, one day before the sun head raised its golden face to break the night, he packed his belongings and set out. At the closest market he sold his royal robes and with some of the money he bought himself the garments of a simple peasant the rest he gave to the poor. With a sturdy walking stick he had cut from the wood he shouldered his almost empty satchel and continued on his journey. True to his resolve he told all who would listen and found that great crowds often came to the village wells for water, while they waited, he taught.
However, the air was getting colder and at night small bits of frost would settle on the ground, crimson, and melon colored leaves floated form the trees and formed heaps on the ground, truly winter was coming.
Still Christopher pressed on and talked to all, at night he would ask to stay at houses and sometimes his inquiries gained him a warm fire and a dry bed and other times nothing but a door in his face and the reality of a night in the wild where only his old blanket and a scratched out fire were there to warm him. Although many were eager for his message he felt as if somewhere along the line he had missed something. The warmth of telling about the king would set his heart aglow but, even then, deep down inside there was a sorrow. Deep down he missed his painting, he missed coming home from a long day to sit in front of a canvas and finish a painting or to drift off to sleep thinking of his next subject to capture with brushstrokes. He was angered by this longing and told himself that a life in complete service to the King must mean the sacrifice of will and the laying down of his enjoyments. At night as he lay wrapped in a blank staring into the dying coals, he would try not to think of his canvases back at the castle after all he was doing what he should do wasn’t he?
One morning after a particularly cold night he woke up to a familiar voice. Blinking his eyes open and sitting quickly up he was joyfully startled to see his Monarch bending over him. “My Lord,” He said. “It is so good to see you.”
“As good as it is to see you, how do you fair?”
This brought on a lovely conversation and the first hour or so they spent merely catching up and were talking merrily along till the king stopped abruptly and asked a very pointed question, “Are you happy where you are Christopher?”
“Surely I must be happy, for I am doing your bidding.” He tried to smile.
“Don’t lie my child, I see you are yet discontent and deep down inside you are longing.” He tenderly looked at him with eyes that seemed to see all.
Yet, Christopher tried again and again to deny it, and told him that truly he shouldn’t be happier then where he was. The King listened patiently to all this and wore a kind almost sad look upon his stately features. Finally, he asked Christopher to come with him for he had something to show him.
Through a quiet village the 2 strode side by side, bringing with this the happy memories of bygone days. As they continued Christopher was arrested by the sound of a lovely voice coming from the banks of a river, there a joyful girl with bright eyes and rosy cheeks was singing an evening sonnet. Unaware of her audience she sang yet louder and her voiced swelled till it seemed to fill the whole valley with its beauty. On they went till they came to a smithy shop and their stopped to see shining shields and sharp swords still red from their recent completion. As they continued, they beheld more and more people each busily doing what they did best. Weaving, spinning, music, ironwork, no matter what, each seemed perfectly happy with what they were doing.
Totally overcome by the beauty of the scene Christopher nearly forgot why he was there and exclaimed in awe “What wonderful things your subjects do for you!”
“Really for me?” the king looked at him with a quizzical gaze.
“Yes,” Christopher was shocked at his Monarch, “Surely you see all the beautiful things they have made for your glory?”
The king patted him reassuringly “Yes, I do, but is that enough? He raised his eyebrows in a mock question.
Then Christopher saw the point, truly only one of people he had seen had been teaching the villagers. Many were simply at their work joyfully exercising their gifts and using their talents. The king noticed the wave of understanding that had washed over his young charge and with a smile began to explain, “Oh my son, truly you now see, I gave all of my subjects gifts each different then the other, and while some are meant to tell crowds about me that is their gift not yours. Not to say that you shouldn’t tell all you encounter of my name, but I gave you the gift of painting, not only that but the love of it too. There are few things that make me smile more than walking past the door of one of my followers and seeing them hard at work creating something where once nothing was. It reminds me of how I made this kingdom. I have given you a talent don’t put it aside don’t bury it under the concern that it is not great enough for me. When you use your talents for me you are fulfilling a purpose, a purpose to tell others of me.
“Even if I am not directly teaching them? How can this be?”
“You saw tonight, you saw my glory reflected in the faces of my subjects in their toils of love. There are people watching like we were watching tonight, travelers and sojourners there are searching and they will see. Do everything for my glory, and always be prepared to answer when people ask you why you do what you do, many paint some for good some for evil. Every opportunity you have tell others about me. I have given you this talent for a reason.”
He set his hand on the lad’s shoulder as their gaze met. “There are times my child that actions speak louder than words Seek me, serve me, but do not think that a life of a teacher will be any more holy then a life as a painter. I have given you a gift. Use it for my glory and when you do it shall have eternal value.
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