THE TAKE AWAY
Calvinism: Predestination from Another View - Part IV
By Kersley Fitzgerald
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This is a fantasy story in five parts — a tale that unravels the complicated issue of salvation to reveal the single, shining treasure that it is. Part One is here.
The Golden Heart: Part IV, Seeking Truth"Cook was always was a daft one," Maisie said from the shadows by the kitchen stairs when Joseline returned. "There's nothing out there but dark forest. Not that I'm believing what Xander says, either. There's no great purpose in this life, and there's nothing on the other side of that wall."
"What about the smoke?" Joseline asked. "And the white sails and the lockets? Ryan had one this evening. Where did he get it?"
"Cheap trash. For a kiss, the blacksmith will cast one out of old brass casings. I had one once." Maisie rubbed her chin. "Wonder where it went?"
"Knock it off, Maisie," said Daisie, plucking the key out of her bosom and considering it in the moonlight. "Joseline and I don't want your nihilism."
"You believe then?" asked Joseline.
Daisie nodded. "Sure. I've seen it. But Miranda's got it wrong. There are lots of gates. Some of them, you have to pick the lock. Some you have to bring fresh cream to the guards. They all lead to forests or gardens or fields. And when you're in there, you feel like you haven't a care in the world. That's the freedom Miranda was talking about."
Joseline held up her key. "But then, what makes this one so special?"
Daisie eyed her. "Good question. My guess is that it's not. That whole story of the Prince and all that — I've heard about Him, and He's nice enough. But I don't need His help to feel free. I can find my own gates."
Maisie dropped her hands into her lap. "I wouldn't get to go anyway. You heard what Miranda said — there's a list. If there's a list, it means some people aren't on it. Why would I want this freedom if not everyone could have it? Who's to say that I'm lucky enough to even be on the list at all? If I was to go through a gate, I'd rather go through one of Daisie's, to a garden where everybody's welcome."
The dairy sisters strolled arm-in-arm to their room off the barn.
Joseline returned to the kitchens only to find them empty, the fire banked. But a light flickered on the table. It was a key — the butcher's key. Joseline scooped it up and crept to Bernie's room by the cold storage.
"Bernie?" Joseline knocked lightly. "Bernie, you left your key."
"Come on in," Bernie said, his voice cracked and gruffer than usual.
She joined him in the candlelight. "Here's your key."
"Just set it on that chest of drawers over there."
She did, then took a seat in the rush-covered chair. "What do you think about all this?"
Bernie rubbed his eyes with a huge hand. "Well, it's a fine story, but it's not mine."
"What do you mean?"
"I heard about this Prince. And His King. Good folk. Now Cook, she's got a good heart. And Miranda's always been aces. But me...well, I'm not fit for that kingdom in the forest."
He looked down at his stained palms. "I didn't always used to butcher beasts, Joseline."
Whispered rumors passed through her head, and she nodded. "I heard you once worked in the dungeon."
Bernie grimaced. "Time for bed, Josie-girl. Morning will come soon enough."
Joseline returned to her sleeping pallet and had just settled when the kitchen door creaked open. Xander came shuffling in, a lump cradled in one arm. He shut the door behind him and disappeared down the hallway. Joseline stared at the ceiling, wondering at everything that had been said.
If Bernie wasn't good enough, why did Miranda give him a key? Or were the dairy maids right, and even if someone had a key, they still couldn't go into the forest if their name wasn't on the list? And what did Xander bring in from outside?
Image Credit: Stephen — 10on12; "against_the_tide"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation | Calvinism-Tulip | Witnessing-Evangelism
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