It’s been peaceful for a while now. It’s funny how the wrong people around you just foul up the atmosphere. It’s hard to believe that the departure of Lot and his wife and their possessions was such a hard decision to make before now. But once the decision was made, it was so easy to let go and bless them into it. The surprising thing was how many of my men decided to go with him. I felt slightly dejected knowing where I had brought them from. I wanted to speak to them – remind them – warn them … curse them? But I didn’t. I started to, but my Sarai held my hand and squeezed it. She knows me so well. She knows my temperaments, my moods, my moments. She knows my heart. She understands my temper and still she stands by me without judging me. If there is one thing that I will probably never understand, it is how she never spoke about me and my mistake to anyone. Not to the women, not to Lot, not to the men, not even to me. I know she was angry. I know she was hurting. I know that my cowardly decision broke her and cost us : But she never once spoke about me and for that I am grateful. The problem is, she still has never spoken to me about it. She goes about her daily business but is somewhat distant and disengaged. She smiles and cracks a joke or two, but not from deep within … not from her heart. She allows me close enough to have the perfect relationship in theory but a piece of her she holds back and I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back. I miss her. The real her. Sometimes she gets lost in herself and I cannot seem to reach her no matter what I do. So I focus on the things a man must focus on to be a good husband. I Protect, I Provide and I Profess. I lead and I guide. I take control and secure her future – our future. But daily I pray Lord that she will open the door and let me in completely. I am committed to her – to us; I just don’t know if she is committed to me anymore. And I don’t know how much longer we can do this. If only men lived to be under one hundred years old – but that is not to be. So I will continue to wait while you heal her Lord. Heal us.
The camp is peaceful. There’s no squabbling. There are no quarrels. There’s no fighting. Since Lot and his people departed, we seem to have made more progress as a caravan than ever before. I think of him sometimes and cannot shake the foreboding feeling that this is not the last we’ve heard of them. That something is amiss. I grow more fond of my husband daily. And daily I am reminded not only of his greatness, but also of why I love him. He is honorable. He could have picked the fat of the land but allowed Lot to pick first. He could have spoken harshly and maybe even cursed Lot and his wife and the people who had turned their backs on us – but he kept silent until it was time to speak and then blessed them. He is patient with me. It doesn’t matter how much I push him away. He is always there, always patient and always loving me. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive him, but I will try my level best. He doesn’t know how fond I am of him. Or how much I love him. Or how much I respect him. I don’t know how to say it. I hope he doesn’t give up on me. I truly hope he doesn’t. I’m just not ready – not yet – but I will be – hopefully sooner rather than later.
Trouble is brewing in the region. I hear rumors of war. Four kings against five. I want to understand the cultural, social and political climate. But Yahweh told me to keep moving and so we keep moving. We are extra vigilant and have tightened our security. We have guards watching over the camp in shifts throughout the day and night. I have began training our men – mostly servants, farmhands and hired help – how to defend themselves and how to use weapons. We don’t have much and most of the much is crudely fashioned by our resident blacksmith who is more accustomed to making farm tools – still, we have something to work with. The most pleasant surprise came from Sarai as I was training the men one day. She had been observing from a far (unbeknownst to me) and decided to give some tips. I never realized just how strategic the placement of a Pharaoh’s Harem is. She spoke to me about points of weakness and we stopped camping in the depth of valleys. Better to set up tent on uneven terrain and be uncomfortable than to set up in the shadow of the valley which could very easily become the shadow of death if attacked. She taught me the importance of camping downwind and downstream to avoid early detection and also to allow for the elements to bring a flow of information from those upwind and upstream, And finally, she taught me the discipline of having a smaller, more intimate planning group and playing our cards close to our chest while the rest followed instructions.That way, if they were captured, they would not be able to lead the enemy to us. I simply cannot tell you how impressed I am by her wit and her intellect. She also knew that if this information came from her, a woman, and a woman who had been with Pharaoh for a while, it would not go down well with the men. And so she came in the guise of serving me water and as I sat under the juniper tree and she busied herself washing my feet, she made this and other observations and then left. She knows the importance of a man leading from the front and not showing weakness. And she knows that this could very well be the difference between life and death in the field – when your men trust your leadership, they will die for you. When they don’t, they will watch you die. My heart overflows. The outward beauty has collided with an inward empowerment and I am floored.
Hagar brought me news today. She and some of the other maids had gone to the well escorted by some of our men. They found some foreigners there. Egyptian traders. They did not know that she was Egyptian and so spoke freely. I gather my wits and my courage and seek out my husband. I seek out a private audience with him because what I have to say might just finish him. The war was swift and has ended. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah as well as all their inhabitants have been taken captive. There is no word of survivors. Lot and his people settled in Sodom. This is bad. As I wait for him to enter, I warm some water and fill a basin with it. I also fill his wineskin and lay out some dates in a bowl. He enters and I make him comfortable. I see the suspicion in his eyes but he says nothing. He has started greying around the edges and is aging gracefully. His intense eyes follow me silently but he speaks not a word. My heart is pounding hard. Oh that I would not be the one to have to break the news. But I would still rather be the one than a stranger. And so I take a deep breath and begin to talk.
Her act of kindness as she delivered the dagger that stopped my world for a moment touched me. But I could not stop to focus on that. Her pleading as she begs me not to go forth because it is too late for Lot haunts me. But I must focus in order to leave. The party is large but I know that the odds are stacked against us. As I ride towards the uncertainty that is Sodom, I am reminded of a still, small voice in the wind. The longer and harder we ride, the more I hear that Still, Small Voice. It seems distant but very distinct. He speaks and I listen as I push my steed to her limits. He tells me what to do and I obey. He tells me where to turn and I obey. He tells me who to ask and I comply. I am riding with a heaviness in my heart with the love of my life behind me and the one who is like a son ahead of me. Lord, help me and help my merry band of farmhands and servants. We can only be victorious with your help. The one thing that keeps me going and drives me is the last memory of our first embrace in years as I mounted my beast. And the brief yet very clear kiss that she gave me. I could tell that she was scared to death. But the one thing that keeps me somewhat at peace is that I could also tell that she was praying – for the first time in years, – she was praying. For me. All I want to do is get back to her and never leave her again. But for now, I must focus on the indomitable task ahead. Finding and rescuing my nephew.
[TO BE CONTIUED]
You are Beautiful – Empowered – Visionary
You are @Beautifuletal_