Calvinism: Predestination from Another View - Part III

By Kersley Fitzgerald

Single Page/Printer Friendly

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 III, The Keys

While the people around the table erupted into argument over the incredulous words Miranda had spoken, Joseline shook her head. She gently touched Miranda's hand. "I'm not a slave. I'm a servant. I chose to be here."

Miranda put her arm around Joseline's shoulders. "When did you choose? Do you even remember?"

She couldn't.

"What are you a servant for?" Miranda asked. "For kicks and taunts and crusts of old bread? That's not payment. That's barely enough to keep you alive."

"But once Baron Krief gave me a doll," Joseline said brightly. "I remember."

"Where is it now?"

Joseline's shoulders drooped. "It fell apart by the time I brought it back to the kitchens. Cook threw it in the fire."

"I didn't want you to know what it really was, girl," Cook said gently. "The straw inside was filled with lice, and the head was just cloth covering a cat's skull."

Joseline felt the bile rise in her throat.

Cook continued, "I sure work like a slave. No choice as to what I do. Everything I do is wrong. Go on now, Miranda. What else did old Whitey say?"

The others calmed down enough to listen.

Miranda leaned forward, her elbows on the table, hands clasped. "The King hears you. The King hears when you cry after a beating, when you're hungry or cold, when you're running from the wolves. He doesn't want you to be slaves to the Count. He wants you to be free to leave the castle. But He can't steal us from the Count. He has to purchase us. So He did. He sent His Son, the true Prince, to buy us many, many years ago. The Prince paid the price — at great cost to Himself — to free us. We can be free to live under a kind King in a Kingdom filled with grace and light. All you need is the key to unlock the gate."

Those around the table murmured in wonder. "Where is this key?" they asked. "How do we get it?"

Miranda reached into her apron pocket and pulled out a handful of large silver keys. They caught the firelight and reflected bright spots across the dingy ceiling. She stood and circled the table, placing a silver key in front of each person. "Just take the key to the back gate. Open it, and step outside. The Prince will be waiting. He will check your name against His list and give you one of these." She pulled a gold heart-shaped locket out from the neck of her dress. "This will mark you as a child of the King forever."

Miranda sat back down next to Joseline. The table erupted into questions. Miranda answered each one, but Joseline only half-listened. She held the key in her hands, rotating it slowly to let the light shine on each curve and notch. She noticed that Cook had caught her key before it hit the wood of the table. Xander picked his up, looked at it thoughtfully, then slipped it in one of his many pockets. Maisie ignored hers and leaned back with her arms crossed against her chest, while Daisie shrugged, picked up the key, and stuck it down the front of her dress. Bernie the butcher set his hands flat on the table, one on either side of his key, and stared at the silver glow. Joseline wondered if he was afraid to touch it or afraid it would disappear — or both.

Miranda stood, waking Joseline from a half-sleep. "Goodnight, my friends."

The Count's servants drifted away into the shadows to find their beds. Even Miranda passed through into the butler's pantry. But not Cook. She untied the milk-covered apron and hung it on a hook. Then she took a look around the kitchen, huffed, and headed to the door.

Joseline caught up with her halfway across the yard. "Cook, are you leaving?"

The woman stopped but didn't turn. "Yes, girl. My grandmum offered me a key when I was but a wee one. I was a fool to refuse, and I've been waiting my whole life for a second chance. I'm not turning back now."

"But..." Joseline ran through the hundred questions in her head and settled on the one that puzzled her most. "If the forest is so grand, why did Miranda come back to the castle?"

"How else would we get our keys?" Cook asked.

Joseline watched as she opened the gate and disappeared between the trees.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Final Thoughts

Image Credit: StudioTempura; "Keyhole"; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Salvation  | Calvinism-Tulip  | Witnessing-Evangelism

comments powered by Disqus
Published 10-3-12