The Price! (An Ekphrasis)
Wondering where the trail of blood would lead to, I continued on
A part of me wanted to turn back
But curiosity wouldn’t let me be,
The road was dusty yet the blood so fresh
What animal could be this wounded?
Oh poor thing I wish I could find you quickly
Should I call out?
I don’t think so, it could scare off the poor thing
The only wise step is to follow the trail of blood.
So I followed on
Then I stopped,
But why is it taking me so long?
I’ve been on this path since morning and now the sun is rising so harshly
Beads of sweat dropping from my face
Yet the blood seems to be my bait
The fresh drop of blood on the dusty road
“Just around the corner, just around the corner “
I mutter to myself
From the corner of my eyes I thought I saw movements
Was I being followed?
Were the drops of blood a bait? are my eyes playing subtle tricks on me?
Still trying to answer my own questions
When suddenly big craggy hands lifted me off the ground and covered my mouth so my loudest screams were like moans
And thump, thump, thump my heart began to beat wildly in my chest.
Life seems to play like a broken record before my eyes
Then I remembered Father,
Whose instruction I had disobeyed,
He told me to wait at the store for him, and off I went. The very opportunity I had prayed for; to be alone
I know he wouldn’t approve my going any where
Not when he knew my true intentions ” I was getting tired of staying all behind ” closed doors”
I wanted to explore a bit on my own.
I’ve heard stories from the girls that came to the store. I wanted my own story, not one filtered with ‘Father’ in every sentence.
I wanted the scent of flowers as I rode my Haflinger to show off to the bright girls, that I was not a sissy
I am my own independent woman
A poke on my side brought me back to reality
“Oh Father, I am sorry” I whispered, “but I promise you I will stay at the store from now henceforth,
I will do all you say”
But the man who carried me must be a mind reader
For he said to his partner
“What fleshly lass, just they way Esu liked it
I can’t imagine my reward for this bounty,
Blood and flesh so mingled and sweet.”
“No, I called, I can’t be minced meat,
Please let me go I pleaded”.
But he looked like I spoke an unknown language to him.
We got to an ugly house with bizarre design
I couldn’t stop to think of Father
If only Father was here
If only Father was here
The gate opened up by itself and there went the trail of blood again,
Was it a mirage?
Are those really drops of blood?
Now, I’m not so sure
“Bring her to me now, I heard a voice thunder, echoing from God knows where
“So this is my end.” I whimpered
“Father, I am sorry” I muttered
I felt my feet touch the ground as a rough hand pushed me forward towards a door which creaked open as I staggered closer
The hall suddenly lit up
But the sight that met me was sickening; bones and skulls littered the ground.
“Move forward” came the dreaded voice again
It had the chilling feeling each time the voice echoed
And as if on remote, I walked forward weakly,
The voice sounded like that of Esu,
He only speaks once a month from the houses down the hills or so we thought. No one had seen him physically.
My heart wasn’t prepared for what I saw next, for huddled on the ground was….
My Father in a pool of His own blood
Father, I exclaimed as I ran to his side
With tender, swollen eyes he said
” I came home but couldn’t find you, so I went looking for you “
Father, I clanged to him and wept
Father!!, was all I could mutter, my father looked like a freshly battered goat, about to be roasted
His clothes were torn and his hands severely peeled and bloody,
Enough!, came the bitter voice of Esu, I didn’t call you for a reunion party.
“One person must die today ,so decide which one of you”.
“I’ve told you Esu, I can’t give you my princess, she’s all I’ve got.
You can take me” Father responded. He sounded so very weak.
“No, Father I protested. I am the guilty one here, if I had stayed at home, we would be home together”.
Father looked at me so tenderly,
“Never forget princess, I always love you”
A hand so violently peeled me away from my Father’s grasp covered in blood stains I screamed
“Please don’t kill my Father, he’s my everything” I pleaded.
“Oh, your tears brings me so much joy, Princess , I want more pain from you”
A man dressed in black stepped forward holding a shot gun in his hands
Father was still dripping blood, from his hands, his legs, his side, his head
His body was battered beyond recognition
“Princess, Father called, “I did it because I love you”.
I turned away, I don’t want the last memory of my Father to be his gruesome murder and as the shot gun rang,
Father fell lifeless to the ground.
“My mission is accomplished” Esu laughed.
I screamed with my every being
“Father, I am sorry” !!!
Take them out of my presence and throw them down the hill on the path leading to the Village
Let the villagers see that the man they so much love and respect is dead.
I held Father so tightly as two men dragged us out and threw us with a thud outside the grave house.
And just as Esu predicted we fell right on the path to the village, the very same place I had been abducted.
I struggled to but finally lifted Father’s lifeless body from the ground
As I walked back to the village, I wept
“How do I explain that I caused Father’s death
Slowly, the piano from the old church began to play Father’s favorite song
Could they have known?
I trudged down the path very slowly as the words rhythm filtered through the air and I sang
“ He did it all for love, All for Love
He’s so really amazing , He did it all for love.
Even in my disobedience, He chose to love me
Despite my hurting Him over and over again
Yet, He didn’t for one moment hesitate to take my place of death
He paid the greatest price any Father could pay“
I cried, not for the blood, not for the wounds but because Father didn’t have to die, if only I was where he told me to be.
His death was all because of me.
Yes, Jesus’ death was just because of you. why do you still make Him go through the torture again? his death cannot be in vain. You struggle in that addiction, that sin, that habit, that character. See His love reaching out, calling out to you; the price has already been paid.
” Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins” . Hebrews 10:26.
The Cross is calling, please come home!