The Lad Knows the Outcome Already
By Eva Marie Everson
Reflections of God's Holy Land
Peering through branches of almond blossoms, I imagine the young boy David coming from the opposite side of the valley. He is dressed in a shepherd’s tunic, his sandaled feet thump against thick grass, and his staff pierces the ground before him. He seems nonplussed at first — sling hanging loosely from his fist — his goal only to gather five smooth stones from the brook. Kneeling, he chooses them one at a time, running his fingers over them as though they are fine gems.
And then he stands.
There is a rattling in the camp. Heavy metal jangles as it moves toward the one who has already won the battle because he has enough faith to face the enemy. Seeing the boy’s youth and good looks, the giant spews curses. But he cannot rattle the boy, a shepherd who seems ready for nothing more than a game.
When I stand still in this spot, I can hear the laughter of these Philistines. Go ahead, I think. The lad already knows the outcome of this fight.
There is a wrinkle in time now. The clanking of armor, the whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of a skilled sling whipping through the air, the rowdiness of one camp, the noisy gasp of another, the smack of stone striking flesh, and the thunder of earth as Goliath crumples to his death.
The shepherd — who must have looked so petite against the greatness of this land — has slain his giant.
I shiver, though the weather is warm. It’s not the temperature that has chilled me to the bone. It’s my lack of faith, standing in the presence of my own giants. It’s easy, I decide, to fight them with bravado when in my own camp. But do I dare step out into the valley? Have I practiced with sling and stone enough while in valleys of pleasure to know what I’m doing in valleys of war? Have I mastered the turn of the wrist, the height of the arm? Do I I know just when to let go?
Do I even know how?
Printed by permission of Thomas Nelson. For additional information on Thomas Nelson, visit www.thomasnelson.com.
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