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KAREN

THE

LIGHTBEARER
 


 

CHRISTIANITY OASIS

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Karen The Lightbearer

By: Lightbearer for Jesus
 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface
Chapter_One
Chapter_Two
Chapter_Three
Chapter_Four
Chapter_Five
Chapter_Six
Chapter_Seven
Chapter_Eight
Chapter_Nine
Chapter_Ten
Chapter_Eleven
Chapter_Twelve
Chapter_Thirteen
Chapter_Fourteen
Chapter_Fifteen
Chapter_Sixteen
Chapter_Seventeen
Chapter_Eighteen
Chapter_Nineteen
Chapter_Twenty
Chapter_Twenty-One
Chapter_Twenty-Two
Chapter_Twenty-Three
Chapter_Twenty-Four

 

 PART ONE: THE CALLING

  

Preface

 

     In Secular City, where many worldly devices and ideas are invented, there lived a peaceful group of people. These people dwelled in a part of the city that had a natural state filled with trees, flowers, a few birds and a few animals. They didn’t care to be in the midst of all the action and hubbub so these folks chose to live in nature. They started out with cabins, gardens, a few pieces of furniture, and books to read for the extra time they had to themselves. They enjoyed this lifestyle for a while, then they began to live like their city-like neighbors. They bought fancy clothes, trinkets to spruce up their cabins, expensive cars to replace “the old clunkers” they drove for so long, game machines and video machines, and Boxes that displayed moving pictures behind a glass screen. Everyone was happy with their new treasures. No one would ever think of them again as backwards and old fashioned.

     Soon their nature loving ways were slowly changing into hi-tech ways. However, one person from this now very worldly group would come out of it and become a blessing to both God and man.

 

Chapter One

 

     Karen, a young 17-year-old girl, was busily playing games on the Box. She very nimbly pressed the buttons on the controller to move her pixeled character behind the glass screen.

     Her mother came into the living room and watched Karen’s progress with her game. “Playing Flash the Terrier again?” she asked chuckling.

Karen paused the game and turned her head to face her mother. “Oh, hi mom! Yeah, I thought I’d try to get to level 5 today. This game is really awesome! That dog sure moves very fast!”

Her mother laughed. “I sure wouldn’t be able to play that game. That dog is way too fast for me!”

Karen laughed back. “I guess I kinda got used to it. Sure took a lot of practice though.”

Her mother nodded and then turned around to go back into the kitchen.

     Karen returned to her game. She was getting close to the Big Bad Dog Catcher and she was looking forward to beating that character up.

 

     Later that night there was a knock on the door. Karen’s mother opened the door and in walked her husband, tired and sore.

“Honey, you wouldn’t believe what I had to do today! That no good boss of mine! He made me…”

“Why don’t you take your coat off and relax in your easy chair while I brew you some coffee?” his wife quickly suggested. She didn’t like to hear his tales of anger and frustration when he arrived home from work.

     After following his wife’s advice and taking a sip of his coffee his rage cooled down. A few minutes later she joined him in the living room with a nice cup of peach tea. Her husband spoke, “I’m sorry, dear. I just had another hard day at work. I wish I could be a chef in a place that wasn’t so busy all the time and where the boss didn’t act like such a jerk.”

His wife didn’t say anything. She wished that he could find a less demanding job for the profession he had chosen. But Secular City didn’t have many small restaurants. Ever since the big ones came some of the small ones closed down because of the competition.

     Her husband then changed the subject. “You know what I heard on the news at work?”

“What dear?” she asked.

“Small Faith has been invaded by a tribe of dangerous natives. They burned up the homes and took the people away into captivity.”

His wife was shocked at this news. “That’s awful! None of the poor people got killed, did they?”

“Nope. They were all taken from their home,” he answered.

His wife placed her teacup on the table and shook her head. “The Small Faith People are such a sweet and innocent civilization. How could these natives do such a thing to them?”

“ I don’t know dear,” said her husband, “but the news report did say that the natives were descended from an ancient tribe that traveled far to enslave those who believe in the Good King.”

“I sure hope something will be done for the prisoners,” said his wife.

“Me too, my love,” said he.

 

     Karen was upstairs in her room sleeping. As she slept a strange dream came into her mind:

She saw a dense darkness covering up the whole world. People tried to run away but the darkness would catch up to them and swallow them up, making them miserable and scared. The darkness kept spreading around the globe, but before it could cover it up completely a strong powerful voice cried:

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee!”  (Isaiah 60:1). Then a small streak of light appeared and charged against the darkness. Just when it looked like the light would be overpowered by the darkness, more streaks of light appeared to fight the huge threat. Then more, and more, and more joined in. Working together the small streaks of light finally overcame the dense darkness. The people who were infected by it became free and worshipped the Good King.

     Karen woke up from this dream. For the first time in her life she felt that she had to do something, but she didn’t know what. The dream stayed with her at breakfast time. She tried to eat her pancakes but she was deeply troubled. Did the dream have an important meaning? What is the meaning of it?

     Her parents sat at the table with her. As they ate their breakfast they noticed that their daughter wasn’t eating as much as she used to. They knew something was wrong because she always ate her pancakes like a hungry horse.

“Is something the matter, Karen?” her mother asked her.

Karen quickly jolted back to reality. “Oh, no, mom. I’m okay. I was just wondering about something.”

“About what?” asked her father after he gulped down a big piece of his pancake.

“I really can’t say yet,” said Karen staring at her breakfast. Then she looked up at both of her parents and said smiling, “But I have this strong impression that I must do something with my life.”

 “What will you do?” they asked her.

“I don’t know. However, I believe that by some mysterious way my life will be used to help others.” Karen answered them.

 

Chapter Two

 

     All throughout the day an intense hunger filled her soul. It wasn’t physical hunger but a spiritual hunger for things that were above her natural desires likes watching shows on the Box or playing video games. This hunger got worse when she was finishing up her household chores for the day. She wanted to do something to appease the pangs in her soul but what kind of things would be better than those of the world?

She decided to go for a walk outside when she was done with her work. Maybe something would come to her mind if she were out in nature.

     In the later afternoon Karen told her mom (her dad had gone to work in the restaurant) that she was going to be outside for a bit. Her mom cautioned her to be careful and to hurry back inside by sunset. Karen nodded respectfully. Her mom was always so watchful of her. She appreciated her concern for her well-being, but sometimes she wished her mom wouldn’t worry about her so much.

     Outside Karen walked through the woodsy area by her house. The birds sat on the branches to warble their sweet songs and a couple of squirrels jumped from branch to branch in their mad game of chase. Karen watched these creatures and smiled. If only humans could experience the same kind of joy and freedom that these little critters of nature had. Was it possible for humans to be this peaceful? She then pondered of the dream she had last night. She recalled the voice that commanded the little lights to shine so that the darkness wouldn’t succeed in completely covering up the world. The voice sounded powerful, yet gentle and musical. Who was that? And why did that voice make her want to do something? Was it more than just a dream? If only she could know!

     Soon she came to an old oak tree that was standing alone. Underneath the tree was a pile of dead leaves. Karen liked the colors of the autumn leaves so she went to see if she could find some real pretty ones. She picked a couple out to inspect their colors and saw something hidden in the pile. She carefully pushed the leaves back and saw a book. She picked it up and noticed that it was a very thick book.

     Amazing that it doesn’t feel so heavy, she said to herself. Then she noticed that the front cover said: HOLY WORD. The letters were golden and sparkled when the sunlight touched them. Karen gazed in awe at the book.

     What’s the Holy Word? She wondered to herself.

     She opened the book to see what was written inside. The words she saw appeared to be very beautiful. Could something like this satisfy her soul hunger? She was willing to find out.

     The sun started to go down. Karen tucked the special book under her arm and ran home. She couldn’t wait to show her parents what she found.

 

                                   *******

 

     When she showed the Holy Word to her mother and told her of the wonderful things that were written in it, the young woman was speechless. Karen asked if she was okay because her mom was staring at the book and not saying a word.

     “I’m okay, sweetie,” her mom finally answered, “It’s just that while you were outside I received a visitor.”

     “Who was it?” Karen asked.

     “I don’t know. He was a stranger to me, but he was very beautiful and friendly. He asked to come in for a minute. I took him in and at his request gave him a small meal. When he was done eating he explained that he came from Heaven with a message from the Good King.”

     Karen’s eyes widened.

     Her mother continued. “He said that my dear daughter would become one of the Good King’s faithful servants. She would be used to share the Light of His Truth with others, both verbally and by example. And her mission will start after she finds the Holy Word and with the Holy Spirit’s aid, hides the words in her heart.”

     Now Karen was speechless. She had heard of the Good King and His home called Heaven, and that He uses people to do His will. But those that worked for Him were so good and saintly. Why would He use a Worldling?

This has got to be a mistake!

     Her mother then wrapped her arms around her and said, “Karen, you are going to be the Good King’s Lightbearer.”

     Karen fainted in her mother’s arms.

 

Chapter Three

 

     When Karen awoke she found herself on the couch in the living room. She tried to remember what happened, then recalled what her mom told her.

     Lightbearer? The Good King of Heaven wants me to be His Lightbearer? Karen became uneasy at the idea. How can I share the Light of His Truth with others? What is the Truth anyway?

     She heard the door open and a familiar voice called out:

     “I’m home!”

     It was her father. What would he think of the calling that just came to her?

     She heard her mother’s voice from the kitchen. “Hello, dear! Dinner will be ready in a few minutes.”

     “Okay,” said her husband as he took off his jacket and removed his shoes. “I think I’ll go relax in the living room,” he said.

     When he entered the living room he saw his daughter laying on the couch.

     “What’s up, dear?” he asked as he sat down in his easy chair.

     Karen didn’t know what to say. How could she explain to her father what just happened to her?

     Her father noticed something on the nightstand next to the couch. “Say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that book before!” he exclaimed as he got up from his easy chair to get a better look at it. He picked it up. Thick, but not heavy, he commented to himself. He saw the golden words on the cover. “Holy Word, huh? I’ve heard of this book before, though I’ve never seen it until now. Who found this book?”

     “I did.” Karen answered. “It was under an old oak tree buried in a pile of leaves outside.”

     “It’s a shame it wasn’t golden plates you found. Because if it was, we could live in luxury.”

     “Dad!” said Karen frowning.

     “Just teasing,” said her father smiling. Then he looked closely at Karen. “Say, are you all right? Your face looks very pale. Are you sick?”

     “No,” said Karen, trying her best to smile. “I’m not sick at all.” But there is something I must tell you.”

     Her father listened attentively.

     Karen then took a deep breath and said, “Dad, the Good King has chosen me to be His Lightbearer. He wants me to share the Light of His Truth with others. But before I go He wants me to read the Holy Word, the book I found, and store its truths in my heart.”

     Her father stared at her blankly. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

     “Karen, do you understand what that means?” he finally asked her.

     “Yes, dad, it means that I’ll have to leave home. I would have to say goodbye to this life.”

     “It means more than that, kiddo,” said her father, “if you decide to obey this command of the Good King you will so through severe trials and troubles. I’ve even heard that out there is a great lion that devours those who cross his path. I can’t bear the thought of my sweet daughter being food for that horrible beast.” Tears began to fill his eyes. “Please reconsider, dear,” he pleaded as he went over to Karen and kissed her on the cheek.

     The young girl became silent. She had never seen her tough hard working father on the verge of tears before. She didn’t want to hurt him but deep down inside she really wanted to obey the impression she received from Heaven. The command to be the Good King’s Lightbearer was strongly tugging at her heart.

    

                                       *******
 

     At dinnertime Karen wasn’t very hungry. She wanted some time alone to think about what she must do. Her parents understood and permitted her to leave the table. Karen went into the living room to pick up the Holy Word and then made her way to her bedroom.

     She placed the book on the floor and then knelt in front of it. She wanted to read it so she could know the Good King, who was calling her into a new life; but she didn’t want to hurt her father with her decision. She loved him and didn’t want to cause him grief. She didn’t know what to do.

     Then she did something that was new to her: she prayed. She had seen some people pray when she was a little child at an old church that she and her family had attended about twice a year (It’s the custom of some Worldlings to go to church on special occasions like Christmas and Easter). Unfortunately, the church closed down in her early teens and became a store that sells sour grape juice, much to the delight of the worldly community.

     Karen missed the old church but the shows on the Box and the video games made her forget that unique place of her childhood. But now at this point in her life she had a strong desire to be a part of something that was more than worldliness.

     She felt nervous as she prayed. She really didn’t know what to say to the Good King. All that came out of her mouth was this: “Dear God—I mean, Your Majesty, please show me what to do.” When she finished praying she picked up the Holy Word and started to read it.

 

Chapter Four

 

     Karen started with the stories about the Good King in one of the four books in the second section. She read how He came down from Heaven and was born of a virgin young woman. He grew up and became a man who was dedicated to serving His Father and His fellow men. He, though the Son of God, became human to save humans from eternal death. These stories warmed Karen’s heart and when she realized that He personally died for her sins and resurrected from the dead for her, deep gratitude filled her soul. She wanted to know how she could show her love to the Good King, who showed such mercy toward all of humanity.

     She then read the stories of the Good King’s followers who were called apostles. She was amazed at what they could do when the Good King gave them His Holy Spirit. The apostles preached in different languages, raised the dead and performed other miracles. They also fearlessly traveled to distant countries sharing the gospel of the risen King of kings. She was almost done reading their stories when she heard a knock on the door.

     “Come in!” she said.

     Her mother entered her bedroom. “How are you doing, dear?” she asked.

     “I’m doing okay,” said Karen as she dog-eared her place in the Holy Word.

     “How’s the book?” her mom asked.

     “It’s wonderful. This book has great stories in it. I just read about the Good King and now I’m reading about His followers, the apostles.” Karen answered.

     “I just had a talk with your father. He doesn’t want you to leave because he’s afraid of what may happen to you out there. He knows how bad the world is and he doesn’t want you to get hurt.”

     “I know, mom,” said Karen, “I love dad very much and I don’t want to cause him grief, but I just realized how much the Good King loves people (including me) and I want to be obedient to His call for my life. I want to dedicate myself to Him because He dedicated Himself to us.”

     Her mom went up to her and hugged her tightly. “You are changing, Karen. I can see that the Light of Heaven is beginning to shine through you.”

     The teenage girl was deeply touched. She was glad that in spite of herself the Good King of Heaven wanted to use her and was starting to.

     “Mom,” said Karen as she looked at her face, “Why would the great Good King choose Worldlings to do His will when He’s got others who are really good and saintly?”

     “Maybe they were once Worldlings too,” her mom answered.

     Karen nodded. She believed that what her mom said could be true because it seemed that the World had something for everyone.

 

Chapter Five

 

     The following days were days of newness for Karen. She began to pray and read the Holy Word when she got up and again at nighttime before she went to bed. The neighborhood began to notice changes in Karen. She was now sweeter, kinder, gentler, and more than ready to lend a hand to someone who needed help. She was becoming such a blessing to all her neighbors.

     “That Karen sure is a nice girl.” Becky commented one day. “Every time she goes out she’s always smiling and so joyful.”

     Joyce, one of her friends, couldn’t agree more. “Yeah, and the funny thing is she’s no longer spending her time watching the Box or playing video games.”

     “Did she really stop doing those things?” Betty questioned, overhearing the conversation. “Wow! Who told you that?”

     “Her mom told me when we were at the laundry mat. She said that little Karen has been chosen by the Good King to be His Lightbearer.” Joyce answered.

     “A king chose young Karen? That’s quite an honor for someone!” Betty said amazed. Then she asked, “Who is the Good King any way?

     “I remember hearing about Him in the old church before it got converted into a sour grape juice store.” Becky said trying hard to find her memory of those old times. “Unfortunately, it’s been so long that I can’t recall what I’ve heard about Him.”

     The two other women sighed in disappointment. They wanted to know who the Good King was and where He lived. Becky was disappointed too. She wished she could remember what she heard about Him.

     “How about we all go and ask little Karen at her parent’s house. She must know who this king is.” Betty suggested, breaking the silence.

     The other women heartily agreed.

 

                                        *******

 

     At the restaurant Karen’s father busily cooked the food for the orders that were coming in. Rows and rows of tickets were hanging up front and the executive chef was barking the orders. Philip didn’t like this fast paced atmosphere, but he did his best to succeed for his family. Fortunately, he wasn’t the only chef who had to put up with this; there were twelve other chefs who were also working hard and trying to keep up with the orders. This was the busiest night they ever had in the history of the restaurant. The reason was that the mayor of Secular City along with his family was among the customers being served, and the owner of the restaurant wanted to make a good impression on him.

     “C’mon, Philip! Hurry up with glazing that ham! What do you think we’re running, a country diner?” the executive chef hollered at Karen’s father.

     Philip gritted his teeth. He hated being talked to like that. He had worked just as fast as everyone else for six months and he was still looked upon as slow. He finally finished glazing the ham and cut a slice of it for a serving plate, then he placed a small portion of salad next to the meat. When all the orders for the glazed ham and salad were done he moved on to get the new orders prepared.

     Now executive chefs are supposed to aid and guide those who are working under them. They are meant to not only make sure things got done on time, but to also be a team player. This executive chef flunked these qualifications badly. He was very bossy and screamed so much that his voice would become hoarse. The chefs didn’t like him. They would rather have someone else take his place but this was not possible. The owner told them when they brought it to his attention that he was the only one he could find so they would have to get used to him or leave. They decided to stay and put up with the stress.

     “We don’t have all night, chefs! Get moving!” he yelled.

     “I would love to throw this pie at sergeant over there,” Bob mumbled to Philip as he pulled out a cherry pie from the oven.

     Philip chuckled.

     When all the guests were served the chefs were relieved that it was over. Another night was done. As they got their hats and aprons off the owner came into the kitchen. He congratulated them for another job well done and mentioned that the mayor was very pleased with the service. The chefs clapped their hands and cheered.

     On their way out, Philip thanked his fellow chefs for helping him through another tough night. They told him that it was no problem. He then smiled and said goodbye to them as he walked to where he parked his car.

     As he went past the bushes that were lined side-by-side of the driveway he heard a sound. He noticed one of the bushes moved and went over to it. When he got in front of it he heard a squeaky voice moaning, “Someone, help me.”

     Philip pushed the branches of the bush aside and gazed down.

 

Chapter Six

 

     He saw a small form crouched down in the bush. The little thing was shaking and crying.

     “Are you okay kid?” Philip asked concerned.

     The squeaky voice answered sniffling, “Sir, I’m not a kid, I’m a man. My name is Edward Matthews. I’m a Small Faith Person.”

     Philip quickly apologized for his rash observation. It was so dark outside that he really couldn’t discern if he was a man or child. The little man accepted his apology.

     “Would you like me to help you out?” Philip asked.

     “Please,” said the little man.

     Philip reached out his hand and gripped the small hand. He then gently pulled Edward Matthews out of the bush. In the dimness of the street lamps he noticed that the little guy appeared famished and weary. He felt sorry for him and wanted to help him somehow. He then remembered that he had a couple of sandwiches and a can of punch in his car.

     “Wait here for a minute, Mr. Matthews,” he said as he ran to where his car was parked. He opened the door, grabbed the sandwiches and drink, and ran back to where the little man was, only to find him gone. He searched the whole parking lot and called his name but there was no sign of him.

     Philip shook his head and went back to his car. He hoped that the poor little fellow, wherever he was, would be okay. Why did he leave like that? He wondered.

 

                                               *******

 

     There was a knock on the door. Karen’s mom answered it and saw her friends Betty, Joyce, and Becky. “Why, hello there, girls!” she said cordially. “What brings you three here?”

     “Is your daughter, Karen around?” Betty asked.

     “Why yes, she’s in her room right now. Is something wrong?” Karen’s mom asked.

     “Oh, no, we just have some questions we’d like to ask her.” Joyce explained.

     “We won’t be long with her,” said Becky.

     “Okay, you girls can have a seat in the dining room and I’ll go get Karen.” Then Karen’s mom left the guests to get her daughter.

 

                                               *******

 

     In her bedroom Karen was praying hard to the Good King. She sensed in her spirit that her time of departure was very close. But she wasn’t sure if she was ready. There was still so much for her to learn from the Holy Word. She didn’t want to go until she knew for sure that she would be the best Lightbearer for the Good King.

     As she prayed with her whole heart and impression came into her mind to read a quick story about the Good King. She opened the Holy Word, which was on the floor in front of her, and read where she placed her bookmark.

     The story was about the time when the Good King was going to send out His disciples. He instructed them on how to reach out to people when they were out there. They would also have power over demons and would be able to heal people of their ailments. God would give them this wonderful power as long as they had faith in Him. And furthermore, the Holy Spirit would give them the right words to say when they had to defend their faith.

     Sure is amazing what God can do through a person, Karen marveled to herself. I wonder if He would do the same for me too? I can’t be a Lightbearer in my own power.

     “Karen! There are some ladies here who would like to see you!” her mom called.

     Karen placed the Holy Word on her bed and got up from the floor. She walked to the door and opened it. Her mom was standing right in front of her.

     “What do they want, mom?” she asked.

     “I don’t know, but they have a few questions they would like to ask you.” Her mom answered.

     Karen followed her to the dining room. When the three women saw her they all greeted her and had her sit at the table with them. Karen shyly found a seat and waited to see what they wanted.

     “I’ll be in the living room if you need anything,” said her mom.

     Karen smiled sheepishly at the visitors. She wasn’t out in the world yet and she already felt out of her comfort zone.

     “Karen, can you please explain to us who this Good King is?” Becky asked.

     The teenage girl swallowed hard. How could she answer that when there was still so much for her to know about Him?

     “Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Matthew 10: 19-20)

     This promise flashed in Karen’s memory and made her feel better. She now trusted the Good King to help her just like He helped His disciples.

     “Karen?” Becky repeated. The other two waited anxiously for the girl’s answer.

     Karen began to tell them about the Good King. How He lived in Heaven and came down to earth as a human baby and soon grew up to be a man because of His great love for all mankind. She told them of how He lived His life for His Father and others. His whole ambition was to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Becky, Joyce, and Betty listened spellbound. This story was one of the most beautiful stories they had ever heard.

     Karen couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. This was truly the work of the Holy Spirit. She kept on talking about the Good King. The listeners were greatly touched when they heard of how the Good King gave His life so that no one would die eternally. They also cheered when they heard that He arose from the dead and was now in Heaven interceding for all humanity. When the stories were over the three ladies were grateful to know that there truly was a God who loved them very much. But they wondered if He would accept them because they had done some bad things in their lives.

     “Would the Good King want us?” Joyce asked, speaking for them all.

     “He most surely would. He gave His life for everyone.” Karen assured her.

     “You have truly answered our question about who the Good King is. He is a very beautiful God indeed. We would like to start serving Him just like you are,” said Betty.

     “Oh, most definitely!” Becky exclaimed joyfully.

     “We want the Good King to do for us what He did for you. How do you become a part of His friendship and service?” Joyce asked.

     The sight of these eager women nearly drove Karen to tears. She was happy that they wanted the Good King and she couldn’t wait to tell them how to begin this great change.

     “All you have to do is come to Him in prayer just as you are. Confess your sins to Him and thank Him for dying on the cross to destroy your sins. Then ask Him to come into your heart and take control of it. After that He will lead and guide you into a new life.” Karen explained to them.

     The three women smiled. It seemed too good to be true for something like that to be so easy. They asked Karen if she would pray with them and she gladly accepted their request.

 

                                               *******

 

     Oh, why did I run away like that? Eddy thought as he wondered through a dense forest. That gentleman was very nice. He was going to help me. Why, oh, why did I abandon my aid? A terrible roar in the distance interrupted his thoughts.

     “The great lion!” he gasped as he picked up his pace. Of all the fears that were inside of him his fear of the great lion was the greatest. In Small Faith his people told stories of a huge lion that roamed the World looking for someone to devour. This beast was very cruel and delighted in eating people who were alone, away from others. Eddy was very much alone now. His home was in ruins and the Natives of Doubt took everyone he loved. He barely escaped during the attack and now he was going to be lion food, unless he could find some shelter fast.

     To his great joy he saw a wooden shed in a clearing. He ran to it and opened the door. It was very dark inside. Eddy crawled in. The floor was very dry and the shed didn’t smell musty. He felt around for something soft to lay his head on. His hands felt something that would serve as a good pillow. He carefully pulled it out from where it was and placed it on the floor. Then he rested his head on it and said this prayer before he went to sleep:

     “Dear Master, please watch over me tonight. I’m so very scared. Please be my Protector and Shelter in this land. And please be with my captured people. Help us, Master, for we are very small in faith and stature.”

 

                                               *******

 

     “Thank you very much, dear Karen,” said Joyce as she and her friends headed out the door. “You really are a Lightbearer. Thank you for sharing the Light of the Good King’s Truth with us.”

     “The Good King showed you the Truth through me. Give Him the glory,” said Karen as she waved goodbye to the visitors.

     Her mom waved goodbye to them too. When they were gone she closed the door and gazed at her daughter. She had witnessed the whole incident from the living room and was amazed at how much Karen changed since she found the Holy Word outside. She was becoming less like the Worldling she once was.

     “Dear, your time to go may be drawing nearer. Are you ready?” she asked her daughter.

     “Yes,” she answered.

     This wonderful opportunity made Karen see how close the Good King was to her. As long as He was with her He would help her to be the best Lightbearer she could be in His service.

 

Chapter Seven

 

     Karen was fast asleep when her dad came home. She didn’t hear his car when he pulled in the driveway or when he knocked on the door. She was very tired and the sleep was very sweet to her.

     Outside her bedroom her parents were talking in the living room. Her dad told his wife about the rough night he had at work. He went into detail of how busy the restaurant was and how mouthy his boss was. Then he mentioned how the mayor enjoyed their service, which was an honor for the restaurant.

     His wife congratulated him on the achievement. She was glad to hear that something good came out of his hectic night.

     Then he talked about the little man he met at the parking lot. The poor fellow was shaken and his frame looked like he hadn’t eaten in days. When he went to get some food the little man left. He searched for him in the driveway but he couldn’t find him.

     “That’s dreadful,” said his wife. Then she asked him, “Did he tell you his name?”

     “Yeah, he said his name was Edward Matthews and he came from Small Faith.”

     “Isn’t that the place that you heard on the news?” she said.

     “Yes, dear. I just hope that the little guy is okay wherever he is. I can’t understand why he left like that.”

     “Perhaps he’s trying to protect himself. He may be afraid of getting caught by those who attacked his home. He may be going through great fear and turmoil.”

     Philip agreed with his wife’s reasoning. It would be a fearful experience to see your people or loved ones taken and your home engulfed in flames by a ruthless tribe.

     His wife then changed the subject.

     “Karen is changing a lot. I think her time to serve the Good King is very near.”

     “Why do you say that?” her husband asked.

     “She led my three friends, Becky, Joyce, and Betty to the Good King. She told them about Him and explained some things she learned about Him in the Holy Word. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. I think I’ve beheld what a Lightbearer actually does, for she led my friends to the Light of the Good King’s Truth. Philip, she’s going to be a blessing to others out there. I’m so proud of her for deciding to obey the call of Heaven.”

     This was too much for Philip. “I DON’T WANT HER TO GO!” he shouted.

     His wife was taken aback by his furious response. This was the first time he hollered at her so. “You don’t have to shout,” she said calmly.

     Her husband sighed. “I’m so sorry, dear. I’m just so afraid of what’s going to happen to Karen when she goes out into the World.”

     “Don’t you believe that the God she’s beginning to serve will protect her?” she asked him gently.

     Philip shook his head. “Dear, I can’t believe that. So many bad things happen to those who serve Him. Look at what happened to the people of Small Faith. They were totally devoted to their God and He allowed them to be captured and completely lose their home. The news said lately that Small Faith is nothing more than a memory because it’s nothing but ashes on the ground. How could the Good King let something like that happen to His faithful servants?”

     His wife didn’t know how to answer her husband’s question. After giving it some thought, she said, “Maybe the Good King will make something good come out of it.”

     Philip’s anger was roused again. “Did He do anything good for my brother when he was in His service!?”

     “Your brother?” she questioned, ignoring his rage.

     Philip cooled down. “Oh, I never told you, huh?”

     “No,” said his wife.

     Philip then began to tell her of his brother:

 

     “Ten years ago, my brother decided to follow the Good King. He would call me on the phone to tell me of the things he learned from the Holy Word that he was reading at the time. I got sick of hearing about the things of Heaven at every conversation we had, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I kept quiet. He was my youngest brother and it was normal for him to find excitement in every new thing. We were still very close despite the different routes we chose for our lives. Then one day he called to tell me that a messenger came from Heaven saying that the Good King wanted him to be His Lightbearer in the World. I laughed it off and he told me it was true.”

     “What happened then?” asked his wife, who was becoming very interested in his story.

     “Well, he believed the call and went out into the World. He kept touch with me during his travels. The successes he had in his call made me think that maybe being a Believer in the Good King wasn’t so bad after all, until an awful event took place where he was, which was going to be his last stop. The people there became influenced by some who were against my brother, making them hate him. The whole village condemned him to death by beheading. Before he died he told me on the phone that he wasn’t afraid because he had done everything the Good King asked him to do. He was only a Lightbearer for a year.”

     Philip’s eyes were then filled with tears. His wife embraced him.

     “That’s why I don’t want my daughter to go. I dread that she will share in my brother’s fate,” he sobbed.

     “I don’t want her to die either,” said his wife. “But I also want what’s best for her,” she added, trying hard to hold the tears in her eyes.

     Her husband stared at her. “Do you really think it is best for her to obey the Good King and maybe lose her life?” he asked, confused and hurt that his wife wasn’t against the idea of Karen being a Lightbearer.

     She answered. “It’s up to Karen. She’s old enough to decide her destiny.”

 

                                               *******

 

     Karen quickly dressed herself. When she was clad in her long sleeved shirt and jeans she combed her short curly brown hair and picked up the Holy Word. She then went to the living room. Her parents were not up yet. She found a piece of paper and wrote on it:

 

     Dear mom and dad,

I am leaving to do what the Good King has called me to do. I wish I could personally tell you both goodbye but a messenger from Heaven told me in a dream to go early the next morning. It’s time and I must obey. Please don’t worry. The Good King promised to be with me, so I won’t be alone in my work.

Dad, I know you don’t understand what I’ve decided to do, but I ask that you find it in your heart to trust the Good King. With Him everything will be okay.

I’ll keep in touch with you both as often as I can. I love you so very much. Please pray for me.

                                                                    Your loving daughter,

                                                                              Karen

    

     Karen placed the note on the kitchen table. They would find it when they have their breakfast. She prayed that they wouldn’t worry about her. With misty eyes she opened the outside door, turned her head to where her parents’ bedroom was, and whispered, “Goodbye mom. Goodbye dad.”

 

Chapter Eight

 

     In the shed Eddy whimpered in his sleep. Scenes of fire filled his mind. He could hear people screaming as they fled from their homes in the disaster. He also saw hordes of tall men dressed in battle attire entering the city. Their facial expressions were very cruel complete with war paint. They pursued the escaping people and captured them one by one. All the men, women, and children were then led out of their once beloved city in chains; imploring the Good King to save them from their foes.

     The scene got worse when one of the attackers gazed ahead and shouted, “Hey! You over there!”

     Eddy got out of his hiding place and ran for his life. Two of the attackers chased him through the burning land. He dodged this way and that, hoping to lose them. They were getting closer to him.

     “Stop or we will kill you!” they ordered.

     This threat made Eddy run faster.

     The two attackers threw their spears at him. Both of them missed.

     Eddy saw a way out and sprinted to it. He almost got through it when one of the pursuers jumped at him and grabbed his ankles causing him to fall face down to the ground.

    

     Eddy’s whimpering became louder. He tossed and turned his head on the sack of grain that he used for a pillow.

     A voice interrupted his nightmare. “Hey, sir!”

     The little man shrieked and opened his eyes. He saw a tall young man with an odd object in his right hand. Fearing that his enemies had found him, he pleaded with the individual for mercy.

     The young man watched him confused. This fellow was of a very fearful sort indeed.

     “And please don’t harm me with that weird weapon you have in your hand! I will willingly join my people in captivity if you’ll spare my life.” Eddy pleaded further.

     “Whoa, calm down sir! I won’t hurt you,” said the young man in a friendly tone.

     Eddy was doubtful. “If you don’t have the intention of injuring me, then what’s with the weapon you have?” he asked.

     The young man chuckled. “This?” he asked holding it up. “Why, it’s only my grabber. I use it to grab things off of shelves, see?” He then demonstrated by using his device to pick up a box from a shelf.

     Eddy laughed. He was so relieved that this person wasn’t his nightmare coming true. “Please forgive me of my apprehension. I’ve had a really rough time lately. My name is Edward Matthews. I’m a citizen of Small Faith, which is far from here.” Then he added sadly, “However, my once beautiful home is now in ruins. My people are gone and I’m the only one that is not with them in slavery to the Natives of Doubt.”

     The young man went over to comfort him. “Wow! No wonder you are so afraid,” he said as he patted his back, “Maybe I can help you. I follow a man who assists those who have been persecuted and downtrodden by this wicked World. He cares for those who suffer and has stood up for them so they could get fair treatment. I could take you to him if you’d like.”

     “Does he serve the Good King?” Eddy asked. He didn’t want to see this person if he wasn’t a Believer like he was.

     “Oh, absolutely, in fact he’s a Lightbearer of Heaven. He tells us what the Holy Word says and he also takes such good care of us.”

     Eddy agreed to see this very caring person. As he and the young man walked out of the shed he asked him, “What’s this fellow’s name?”

     “His name is Man* Mercy,” he answered him.

 

     * “Man” is short for “Manuel.”

 

Chapter Nine

 

     Karen went out into the woods. As she walked amid the trees and flowers she saw a narrow path up ahead. The messenger from Heaven had instructed her in the dream to go on this path; it would take her to where the Good King wanted her to go. Before she walked on the narrow path a bright light appeared in front of her. Karen shielded her eyes for the brightness was very intense.

     A gentle voice spoke from the light. “Karen, don’t be afraid. I’m the Spirit of the Good King. I will be with you in your missions as I was with you in your preparations.”

     Karen trembled. God was speaking to her! “Lord, are you sure you want someone like me? I’m so young and very shy. How can I perform such a weighty task?”

     “ ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit.’ “ (Zechariah 4:6) the voice quoted.

     Karen gave a faint smile. “I thank you, Lord, for Your promise and I totally believe it. But why would you pick a lowly person like me? Such a task would demand someone with great courage. I’m not courageous at all,” she answered.

     “When a human soul is completely surrendered to the Good King, He can work in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. You are the perfect candidate for this Heaven appointed task. The Good King is starting His work deep inside of you.”

     Karen bowed to the ground in reverence. “Thank you, Lord, for choosing to use me in Your plan. Your will be done.”

     The bright light faded.

     Karen arose from the ground. A bit dazed from the experience. Now I think I know how the Ancient Believer, Moses felt. She thought.

     She then went to pick up the Holy Word and was surprised to see a Lantern in its place. It was a golden color and the fire burning inside it was more beautiful than any she had ever seen. “ ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.’ “ She quoted as she walked on the narrow path with the Light of the Good King’s Truth in her hand.

 

 

PART TWO: MERCIVILLE

(Things are not always what they appear to be)

 

 

Chapter Ten

     As Karen walked on the narrow path she wondered what kind of adventures the Good King had in mind for her. She knew that she would be put in scary and dangerous situations but her trust in the Good King and her enthusiasm to share the Light of His Truth with others banished her fears.

     A village met her gaze. It was very big and the gates were opened wide for anyone to come in or go out. The narrow path was going that way so Karen obediently followed it to this place. She stood in front of the opened gates. They were huge and had the appearance of gold. They were very beautiful to her eyes. She then slowly walked through the opened gates. Just as she set her feet on the dusty road a tall man dressed in camouflage came up to her. He aimed his rifle at Karen, who stood frozen in her tracks.

     “Who are you? How did you get in here?” he demanded.

     Karen stared uneasily at the rifle.

     “Speak Stranger!” the tall man growled.

     Karen finally found her voice. “I’m Karen, a Lightbearer of the Good King. The path that He bid me to walk has led me to this village. The gates were opened so I entered in.”

     The tall man kept his rifle pointed at her. The teenage girl closed her eyes. Was the Good King going to let her die before she accomplished what He wanted her to do?

     Lord, save me! She prayed silently.

     The tall man lowered his rifle. “Did you say, Lightbearer?” he asked.

     “Y-Y-Yes!” Karen stammered as she slowly opened her eyes.

     The tall man gave her a friendly grin. “You are welcome here. Anyone who serves the Good King has a right to become a part of this community. Our benevolent leader and founder of this village will be more than happy to see you. Come, I will take you to him.”

     Karen shyly followed him. As they walked down the street she saw adults helping one another with their chores, and the little children playing and doing what they could to help out. She also saw gardens and fruit trees. The fruit on the trees looked mouthwatering to her. The apples and bananas were bigger and riper than any she had ever seen.

     Soon they came to a small house. The tall man knocked on the door three times. A minute later the door opened by a man with the appearance of a stately gentleman.

     “Yes?” he answered.

     “Tell Mr. Mercy that he has a visitor,” said the tall man.

     “Yes, sir,” said the stately gentleman as he closed the door and went to get the master of the house.

     He must be very wealthy, Karen thought to herself.

     Just then the door opened again and this time a man in a short-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and sunglasses appeared.

     The tall man bowed respectfully. “Oh, wonderful and loving Man Mercy, I have found this young girl who claims to be a Lightbearer of the Good King like you, oh, great one.”

     Man Mercy walked up to Karen and inspected her. “Hmmm…she looks like a Lightbearer and she has a Lantern like a Lightbearer. What’s your name, child?”

     “Karen, sir,” she answered meekly.

     “She sounds like one too. Well done, Tom, you have found the one that the Good King has sent to aide me in caring for the citizens of Merciville.”

     “You’re very welcome, sir,” said Tom as he gave another bow.

     “Now you may leave us. I wish to have a talk with this fellow Lightbearer.”

     “Yes, sir!” said Tom as he arose from his bow and saluted him.

     When Man Mercy was alone with Karen he invited her into his house for an interview. Karen went inside with him. He led her to his office and offered her a seat next to a desk. Karen sat down and Man Mercy sat at the desk.

     “So tell me a little bit about yourself. What inspired you to take the call of a Lightbearer?” he asked her.

     Karen told him how she was once a Worldling, playing video games and watching the Box. She enjoyed her lifestyle very much until she began to feel that maybe life was more than just having a good time. She began to have a desire for new things: reading the Holy Word and prayer. It was during that time that the Good King impressed her to be His Lightbearer. She accepted the assignment, left her home, and followed the path that was marked out for her.

     Man Mercy was deeply touched by Karen’s account of her experience. This young girl was totally devoted to the Good King and His cause.

     “How did your parents feel about you being a Lightbearer?” he asked curiously.

     “My mom greatly encouraged me to do what I knew to do, but my dad was totally against it.” Karen said, recalling her father’s deep concern for her.

     “And you still obeyed His Majesty even though it would go against your father’s wishes?” Man Mercy asked surprised at the teenage girl’s devotion.

     She nodded. “It was a real struggle for me, but I decided to do what was right. I pray that some day dad will understand.”

     Man Mercy shook her hand. “Karen, it would be an honor to have you in this community. You will be of great service to Merciville.”

     Karen blushed at this honor. She thanked God for this wonderful opportunity in leading others to Heaven.

 

Chapter Eleven
 

     Edward Matthews was outside picking apples from an apple tree that was next to his house. Because Small Faith people were very short in stature (3ft-4ft high) he had to use a ladder to pick the delicious looking fruit. He hummed a little tune in joy. He was so happy to be in a place where he was welcomed and where the love of the Good King spread everywhere. He then looked down and saw a young girl with a golden lantern in her hand. He had never seen her before in the village and by his judgment she looked like someone who was going to fit right in well. He wanted to meet this new person and find out who she was. He was so concentrated on her that he lost his footing on the ladder and fell from it.

     “HEEEEELLLLLPPPP!” he screamed. He was such a long way up that if he hit the ground his bones would surely break. He closed his eyes and prepared himself for the worst. A minute later he opened his eyes and gazed into the kind face of his rescuer. It was the young girl! She had seen him fall and had run to catch him before he hit the ground.

     The little man was very grateful. “Thank you for saving me, Missy,” he said relieved.

     The young girl helped him to his feet. “You okay, sir?” she asked gently.

     “Yes, I’m fine, a little shaken but fine,” he answered. Then he reached out his small hand and said, “By the way, my name is Edward Matthews, but you can call me, Eddy. I’m a Small Faith Person.”

     “My name is Karen. I’m a Lightbearer of His Majesty, the Good King,” she said as she shook Eddy’s hand.

     Eddy’s eyes popped in amazement and awe. “Lightbearer? I’ve heard of them. They are people that share the Light of the Good King’s Truth with others. I’ve never seen one until now, and I am greatly honored.” Then he asked her, “What brings you here to Merciville?”

     “The Good King led me here. It appears that He wants me to work with Man Mercy in helping the citizens of this beautiful place. He’s a Lightbearer too, so I may get some good training and experience here. I want to do a good job in what His Majesty called me to do.” Karen answered.

     Eddy was starting to like the teenage girl. She was so sweet, innocent, kind, and loving. The characteristics of the Good King seemed to be shining through her very young frame. He felt that she was going to fit right into Merciville and He was curious to see how His Majesty would use her in His will.

     The sound of a dinner bell rang through the air.

     “Karen, would you care to have lunch? The food is really good. The fruit and veggies are truly out of this world! Their tastiness will bring your mind back to the Garden of Eden.” Eddy offered.

     Karen accepted the little man’s invitation and followed him to a huge building, which served as a diner.

     The food was very delicious. Karen wondered how the fruits and veggies could taste so wonderfully different than the kind she used to get at the supermarket. She savored each bite and thought, this could be a foretaste of the food we will have in the Garden of Eden on the New Earth.

     After lunch Man Mercy got up from his seat and spoke.

 

Chapter Twelve

 

     “Friends, I would like to introduce you all to my fellow Lightbearer, Karen. She will help you with your problems and will also lead you to the sacred teachings of the Holy Word. Treat her as you would treat me and make her feel at home.”

     All the people turned to Karen and shouted joyously, “The Good King bless Karen! The Good King bless Karen! The Good King bless Merciville!”

     Karen blushed at this show of appreciation. She prayed silently to be protected from pride, for she knew that pride was the one sin that could ruin everything.

     When the people were done cheering, Karen gently said: “May the Good King bless us all and may we all be opened to the Light of His Truth.”

     “Amen!” Eddy shouted.

     Everyone else shouted “amen” after him. Everyone but Man Mercy.

     When the fellowship was over, Man Mercy spoke with Karen in private. “Child, I know that you desire to do your job as a Lightbearer, but you mustn’t rush yourself.”

     “What do you mean, sir?” Karen asked.

     Man Mercy gently patted her back. “Child, I’m glad that you care about the people and their eternal welfare. That’s the marking of a true Lightbearer, but you can’t force the Truth on them. They are not ready for it yet. There are many things that I would like to tell them from the Holy Word but they are not ready to hear them. We don’t want to make them uncomfortable, do we?”

     “Excuse me, sir,” said Karen politely, “but I thought you told the people that I would help them with their problems and lead them to the Holy Word. What did you mean by that?”

     Man Mercy smiled. “We must take this slowly. What I meant was that you will tell them things from the Holy Word that they are ready to hear. I will give you a list of topics that will tickle their ears and hearts. Making them happy is very important. We can’t ignore that.”

     This whole idea made Karen uncomfortable. She believed that there was always a good time to share the Truth with others. Man Mercy noticed her reaction. “You’ll get used to it, child. Just remember, mercy is not roughness.”

     When the private meeting was over, Karen walked away with a disturbed conscience. It sounded logical what her boss said, but it also sounded unscriptural. She needed to pray about it. She left the building to look for a place outside where she could pour her heart out to the Good King. She found a tool shed and went inside it. She locked the door and prayed that the Good King would help her with this challenge that came her way.

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

     As nighttime approached the citizens of Merciville flocked into their leader’s church. Tonight there was going to two sermons: one by Man Mercy and one by Karen. As everyone made their way to their seats Karen peeked through the closed curtain. All these dear souls needed to know what the Good King said in His Holy Word. How could she withhold the truth from this multitude of hungry people? It would be despicable if she did such a thing.

     “Lord, what must I do? I want to share with these people the Light of Your Truth but Man Mercy said that I shouldn’t. Help me to do the right thing.” Karen prayed earnestly.

     Light whooshed out of her Lantern that she placed on a wooden table. She watched stunned as the bright light shot passed her and hit the wall, revealing a message. She walked over to the glowing words. They read:

     “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

     Karen then knew what she had to do. She must play her part as a Lightbearer faithfully no matter what others say. She thanked the Good King for the way He answered her prayer.

     The glowing words on the wall disappeared as Man Mercy walked in with a piece of paper in his hand. “Greetings, Karen,” he said cordially, “Here’s your topic for tonight. I know that the listeners will find it enjoyable.”

     Karen glanced at the topic: “The Quality of Compassion and Equality.”

     “Since you are new at this, I want you to watch me closely as I give my message. Try to present it the way I do when it is your turn.” Man Mercy advised.

     Karen nodded. She hoped that this fellow was really the Lightbearer that he said he was.

     The event opened with music. The choir sang the old hymn, “He’s Able.” This was one of Karen’s favorite songs. She sang along with them believing that the Good King was able to do anything. When the song was over, Man Mercy got up on the pulpit. “Yes, we are able to do anything. Nothing can stop us,” he said to the crowd.

     Karen winced. She didn’t recall that meaning in the old hymn.

     Man Mercy started his message.

     “Why didn’t he pray first?” Karen wondered.

     “Friends, we are all brothers and sisters. It doesn’t matter how different we are: we can be white, black, brown, red, tall, small, or wise and foolish. We are made to live in harmony with each other.

“Those who are against this fellowship don’t know the meaning of love, charity, and compassion.

“We have all gone through persecution and unfairness, mostly by those in the government, and some by very cruel people.

“We would have all been stuck in that rut if divine intervention wasn’t given me to move us all out of our homes and into this land of promise. Here in Merciville, we will live in peace and unity, away from persecutions and bigotry. And we will be nourished by much better food also.

“May our village prosper forevermore!”

     Everyone shouted Amen and halleluiah. This message was really energizing them.

     “And now, our good friend, Karen has a message for us. She will make the teachings of the Holy Word delectable to us,” said Man Mercy as he beckoned her to come forward.

     Karen grabbed the Lantern and slowly walked toward the pulpit. She prayed with each step she made that what she said would be under the Holy Spirit’s control. She wanted her words to be true and scriptural for the sake of those who were listening. When she faced the crowd her knees smote against each other. Her face also turned redder than a ripe tomato. This was the biggest crowd she had ever seen in her life! There were hundreds of people including women and children. Karen tried to fight against her bashfulness, but it was really coming on her full force this time.

     An elderly lady in the crowd noticed her discomfort. “Don’t be shy, dear. We want to hear what you have to say,” she encouraged her.

     Karen swallowed hard. She opened her mouth but no words came out.

     A squeaky voice sounded from the crowd. “You can do it, Karen! His Majesty is with you! Believe in Him!” Eddy cheered her.

     These encouragements inspired Karen with the courage that she needed.

     She took a deep breath and started her message with a prayer.

     “Dear God, I ask that the Holy Spirit will be with me as I share Your Word with these people. I ask that He will be with them too. May our hearts be opened to what you desire to teach us.”

                                                                          In Jesus’ Name,

                                                                          Our Lord and King.

     All the people said Amen. Man Mercy was getting antsy in his seat.

     Karen shared with the listeners verses from the Holy Word that talked about the Good King and His great love for human kind. Using her Lantern prayerfully she showed the listeners word for word on what the verses said so they wouldn’t think she was making it up.

     The people kept their ears open in great interest. This was completely different to them. They had rarely seen the Holy Word presented like this. Some found it more filling than their leader’s message and some felt that it was the same as his.

     Man Mercy gritted his teeth. The teenage girl was going against his advice. He would gladly have stopped her right then and there but the people loved the message she was giving. If he interfered he would lose his popularity and he didn’t want that at all.

     Karen ended the message with another prayer. When the prayer was over she walked off the stage to her seat in the crowd.

     “That was beautiful,” Eddy said to her when they walked out of the church together. “I especially liked it when your Lantern showed verses from the Holy Word. It really made the scriptures come out clear.” Then he gave a puzzled look. “Strange that Man Mercy didn’t share the Holy Word. Since he’s a Light bearer he should be doing that.”

     Karen agreed with him. “Yeah, and I noticed that he doesn’t have a Lantern that contains the Light of the Good King’s Truth.”

     Eddy’s eyes widened in concern. “You don’t think he’s pulling the wool over our eyes, do you?”

     “Let’s hope and pray that he’s not,” said Karen. “It would be ashame if someone who cares deeply about people turned out to be against the Good King and His ways.”

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

     In the office Man Mercy called an emergency meeting with his guards and workers.

     “Men, we are faced with a serious problem. Karen, who is my fellow Lightbearer refused to follow my wishes tonight. She totally disregarded the policy procedures of Merciville by preaching the Holy Word to the citizens. Such an action requires immediate discipline, for if nothing is done the people may leave this place and all my hard work would be in vain. Any ideas on what we should do about her?”

     A gentleman stood up. It was his trusted advisor, Jeremiah Coverall (he was the one who gave Man Mercy the idea to build a village away from civilization in answer to the problems they were having with the law). He was very conniving and sneaky, as his last name indicated. “I think, sir, that we should closely watch her to see if she’s persistent in breaking the rules again. If she continues on like this then we should give her a warning, if she refuses to listen then our last resort would be to make a public example of her. Her punishment would save the people and our village.” *

     * See John 11:50.

 

     Man Mercy smiled a very wicked smile. The Light of the Good King’s Truth was going to be snuffed out and he would make sure it happened rapidly.

 

                                          *******

 

     The next morning Karen went to see how the villagers were doing. She helped them when she could, spoke words of encouragement to them, and prayed with them. Everyone liked the new Lightbearer. They were happy that she came their way.

     She also played with the children. She participated in their childish games and shared in their childish joys. When they were through playing she told them stories from the Holy Word. The children loved her so much that they affectionately called her Aunt Karen. They saw her as someone who cared about them and who would protect them from harm. The teenage girl prayed that the Good King would bless the little ones and their parents.

     When she left them to see her friend, Eddy the Small Faith Person, a soldier hid behind a tree and made notes. He had watched Karen’s every move and what he saw deserved the attention of their leader.

 

                                               *******

 

     As Karen and Eddy ate apples for lunch on the green grass the teenage girl shared with the little man the deep feelings she had of the place. “Eddy, I’m afraid that Man Mercy really isn’t a Lightbearer after all.”

     “Why do you say that?” he asked her with his mouth full.

     “I spoke with some of the people today. They told me that he said to them that he is the Good King reincarnated and that what he says is truer than what the Holy Word says.”

     Eddy choked on his apple. “That is one of the worst lies anyone can say!” he exclaimed coughing and gasping

     Karen firmly patted his back, which helped him to finally stop coughing. “Thanks,” he panted.

     She waited for him to relax for a bit before she continued. When her recuperated from his choking she went on:

     “The good news is that some of them are going to leave Merciville as a result of hearing the Holy Word last night. They now believe that only the Good King is their Lord and Savior, not man. I praise His Majesty for this.”

     Eddy began to feel uneasy at this report. “If this all true, dear Karen, then I was a fool for listening and following such a man. The Holy Word says, ‘Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.’ (Jeremiah 17:5) As a Small Faith Person I should have held on to His Majesty alone, but I was so desperate that I turned to a man to help me in my troubles.” Then he lamented his quickness to trust in the arm of flesh during hard times.

     Karen pitied him. Eddy was so ashamed of himself for hurting his King and Master. She showed him promises on the Good King’s forgiveness with her Lantern. The Light flashed from the Lantern and Eddy saw the burning words in front of him. These promises filled him with hope. He thanked Karen for sharing the Truth with him and then excused himself for a few minutes.

     He went into a storage shed (the same one he slept in when he was fleeing for his life) and knelt on the floor. He asked the Good King to forgive him of his sin and to strengthen his weak faith in Him. He also thanked Him for showing him the Truth through his new friend, Karen. When he got up from his knees he saw rows and rows of bottled water on the shelves. There must have been enough water for the whole community! Eddy tried to rationalize this sight. Was Merciville going to go through a drought? What did this mean? He would soon find out what this water business was about.

 

Chapter Fifteen

 

     A very small number of the citizens of Merciville went out through the opened golden gates. When a guard asked them why they were leaving they told him that they were going back home. They saw the Light and they were going to follow it. The guard couldn’t keep them from leaving so he had to allow them to go.

     Man Mercy is not going to like this! He thought as he wrote a short message to deliver.

                                               *******

     “You saw lots of bottled water in the storage shed?” Karen asked Eddy after he told her the sight he saw.

     He nodded. “Maybe it’s nothing, but seeing all that water made me nervous. I have a funny feeling that something awful may happen. My gut is really strong in this. It could be the Good King’s Spirit trying to warn us.”

     Karen didn’t like the sound of this. She’d been having awful feelings about the village and its founder. There must be a dark reason on why he was so against the Light of the Good King’s Truth, and she didn’t want to behold what it could be.

     “Karen, what should we do?” Eddy asked her.

     “We must pray and be opened to what the Good King tells us,” she answered.

 

                                               *******

 

     The reports came to Man Mercy’s office. When he read them his face turned red in rage. Some of his followers had left him and others were following in their footsteps.

     “It’s that girl’s fault!” he growled. He had to do something now. The damage has gotten so bad that it was getting close to being irreparable.

     He walked from his desk and opened the door of his closet. He pulled out a worn out copy of the Holy Word. “I’ll fix you, Karen the Lightbearer!” he hissed as he took the old book with him.

     Hidden in the closet was as rusty Lantern. It had cobwebs all over it and the glass was smudgy. Inside, the wick was completely burned out and in the bottom there was no oil. It was just as useless as its possessor.

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

     Another night meeting was scheduled at the church. The hall was once again full of people (except for those who left early). The speakers were still Man Mercy and Karen. The people were on the edge of their seats. What kind of message would be preached this time?

     Behind the curtain Man Mercy confronted Karen. His expression was no longer mild but angry, so angry that it appeared to be beyond human.

     “Now you listen, Karen! Tonight we are going to have this settled once and for all. You have caused a ton of damage in Merciville. You are scattering the flock by not diluting the teachings of the Holy Word. Those that have left will die in their sins because of you! More people are ready to leave and they will die also! Karen, if you really care about the citizens of Merciville, then you must recant everything you told them. If you refuse, then I will have no choice but to punish you severally. My compassion is running out for you.”

     Karen shuddered. She didn’t want to be punished and who knows what kind of punishment she would go through. But she couldn’t recant everything she said because it was the Good King who said it, not her. If she did what she was ordered to do then she would make His Majesty look like a liar. And He’s definitely not a liar; on the contrary, He’s the God of all Truth.

     “You will speak first, rebellious child,” said Man Mercy as he pushed her toward the pulpit.

     Karen trembled with each step. Her mind was screaming at her to recant. Why should she suffer for this group of people? It was their own fault for following a mere man instead of the great Good King. She was so young and she had a loving family. Why must she risk her chances of ever seeing or hearing them again?

     She went behind the pulpit and gazed at the crowd. As she looked into their eager faces, compassion filled her being. These poor souls needed to hear the Truth one last time. Their spiritual lives depended on it. She saw Eddy smiling at her. This may be the last time she would ever see him. He was a good friend to her and she prayed that the Good King would be very close to him and comfort him when she was gone. She then prayed for the dwellers of Merciville, asking the Good King to save them from the deceptions that was being fed to them. She prayed that these lost sheep would know their True Shepherd.

     The people waited patiently for her to speak. They noticed that she was very sad about something. The children wanted to run up and hug her but they couldn’t leave their seats. Eddy also noticed that she was troubled. He said a quick prayer for her, asking His Master to see her through her problem.

     Karen finally spoke:

     “Friends, this may be the last time I will ever be able to speak with you. It was a privilege to know you and be your friend. I thank His glorious Majesty, Jesus Christ, for this wonderful opportunity, though it has been very short.

     “I beg you to please listen to the Good King’s Spirit. Let Him lead and guide you into everything that is true. Pray earnestly and if you can, read the Holy Word. Don’t believe the words of man, for they will always lean toward their own understanding, which is very limited.

     “Believe that the only God and Savior we have is the Good King. No man can save us from sin and ruin.

     Please don’t let anyone rob you of your eternal crown, no matter how merciful and nice they may appear on the outside.”

     Karen’s pleas touched everyone who was present. Some got up to leave and some discussed among themselves what was just said.

     Man Mercy scowled. He ordered two of his guards to arrest Karen. The guards went up to the pulpit and grabbed her.

     The people gasped.

     Eddy jumped up from his seat. “What are you doing? Let he go!” he cried.

     The guards didn’t listen to him. They started to drag the poor teenage girl away. The little man ran to the stage to stop them but was blocked by Man Mercy.

     “Sir, you must let her go! She’s an admirable Lightbearer!” he exclaimed, trying to see where the guards were taking his young friend.

     “She’s an enemy of the village and all enemies must be punished.” Man Mercy replied coldly.

     “She was doing her duty. Lightbearers are called to share the Light of the Good King’s Truth wherever they go. You’re a Lightbearer, why haven’t’ you been faithful in your Heaven appointed task? Why have you been leading these dear souls in the Darkness of Deception?” Eddy said, bravely confronting this deceiver.

     Man Mercy slapped his across the face, knocking him down. “”Don’t rebuke me, midget!” he growled. “Is this the thanks I get for making you a part of my community when you came to me homeless and friendless? If anything you should be grateful for I could have turned you away, and then you would have been captured by your enemies.”

     Eddy rubbed his sore face and looked up at the fake Lightbearer. He wanted to say more but he realized that it wouldn’t be the wisest thing to do. Instead he got up, dusted himself and said in a strong yet gentle voice, “May His Majesty forgive you,” then he walked away upset at the treatment Karen the Lightbearer was getting.

     Man Mercy wasn’t bothered at all by the little man’s inspiring words. He went up to the pulpit, calmed down the crowd and started his message.

 

Chapter Seventeen

 

     Karen was handcuffed in the office and watched by the two guards. She closed her eyes, praying silently for strength. An hour passed and the door opened. Man Mercy entered the office.

     “Are we nice and comfortable, Karen?” he asked sarcastically.

     Karen said nothing. Her heart was so in tuned in prayer that she didn’t hear him.

     Man Mercy chuckled. “I have set the record straight tonight. Thanks to my persuasive tongue no one else will ever dare think to leave me. In fact, I made sure that the things you just told them went in one ear and out the other.”

     Karen opened her eyes. “What did you do?” she inquired in a concerned tone of voice.

     Man Mercy flung an old book at her. It was his copy of the Holy Word, battered and ruined. The pages in it were ripped and torn. “I gave them a demonstration of how powerless this book is. While I destroyed it your great God didn’t intervene. I even challenged Him to strike me with lightening and He didn’t. You serve either a Mickey Mouse god or a marshmallow god.” He then gave a big laugh.

     Karen felt righteously indignant. How could he show such disrespect to the Good King? “You are ignorant of our great King and His ways,” she said trying to control her anger. “If you truly knew Him you wouldn’t have committed such a sacrilegious act. The Good King have pity on you.”

     Man Mercy became furious. “I don’t understand you, child! Don’t you know that you will suffer extreme punishment for going against me? You’ll not only be in pain, you’ll lose your life! Don’t you care whether you live or die?”

     “I don’t wish to die,” Karen answered, “but I love the Good King and others more than I love myself. If sharing the pure truths of His Word means death then His will be done.”

     Man Mercy’s conscience was aroused by the fortitude of this very young Lightbearer. She was willing to sacrifice her life for the Truth’s sake. He once loved the Truth when he was a young man starting out as a Lightbearer. Memories of him going to places and leading people to the Good King filled his recollection. So many were blessed and so many became Believers as a result of his witness.

     He was once a very useful man to Heaven until pride and love of attention entered his heart. He soon gave up his calling and instead taught people the things he wanted to teach them. His rebellion made him lose the pure heavenly Light that was in his Lantern. When he discovered the Light was gone he tried to bring it back by lighting the wick but the fire burned it up because there was no more oil in the Lantern. He still called himself a Lightbearer because he liked the title so much, and he kept his damaged Lantern well hidden from human eyes.

     He had gone in the wrong direction for so long that he no longer cared about the Good King and His Truth. Even at this moment the pricks in his conscience couldn’t make him want to change his ways. He ignored the past and held on to his stubborn will.

     “Karen, if that’s the way it’s going to be, then it will be. You are hereby sentenced to be executed after three days. You will be an example of what happens to those who dare to go against me. Guards, take her to the basement and chain her up. If anyone wants to see the wretch make sure to watch them well so they can’t help her escape.”

     The guards dragged the teenage girl away.

 

Chapter Eighteen

 

     Eddy was badly worried about Karen. He feared that she was in danger and he wanted to do what he could to save her from it. But the problem was he didn’t know where she was taken. He went around the neighborhood and asked those he came into contact with if they knew of the whereabouts of Karen the Lightbearer. They didn’t know where she was but they assured him that they were keeping her in their thoughts and prayers. Eddy thanked them for their kindness and then left them to continue on his search.

     Eddy’s heart was heavy. What if Man Mercy did something horrible to her? The thought of the sweet teenage girl being harmed by that unmerciful man made him wish that he was taller so he could give that fake what for. She was like a sister to him, a sister that he never had and always wanted to have. If he wasn’t so small and cowardly he could have prevented her from being arrested by those tall brutes, or so he believed.

     He was pondering hard on how he could find Karen that he bumped into a guard. The guard turned and gazed down.

     “What do you want?” he asked gruffly.

     Eddy looked up at the guard. His size was very intimidating to a Small Faith Person: six feet tall, dressed in a soldier’s uniform, and bearing a rifle that could blow him to pieces if triggered. He found his courage and spoke, “Sir, I’m looking for Karen the Lightbearer. She’s a very dear friend of mine. Can you tell me where she is?”

     “She’s in the basement of Man Mercy’s house. She is confined there until her execution, which will be in three days.” The guard answered him.

     “Execution!” Eddy exclaimed. “What did she do to deserve that?”

     “She disobeyed the rules of Merciville by rebelliously telling the citizens things that she was forbidden to say. Now she must pay with her life,” the guard further explained.

     “May I see her before it’s too late?” he pleaded with the guard.

     The guard gave him permission. He led the little man to Man Mercy’s house and showed him where the basement was. Eddy walked down the stairs. The guard stayed at the top of the stairs to make sure that no funny business would take place. When Eddy reached the floor of the basement he saw Karen chained to the back wall. He walked over to her. When he got close his eyes became wet with tears. Her arms and legs were chained and her feet were in stocks. Her Lantern was on the floor next to her, glowing brightly in the dense darkness. She was asleep and there were tearstains on her face.

     “Karen? Karen, it’s me, Eddy the Small Faith Person,” he said gently.

     The teenage girl opened her eyes and grinned when she saw her little friend. “Oh, Eddy! You couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m so lonely that I need someone to talk to. You are an answer to my prayer.”

     Eddy sniffed. He couldn’t bear the sight of Karen’s imprisonment. The founder of Merciville was truly a monster for treating a devoted servant of the Good King like this! He embraced her and said in a broken voice, “Dear Karen, what have they done to you?”

     The young Lightbearer patted his back and tried to soothe his grief. “Eddy, don’t cry for me. Cry for those who are remaining in this deceiving village. If I should be killed for doing His Majesty’s service then maybe my death will be used to lead more lost souls to the Light of His Truth, which is found in the Holy Word. ‘Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.’ “ (Philippians 2:17)

     Eddy sobbed harder. “Don’t say that! Please don’t say that!” he begged. “You’re such a beautiful young girl who also has the Light of the Good King’s Truth deep in your heart. Why must a loving person like you die?” He then added, “You’re my friend and also a sister to me. I lost my people to the Natives of Doubt and now I’m going to lose a very dear friend to death. This is more than I can bear.”

     Karen tried to encourage him. “Brother Eddy, you must keep trusting in the Good King. He has your best interest at heart. Everything will work out fine. And we’ll meet again at the Good King’s second coming.”

     “But I will miss you so much until then!” he cried. “I love you, sister Karen!”

     “I love you too, Brother Eddy,” she said trying to keep herself from crying also.

     “Sir, it’s time for you to go,” the guard called from the top of the stairs.

     Eddy gave Karen one last hug and said goodbye. Karen said goodbye back and reminded him that the Good King would take care of him.

     Eddy walked up the stairs and the guard closed the door behind them.

 

Chapter Nineteen

 

     In his small house Eddy prayed intensely for Karen and for the remaining citizens of Merciville. He beseeched the Good King to save his young friend from the fate that awaited her. He didn’t want her to taste the sleep of death. The idea of her dying broke his heart.

     In the middle of his prayer he heard voice outside his home. He peeked out of his window and saw a well-dressed man speaking to one of the guards. He listened carefully to the conversation and tried to keep himself well hidden behind the curtain.

     “Man Mercy is deeply disturbed in his spirit. He received a message that government officials are going to come and invade our village. He has given orders to lock the gates so no one will go in or out. It’s the only way to protect the people.”

     “Yes, sir, I’ll be sure and give the other guards this command,” said the guard saluting the well-dressed man who was none other than wicked Jeremiah Coverall.

     The advisor stopped him for a minute. “One more thing, we may have to result to difficult measures since the government is a strong force against us. Man Mercy has given a solution that will spare us from the iron hand of the law.”

     “What is it?” the guard asked.

     Jeremiah Coverall snickered. “There’s going to be one last meeting in a couple of days. During that meeting our leader will prepare a special drink that will put an end to everyone’s problems permanently. If you know what I mean.”

     The guard protested. “That’s hideous! Mr. Mercy is going to stoop to something like that?! Where’s the compassion in such an act?”

     “Do you want the government officials to kill us all instead? I think our leader’s way is very compassionate.” Jeremiah Coverall pointed out.

     The guard consented to the plan. “What about Karen the Lightbearer?” he asked.

     “The wretch will be shot in front of the people at the meeting. When her wretched blood is spilt, Man Mercy will put his caring plan into action.” Jeremiah Coverall answered.

     Eddy’s face turned pale. That’s what the bottled water in the storage shed was for! He now understood why Karen admonished him to cry for the remaining people instead of for her. Their lives were in danger! If they trusted the lies of their leader and drank the poisoned water they would be forever lost. They would be dead for eternity!

     “Master, such fearful times are going to come upon this village. Everyone here is doomed to perish. Please save us, somehow.” Eddy prayed quietly.

     He then realized that he would have to go and warn the people of the water treatment they would receive.

     He snuck out of his house, unnoticed by the advisor and guard, and ran as fast as he could to his neighbors. He tried to warn them of the destruction that was fixed for them but the warnings fell on deaf ears. They thought he was out of his mind to suggest that their benevolent leader would do such a thing to them. Eddy pleaded with them in vain to open their eyes to the darkness that was about to consume them, but they acted indifferent to what he said. Defeated, he sadly left his neighbors. They were totally blind of their danger. There was absolutely nothing he could do for them.

     “Forgive me, Master, I tried,” he prayed as he made his way back to his small house. Suddenly five guards stopped him. He stepped back and held out his hands in fear. The guards surrounded him and aimed their rifles at him. Sweat poured down from his head.

     “Please don’t shoot me!” he begged them, clasping his hands. He was so terrified at this sight.

     “So is the timid Small Faith Person following in the footsteps of the Lightbearer?” Man Mercy inquired sarcastically as he walked toward the trapped manikin.

     Eddy clenched his fists. “I heard what you are planning to do to the poor deluded people. You will not get away with this! The Good King won’t let you! When He comes again you will be held accountable for this great wickedness.”

     “Big words for one who is so small,” said Man Mercy amused. “What am I going to do with you? Perhaps I can let you be the guinea pig of my special drink. It doesn’t take long for the poison to kill the body of one who is so short in stature.”

     Eddy trembled like a leaf in the wind.

     “What’s the matter? Are you afraid to die?” Man Mercy asked in a very cold voice.

     Eddy admitted that he was very afraid to taste the sleep of death. He didn’t want his life to end so soon. Then he remembered Karen. He was so impressed with her willingness to lay down her life for the sake of the Truth. She was five years younger than him and yet she was willing to let the Good King have His way with her, even if it meant death. Courage began to fill his being as he meditated on the Lightbearer’s fortitude.

     “I will spare your life, Edward Matthews, if you will recant what you said to the people. I will even let you leave Merciville unharmed. You have my unbroken word.” Man Mercy offered.

     Eddy declined the offer. “It’s better to die than to lie. I’m not as brave as dear Karen, but I can’t hurt my Master and King by recanting. Though I’m a very timid fellow I am willing to lay down my life for the sake of the Truth too.”

     Man Mercy scowled at this show of bravery. “Then you will perish after your friend. Guards, lock him in one of the sheds. If need to put chains on him. In a couple of days we will leave this world and enter a much better one.”

     The five guards took the little man away.

     It appeared that the lives of the Believers and the people were over.

 

Chapter Twenty

 

     On the second day the golden gates of Merciville were closed tight. This didn’t alarm the citizens because they were told that it was for their safety. They occupied themselves with their work and play not realizing that they were going to be led like sheep to be slaughtered.

     The lie that Man Mercy gave them on him having more power than the Good King and His Word made them no longer believe the things that Karen the Lightbearer shared with them. Their persistence in believing the words of Man Mercy fulfilled what the Ancient Believer Paul wrote:

     “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-11)

     Since they didn’t cherish the Truth that the Good King presented to them through His young servant there was nothing more He could do to save them from deception. They were going to reap what they sowed.

 

                                               *******

 

     “Lord, comfort dear mom and dad when I go. Don’t let my fate cause them to distrust You. Help them to know You as the Good King that You are. Forgive Man Mercy and forgive those who are following him. Please do what You can to save them from the eternal sleep.”

     Karen prayed this prayer with her whole heart. Though she was in pain from the chains and stocks she concentrated on the well-being of those who were of Merciville. She hoped that everything would turn out fine for them.

 

                                               *******

 

     Eddy paced back and forth in the locked shed. The guards decided not to chain him but to make sure that the door and windows were locked. Two of them kept watch so he couldn’t escape easily, which would have been impossible for him to do anyway.

     So this is it, he thought, Karen and I are going to be executed, and then every single one of the poor people will be killed by their leader. I wish I never came here. It would have been better for me to be captured by the Natives of Doubt and be their slave than to go through this. Oh, Your Majesty, please do something!

 

                                               *******

 

     “You did what?” Man Mercy inquired frightened.

     “I’m sorry sir,” said a guard apologetically, “we should have told you sooner but we didn’t want to put more burdens on your shoulders.”

     Man Mercy slumped in his chair and sighed.

     “When did you shoot him?” he asked in dread.

     “Right after you had Karen arrested. He was going to report the incident to the government, telling them that the treatment we gave her was brutal and inhumane. We took him outside the village and shot him. We had to do it sir.” The guard tried to explain.

     Man Mercy shook his head. “We just killed a police officer. The government will waste no time in getting here. This has become much worse than we could have imagined. We must have the last meeting now. Hurry and summon the citizens to come. The meeting will take place in the wide field outside my home this time. Be sure to bring the bottled water and the poison.”

     The guard readily obeyed him.

 

Chapter Twenty-One

 

     In the basement something extremely heavenly took place. An angel came and released Karen from her imprisonment. The teenage girl thanked the Good King for delivering her from her shackles.

     The angel then said to her, “Go and get your friend. He’s being held in a shed. His Majesty will show you where it is. Don’t worry about the guards because He has put them in a deep sleep so they won’t interfere.”

     The angel then disappeared and Karen went to find Eddy.

 

                                               *******

 

     Eddy was on his knees praying. He prayed for Karen and also for the citizens of Merciville. He asked the Good King to let Karen live because she was such a nice person and also a faithful Lightbearer. The World needs people like her to spread the Light of the Good King’s Truth to those who were in darkness. This beautiful place was a clear picture of what deception could do to people. The Master of Darkness really had a hold of Merciville. His lies were very strong and convincing to those who wouldn’t accept the Holy Word.

     “Eddy, are you okay?” a gentle voice asked.

     Eddy was stunned by the voice. Was that Karen? It couldn’t be, she was all chained up. He stood on tiptoe to look out of the window that was on the door. Great joy filled him when he saw her with her Lantern shining brightly in her hand.

     Karen unlocked the door and he came out running to her with opened arms.  “Karen! Praise the Good King that you are free!” he exclaimed joyfully, as he embraced her. “But how did you escape from your confinement? And why are the guards sleeping so soundly?”

     Karen told him of the angel that set her free and how he explained to her of the guards sleeping.

     Eddy praised the Good King with his small heart. “His Majesty is with us and is watching over us. I’m so glad we serve such a loving and caring God!”

     His joy then quickly turned to fear. “Karen, Man Mercy is going to do something very evil. He’s going to poison all of the people! And he’s going to do it now! I heard one of the guards talking about it before you rescued me. We must stop it!”

     Karen couldn’t believe that the founder of the village would do such a thing. True he was a deceiver and a false Lightbearer but she never imagined the he would destroy his own people as well.

     “Have you heard where he’s going to do this?” she asked.

     “Yes, he’s going to do it in the wide field outside his home.” Eddy answered.

     Karen wasted no time. Clutching her Lantern tightly she ran as fast as she could to stop Man Mercy from committing this inhumane act. Eddy ran close behind her. Would they make it in time?

 

Chapter Twenty-Two

 

     Karen and Eddy ran through the dusty streets of Merciville. There was not a soul in sight. The place was now like a ghost town to the two Believers. They finally saw Man Mercy’s house up ahead. They dashed to the wide field, hoping and praying that they were not too late.

     “Friends! Please don’t listen to him!” Karen cried as she ran into the field first. “He’s not speaking the Truth! He’s…” she stopped and stared in horror. As far as the eye could see she saw the men, women, and children lying on the grassy ground.

     She went up to an elderly lady and bent down to shake her. “Please wake up! Please wake up!” she begged.

     The elderly lady didn’t respond. Karen felt her wrist. There was no pulse. She left the poor soul heartbroken and then went to a little girl, whom she recognized as one of the children she used to play with. “Child, it’s Aunt Karen, your friend,” she said as she gently shook her, “please open your eyes.” The little girl remained motionless. Karen shook her harder. “Please wake up! Speak to me!” she cried as tears fell from her eyes. The little girl remained silent. She was also dead.

     Karen sobbed. Everyone was dead! That monster clad in mercy had killed them all! She walked among the poor dead souls and found Man Mercy. He was on the ground with a chilling expression on his face, one that would have been on the face of a demon.

     She shook her head. “Sir, why were so determined to fight against the Light of the Good King’s Truth? Why did you stop being a true Lightbearer?” she asked in a mournful voice. She then walked away from the still form and sat on a tree stump. She was so crushed by this scene. Did the Good King send her to Merciville to witness this? She buried her face in her hands and wept.

     Eddy walked over to her. He too had tears in his eyes. “Oh, Karen!” he cried as he hugged her tightly.

     Karen hugged her small friend back. “This is all my fault, Eddy. If only I tried harder in giving the Truth. These people are dead because of me. I’m not worthy to be His Majesty’s Lightbearer.”

     Eddy tried to get her out of her negative mindset. “Dear Karen, this not your fault. The people decided that they wanted the lie instead of the Truth. There’s nothing more you can do when they reach that place. There’s nothing more the Good King can do either. He can’t force them to accept the Truth that is presented to them.”

     Karen nodded. She understood what he was saying but she still felt responsible for the fate of the deceived people. “I wish I tried harder at my job as a Lightbearer. If I did this never would have happened.”

     Eddy then said something that was full of the wisdom that comes from Heaven. “Child, it’s not about you. It’s about the Good King. You did your very best and His Majesty has rewarded you for it. In fact, He saved others through you. I’m one of them because I had so much faith in Man Mercy. If you didn’t come I know I would be out here and would be among the dead. I thank His Majesty and I thank you as His instrument.”

     Karen wiped her eyes. She was starting to feel better. She saw that the Good King succeeded through her in saving Eddy the Small Faith Person and also those who left the village. She was still sad for those who were destroyed by the deception but she was also comforted by the positive results of her witness. “Thank you,” she said smiling through her tear stained eyes.

     Eddy patted her knee. “The Good King did not make a mistake in calling you to be His Lightbearer. And I’m so glad to have one as a friend.”

     “Can she be our friend, too?” asked a voice.

     Karen and Eddy turned and saw a crowd of people coming their way. They all went over to the surprised teenage girl and hugged her, thanking her for sharing the Truth with them. Little children also came up to her and showered her with hugs and kisses.

     “We love, Aunt Karen!” said the little ones in childlike happiness.

     When the hug fest was over the people explained to the two Believers that they were protected from the last meeting because they were meeting together in their homes praying and seeking the Good King’s will. They never received the invitation to see their corrupted leader. It was like a shield was placed on them, protecting them.

     Karen looked up at the sky and verbally thanked the Good King for this marvelous miracle that took place. Eddy also rejoiced by singing a hymn of His greatness.

 

Chapter Twenty-Three

 

     Back in Secular City, Philip and his wife were watching a talk show on a popular news network. They were so into the discussion of the economy and how it could be fixed until an alert came in. A sad looking reporter appeared on the Box.

     “This is a news alert. It has been confirmed that Man Mercy, founder of the village, Merciville has been found dead along with his followers. He had been on the run since the police wanted to question him for actions that they considered suspicious and dangerous to the well-being of others.”

     Images of the bodies scattered on the wide field filled the screen of the box. Philip and his wife gasped at the awful sight.

     The reporter went on. “The police have found evidence of poison in the water that have been offered to the followers during what appeared to be a meeting that Man Mercy may have conducted. We have one of the former followers on the phone now. Sir, can you please tell us a little about yourself and what you know about Merciville?”

     The caller answered, “My name is Sloppy Joe. I’m a man who is very untidy and who came to Merciville because I wanted to be in a place where I would fit in. The people there were very kind and the founder seemed like a very caring man. I felt I was where I belonged.”

     “Why did you leave Merciville if you felt so at home there?” the reporter asked him.

     “There was a young girl with a very bright shining Lantern that told us things that were wonderful and true. Things that Man Mercy never told us. I was so impressed by these words that I prayed about them and then had a strong feeling to leave Merciville. I left along with some others and I thank the Good King I did.”

     The reporter marveled at this account. “So this young girl saved your life and the lives of others. That’s amazing!”

     Sloppy Joe chuckled over the phone. “Well, I believe sir, that the Good King saved us through her. I don’t think a human could’ve done this alone.”

     “How do you feel about these recent images from Merciville, Mr. Joe?” the reporter asked.

     “Terrible just terrible! It surprises me that Man Mercy would do such a devilish deed. I just hope that the kind young girl is okay. Though it looks like survivors in this heartbreaking event are very few.”

     “Do you remember her name?”

     “Yes, her name was Karen the Lightbearer. She had a true caring heart for others.” Sloppy Joe answered.

     Philip flung his remote across the room. He then buried his face in his hands and wept. His wife wept with him.

     “Why did she go? WHY?! Now she’s dead and we will never see her again!” he cried.

     His wife tried to comfort him. “We can be proud of her. She actually helped those who would have died if she weren’t there. She shared the Light of the Good King’s Truth with them and they are still alive because of it.”

     Philip said nothing. He really was proud of his daughter’s noble deed but he was also angry and sad that he would never hold her again.

     The neighbors also heard the report. They too cried for their dear friend who had shown such love to them. They would never forget sweet bashful Karen.

 

Chapter Twenty-Four

 

     The two Believers were on the path away from the evil village. They were thankful to the Good King for saving their lives and the lives of the former villagers. But they still grieved for those who perished there, their eagerness to accept the lies of man instead of the Truth of God had cost them their very lives. Karen was determined to keep on being a faithful Lightbearer because she saw with her own eyes what happens when people listen and obey the message, the Good King protects them and they are saved from being eternally lost. She realized that everyone wouldn’t accept the pure Truth but she now knew that it wasn’t her fault as long as she obeyed the Good King and did her best.

     Eddy spoke. “Karen, we’ve been on this path for such a long time now. Do you think we can rest for a bit? My feet are killing me.”

     Karen felt tired too. But where could they rest? They soon saw a motel up ahead. Talk about a quick answer! They walked up to it. Eddy stood on tiptoe and banged the knocker on the door.

     A tall chubby man opened the door and invited them in. When they entered he looked closely at one of them. His eyes widened and his mouth gaped in surprise. Then a big smile formed on his face. “Karen! You’re alive! Praises to our wonderful God!” he exclaimed as he gave her a big bear hug. Karen gasped for air as this huge affection was shown toward her.

     He then released Karen and looked at her small friend. “And who’s this fellow?” he asked.

     “I’m Edward Matthews of Small Faith,” the little man answered. “A handshake from you would be enough for me, thank you.”

     The tall chubby man chuckled. “Don’t worry, I save my hugs for the ladies.”

     Poor things, Karen mumbled as she felt her breath slowly returning to her. Then she asked him, “Sir, who are you and how did you know me?”

     The tall chubby man giggled. “Silly me for not introducing myself. My name is Sloppy Joe. I used to reside in Merciville and followed the teachings of its founder, Man Mercy. I would have been a lost man if you hadn’t come and lighted the way for me. Thank you, Karen, for letting the Good King use you. He delivered my soul as well as the souls of others from eternal ruin.”

     “Praises to His Majesty!” said Karen beaming in great joy.

     Sloppy Joe then showed the two Believers to their rooms. When they were well situated they got ready for the night, which was fast approaching.

     In her room Karen used the telephone on a small white table. She had to make an important phone call.

 

                                               *******

 

     Philip was sitting in his easy chair gazing at a family album. Tears formed in his eyes when he saw pictures of his beloved daughter. Karen was such a blessing to him and to his wife. If the Good King was really good then why did He take her from them? She was gone forever. They would never be happy without her.

     His wife was in bed. She was so broken in spirit that she wanted to stay in bed all day. She didn’t blame the Good King for this tragedy but she couldn’t understand why someone who only wanted to help people had to die such a terrible death.

     The phone rang. She didn’t pick it up because she didn’t feel like talking to anyone. The phone rang three times and then the answer machine started. When she heard the voice on the answer machine she quickly picked up the phone and called out to her husband. Philip ran into her room. “What is it, honey?” he asked concerned.

     His wife pressed the speaker button on the phone and a soft gentle voice spoke through it: “Mom, dad, this is Karen. Hello, is anyone there?”

     The parents shouted in joy. Karen wasn’t dead! She’s alive and well! When they were finally able to contain themselves they talked with their daughter. And oh, what a wonderful conversation they had together!

     Karen told them of her adventures in Merciville and the awesome miracle that took place there. She also mentioned to them Eddy the Small Faith Person and his sweet friendship toward her.

     Philip recalled the little man he met in the parking lot days and days ago. His name was Eddy and he was also from Small Faith. Could this fellow Karen met by chance be the same one? It would be quite a thing if the fearful little guy he met crossed his daughter’s path.

     As they continued talking to their beloved daughter they heard a squeaky voice in the background. “Karen, who are you talking to?” it asked.

     Her father recognized the voice. It was the same little guy he met!

     Karen answered him, “I’m talking to my parents. I want them to know that I’m okay.”

     “That’s sweet,” said Eddy, wishing that he were still able to speak with his parents. Then he said, “Tell them that they raised a beautiful caring young lady.”

     Karen giggled modestly.

     Her parents smiled. Though they were Worldlings they did their best to teach and show their daughter how to be a good person in the World. Their efforts had truly paid off. Not only was she good but she was also a servant of the great Good King of Heaven. Philip was now glad that she obeyed the call. He accepted the peace that the Good King’s Spirit tried to give him. He trusted the Good King to keep his daughter safe. He was so impressed by the stories that Karen told that his hard heart began to soften. He was no longer against her being a Lightbearer.

     Karen talked for hours on the phone until dinnertime. When Sloppy Joe announced that the meal was ready she ended the conversation and went to eat. Eddy was at the table waiting for her. The two Believers said the blessing and enjoyed their dinner of noodle soup and garlic bread. It was funny that a sloppy dressed fellow could cook such delicious food and keep his motel clean and in order. As they ate and talked they didn’t know that they were being watched.

     A tall creature clad in a robe as black as midnight spied on them invisibly. His face was hideously ugly from centuries of wickedness and his eyes were bright red. He clenched his fists in anger when he gazed upon the teenaged Lightbearer. He had tried to kill her through his servant Man Mercy and he didn’t succeed. This chosen young girl was a threat to his plans. If she wasn’t stopped she would encourage the Light of the Good King’s Truth to be spread worldwide.

     “Rejoice while you can, Karen,” he hissed in a guttural voice, “for I am determined to get you and your little friend too.”

 

     End of first book

 

 

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