She was pregnant, and we had to hide it from her husband. He would never know.
The cover-up didn't work. So I orchestrated an "accident" in battle. No one would ever know. But I knew. And a wife in mourning knew.
And God knew. It's a horrible truth, but He loved me too much to let me get away with it.
I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. Everything normal in life was filtered through a lens of guilt and hidden shame. People applauded me taking her in and providing for her when her husband was killed. I smiled and spoke the words they wanted to hear.
They didn't know I had killed him.
People were happy at our wedding; we made such a beautiful couple. We would make such beautiful children. When she started to show, they smiled and praised God for a coming child. They prayed for a prince to make my house even stronger.
They didn't know what I had done.
She was in denial, focusing on caring for the coming child to the exclusion of everything else. It was all too much to deal with on the surface, so we pretended that everything was what it appeared to be. Even to each other when no one else was around, we never spoke of what we had done.
Days turned to months, and the seasons changed. The whole earth moved, but I was stuck. Everything around me came and went as it always had, but sleep still wouldn't come.
It was a boy.
When Nathan came, I thought he wanted to congratulate us on a son. Instead he knew. He knew! And in judgment, he stripped everything away. My child would die, strife and bloodshed would never end for me, and disaster after disaster would haunt my family.
When he became sick, I became broken.
My kingdom, my voice, my songs have all become the ashes of this mourning. I've turned against You and against my friend. I've betrayed the trust of my people and my family. Even her. I can see in her eyes the words unspoken, the sorrow of her grief. It's more than I can bear.
Please be merciful, don't let my son pay the price for my mistakes.
The sky was calm, a stark counterpoint to the silent storm within the palace walls. Outside my door, people were arguing in whispers. I couldn't make out the words, but listening intently I heard the sound that was causing so much fear.
A baby was not crying.
It's funny. I can feel the five smooth stones in the palms of my hands. I can feel the warmth on my face, the shining sun of His presence as I dance into the city.
Yet in the dark of night as I sit alone, the miracle isn't in my grasp. It feels like the miracle will never be in my grasp again. I'm trapped in this waking dream where the giant wins and the ark remains lost with our enemies. I'm trapped in a night where morning never comes. Is this how my story ends?
Is this how all stories end?
I know nothing but this: God's love is bigger than our biggest mistake.
His love is not turned away when we fail. When I feel His presence, He is with me. When I feel nothing but the cold wind of silence, He is there. No despair is beyond His reach.
So I will place my heart in His hands.
"Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean;
Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
Let the bones You have crushed rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquity" (Psalm 51).