The rider stopped beneath the veranda and lifted his sword in salute to the Mage. She bid him come closer.
“She has arrived at last! Finally we have a new Seeker to walk among us in the footsteps of the Creator.”
The Seeker was inspirited by the regal armor of this Knight and the purity of his white stallion. The blanket upon which he sat was of fine gray and blue silk, the colors of mind and spirit, to show that he had knit together the understanding of their combined nature. Upon his helmet he wore two Eagle feathers signifying the power of his awakening to the true spiritual path, and his courage and determination to watch over the Creator’s people. And though he understood the tenuous connection with which mind and spirit were tethered, he carried one sword as protection against the chaotic power of the intellect over one’s heart and intuition, for he understood that battle that was ever within. The Seeker smiled to see several butterflies, the Creator’s beautiful symbol of new life, hovering about his person. This truly was a Knight of great power.
The Knight never raised his visor. His words boomed and echoed sounding strangely hollow inside the metal helmet. “Welcome, Seeker! It is my pleasure to escort you to the palace of the King and introduce you to the court. It will be your heart’s new home. From there you may draw sustenance and journey forth to the ends of the earth returning as often as you wish or need.”
“I thank you, kind Knight,” she said. She turned to the Mage. “Is this the end of my journey then, my lady?”
But the Mage had turned away from her and begun to walk away. The Seeker found her behavior somewhat odd.
“No, indeed, my dear. This is only your beginning, the commission to which the Creator has called you. From now on you will go forth in the power of the Holy One’s Love to touch all whom you meet for you are, praise be, blessed to be a blessing.”
The Seeker stood in awe. After all her doubts and fears, her failures and small victories, she had arrived at where she had hoped to be.
Sensing the direction of her thoughts, the Knight grew momentarily serious. “No, young Seeker. There is no arrival, for the Kingdom of the Creator is here, all around us and within us. It has ever been with you though you had not eyes yet with which to see. Your journey to walk in the footsteps of the Holy One is a life-long adventure. And as you travel you must accept the Creator’s love even as you seek to share it with others. For that was the foundation of your wish.”
With that the Knight held out his gloved hand to the Seeker. She grasped it and was lifted with ease to sit behind him. She could sense the power of courage and creativity that coursed through the horse’s body and wondered if that feeling would ever truly be hers. The Knight raised his sword in salute to the Mage, the Seeker waved her farewell, still struck by the oddity of their meeting, and the companions galloped off toward the east.
Dusk was drawing near as they came upon a brick and stone sanctuary. There they dismounted and the Knight departed to tend to his horse leaving the Seeker in the charge of a young man seated beside a vine growing vigorously around a wand. His attention was all for the plant, his expression serious and perhaps a little weary. He looked up as the Seeker approached and smiled.
“Welcome,” he said, rising. “I see by your mantle you are the new Seeker. This sanctuary is your last stop before entering the Courts of the King.”
“What is this place if I may ask?” she answered.
“This is the House of Prayer where life and faith and hope are nurtured. There is a vine for every person in Creation. Here within these brick and stone walls they are protected, given a strong foundation and a long life. I am a Prayer Warrior. To those of us here it is given to tend and water the vines with prayer in the hopes that at the proper time they will produce blossoms and fruit and in turn nourish others. It can be tedious work at times for sure. Even discouraging. Not all our prayers are answered when nor as we expect. But there is no joy that can surpass that of seeing those first blossoms bud and unfold.This is YOUR vine, Seeker,” he said, smiling at her surprise. “From it will come the strength and courage for your journey.”
The Seeker was truly touched to find one so dedicated to uphold her in prayer. “May I?” she asked the young man inclining her head to the vine. At his assurance, she knelt and touched a runner on the plant. Immediately it grew another few inches and wrapped itself around the wand. She gasped in surprise.
The young man laughed and nodded approvingly. “Your vine is full of promise,” he said. “Remember, and let it be an encouragement for you as you spread the Love of the Creator throughout the Wider Realm into which you are about to enter.”
Now the Seeker was puzzled. “But I thought I WAS in the Wider Realm,” she said.
“You have been walking through the edges of the Kingdom where all Seekers receive their great commission. Tonight you will journey beneath the new moon into the very heart of the Realm where you will meet with the Court before receiving your blessing.”
The Seeker glanced up at the moon overhead just then noticing it was now full and bright. Another test? At the thought a knot of disquiet began to tighten in her stomach. Would she never have the peace that passes all understanding that was promised in the Sacred Scrolls? For a moment as she knelt there on the ground a vision of being surrounded by water and encircled by a ring of silver Swords wafted through her mind.
Blindfolded in her vision, she felt restricted and unable to see a way out of the circle of threatening swords. But just as discouragement would have smothered her hope she saw herself reach for the swords and realize the flat sides of the blades were facing her providing a wall of protection, not danger. As her heart and spirit rose above the fear, a glimmer of victory began to replace the knot in her stomach. From far off she heard someone say, “Search inside yourself, Seeker. Be still and know your Creator. For from the stillness at your center will come your strength and peace.” Then as quickly as it had come, the vision cleared and the Seeker was looking into the eyes of the young man who had been praying there for her as she struggled. And for the first time she began to understand the importance of prayer in her life.
© Cheryl D. Carter
Picture Credit — personal (see also www.aeclectic.net)