"There are things that I have lived to regret, faith in Jesus Christ isn’t one of them" From the Book of Life
We see the elders and the people, they have all gathered together in a great hall. Seated in the front row is Martha, she is holding a young girl, it is the daughter of Zioniah. It has been years since that fateful day when the elders of the village hauled away her husband to face the corrupt justice of the super domed city. Martha is now a stately figure among the village, indeed her opinion is now valued as much as the elders, even in other villages. We see that they are talking about a new threat, but it seems like the old one.
Elder Thomas said, "We have been getting attacks on the outskirts of our dome from the bandits and barbarians who live in the Martian wilderness and the Badlands. The attacks have become more frequent and other Amish settlements are starting to complain about them as well?"
Some asked, "What shall we do about it?"
Elder Thomas stated, "For now, all our farm robots have been reprogrammed and are guarding the outer perimeters."
Another person uttered, "That isn’t going to do much good. The farm robots are not made to act as security robots. They don’t have the same type of chips that security robots have."
Martha spoke up, "You mean, they don’t have the violence that you seek? I lost my husband because he dared to stand up to these barbarians! Look at us, we are like sheep and they are the wolves!"
We see some of the gathering as they agree with what Martha has said. Elder Mark tries to keep things focused, "Now we know that some of you feel that we need to fight back, become proactive! But that is not our way. We are God’s people. . ."
Someone uttered, "Not if we all get killed off, then what? We are just dead people."
Elder Thomas asked, "And so what are you suggesting that we do? Hire killers in the name of security to guard our dome perimeters, like some of the other Amish villages have done?"
Another person uttered, "It might be something to consider, Elder Thomas. In the years following the loss of brother Zioniah. . ."
We see that just the mention of his name brings almost silence and great sorrow. Martha spoke up, "We don’t have to act like the animals that the barbarians are and we can not rely on the security guards, because there have been reports of corruption. So what do we do? I say we buy top quality security robots, reprogram our farm robots to do what they were intended to do. No one can mess with top quality security robots. We can program them to recognize every member of the village, every man woman and child. That way they’ll know who to kill and who to save."
We see that a lot of people like what Martha has to say. But the elders are not amongst them.
Elder Mark told, "We all know that violence brings about more violence. If it solved anything, there would be no wars, and we all know that it seems to be just one war after another.
I don’t think during that period of time that mankind has known any peace."
Someone asked, "So. What do we do then? We have to protect our women and children."
We see a bunch of brand new robots. They are security robots and there are a few technicians that are showing the elders and villagers how to operate the killer machines.
One of the technicians said, "Most of the basic commands you will find in the general menu. You’ll have to get a face recognition profile for every person in your village, otherwise you are going to have trouble with the machines not recognizing the good guys. That is you and your people here in the village."
Martha asked, "What if something goes wrong?"
The technician answered, "Nothing can go wrong. These robots are just under military grade. It is barely legal for us to sell them to civilians. Heck, foreign governments on other planets have the same kind of robots. A little heavier armed of course, but the same type."
Martha asked, "And this is suppose to make us feel safer because?"
The technician answered, "Look. I know it is a hard thing to get used to. I’ve been in this business most of my life. . ."
Martha asked, "Were you taken when you were young?"
The technician answered, "If you mean recruited, the answer is yes. They come to our schools and give us a battery of test. Some of us score high for military involvement. We are taken and placed into a special school to train soldiers."
Martha became visibly upset, "I can’t listen to this anymore." She runs on off.
The technician said, "I didn’t mean to upset her. What did I say?"
Elder Thomas answered, "Her husband was once a soldier."
The technician said, "Really? I thought the Amish didn’t believe in serving?"
Elder Mark said, "We don’t. We are God’s people. Her husband was a beloved brother of ours."
The technician said, "Was? He died in combat?"
Elder Thomas responded, "Combat of another kind."
The technician asked, "What kind of combat is that?"
Elder Mark stated, "He was taken from us because he defended his people."
The technician nodded, "Best way to die. A soldier is trained to believe that if he dies saving the innocent, the righteous, then he dies well. I salute him."
We see Martha sitting in her home. Her daughter is playing with an Amish doll. Her home is quite nice but there are pictures of her and Zioniah to remind her of her love. This is sad because she often sits alone in her room, or the kitchen, holding onto a picture of Zioniah and just praying nonstop to God to protect him and one day, to bring him back home to her and their daughter. There is a knock at her door but she doesn’t bother to get up to answer it. A moment later and a few of the married village women come in. They quietly sit at the kitchen table where they can see that Martha has been crying. The women have young children too, and the kids play around them quietly.
Samantha said, "Oh, Martha. You’ve been crying again. It breaks my heart to see you like this. God is taking good care of your husband. I just know it."
Diana uttered, "Zioniah is one of the best men this village has ever known. The bravest. The handsomest. . ."
Martha finally uttered, "You do lie well, my friends. But it does no good to mend my
broken heart. Nothing but the return of my husband can take away my pain. I see our daughter as she grows, she has his eyes and hair, I see so much of him in her each day."
Samantha said, "And rightly you should, Martha. Here we brought you some groceries and some goods. One of you young men just got back from visiting and doing trade with the small dome of humans just beyond the Elf City dome."
Martha said, "Thank you, my sisters." She starts to put the things away and she sets a pot of tea on the fire for them. The women know that their friend is hurting badly, they plan to sit with her as they have, once a week. Martha finally said, "Zioniah hated this tea when I first made it for him. I told him, now this tea is good for you. It heals you from the inside."
The two young women had heard the story before, but they smile and listen to it again, as Martha pours them a cup.
Diana asked, "Do you need help with the chores around your house? If so I can send over help, my husband is more than willing to lend a hand."
Samantha added, "So is mine. As you already know, it is no trouble to us. We are all part of the community."
Martha sat and touched Zioniah’s bible, "He took my bible."
Samantha asked, "What? I’m sure it was only an accident. The elders hauled him off so quickly."
Diana said, "So secretly. No one in the village knew what they were planning to do, otherwise we all would have stopped them."
Martha added, "He was very brave you know. He didn’t resist the elders, they say he had total respect for them. He left in silence. That is my husband. He is my hero in my heart."
Samantha said, "Oh, Martha, the name of Zioniah, has become legend amongst all the Martian Amish. I’ve heard that some communities actually have songs that they sing about him, to teach the young ones about this stranger who once came to our shore, carrying the three children, who had been kidnaped."
Martha corrected, "He was carrying the girl. . ."
Diana asked, "What?"
Martha went on, "He was carrying the little girl in his big strong arms. The two little boys held onto this shirt tail. I was there you know, the first to ever see him. I knew in my heart at that very moment, when our eyes finally met, that this was my husband. He would be the father of my children. I never doubted."
Samantha said, "Of course. I was just telling you that Zioniah is a legend. I’ve heard little boys that cry out, I’m going to be like Zioniah when I grow up. Things like that."
Martha spoke, But now we have trouble with the barbarians again."
Diana told, "The new robots the village all chipped in for, they seem to be doing a good job of guarding the perimeters. We’ve had no incidence since we bought them."
Martha said, "It is not a fool proof situation."
Diana asked, "Why is that?"
Martha said, "What if one of the children wander off too far? One of those killer machines might harm them. God forbid kill one of them. No. I was it, but now I am not."
Samantha assured, "The security machines have pictures of everyone who lives in the village."
Martha picked up the picture of her and Zioniah, at the day of their wedding, "We looked
so happy back then. It is like all the brightness and light is behind me now. All is darkness."
Diana said, "Please, Martha, you have your beautiful daughter to care for."
We see a small group of the community, they have met in one of the smaller chambers. They are discussing Martha’s state of mind.
Elder Thomas asked, "What is the meaning of this?"
Samantha answered, "I was over to see Martha the other day. She does not fair well."
Diana added, "It really gets worse when it comes up on the eve of her wedding. The poor thing seems to slip into such a state."
Elder Mark cut in, "My daughter is a strong woman. In our history, many Amish women have been called to go on without their husbands for whatever reasons. We all have witnessed this. And Martha, who is the brightest and strongest of the young women in our community, she will endure."
Elder Thomas said, "Surely there is no doubt about that?"
Samantha shook her head but said, "There are concerns."
Elder Thomas asked, "What is the nature of these concerns?"
Diana said, "It is not just one woman’s opinion, but this comes from many. It is about the beautiful child."
Elder Mark said, "This is about Cara? My granddaughter? What of this?"
Samantha suggested, "Maybe it would be better for them both, if Cara were to live with one of the married couples in the village."
Elder Mark was outraged, "What is this? Isn’t it enough that Martha has lost the love of her life. And now you, who are suppose to be her friends, go to her home to spy on her. And now you plot to take away the one thing that has any meaning to her. You are not seeking her good, you are seeking her madness!"
Diana said, "We assure you, we do not suggest this lightly. But Martha is so emotional and often withdrawn. She sits at her kitchen table for hours just staring at her wedding pictures. Her mind has lost in years gone by."
Elder Mark said, "I’ve heard enough of this! Perhaps the two of you and whatever gossiping hens there are of the bunch of you, need to tend to your own husbands and your own affairs and leave Martha and Cara out of this."
Diana said, "We thought you might react this way. Frankly it shames me to have to bring this to you, that is why we brought others to testify."
Elder Mark looked at the faces in the room, then said, "You, there, did not Zioniah help you all day, out in the field when the farm robots were broken?" Someone said, yes. "And you, didn’t Zioniah sit up with you when your wife was gravely ill and prayed all night with you?" Another one said, yes. "And you of all people, didn’t Zioniah deflect a ton of hay, that would have surely killed you, saving your life?" And another one said, yes. "Then why have you come out here tonight, like lions seeking the prey?"
We see at the door, Martha has been quietly listening, now she speaks, "I thought you all were my friends." They all look about in shock, she has heard the whole thing. "My husband showed the miserable lot of you more compassion and respect than any of you now deserve!"
Diana tried to explain, "Martha, it is not the way it looks."
Martha uttered, "It is exactly what it appears to be. One of us goes through a trying time and the women of the community seek to lay hands on the broken woman’s child? What kind of
vultures are you? You are suppose to be Christian men and women, yet, here you are. Well, this I shall say to the lot of you, try and touch one hair on Zioniah and my daughter, and you’ll pay!"
We see that it is a nice day and Martha along with some of the elder sisters are having a picnic. It seems that Martha gets along better these days with the elder group than she does with young married women her age.
Sister Monica said, "We heard about the mess that happened in chambers. We want you to know that not all the sisters, specially the elder sisters and the old maids, think the way they do. They lack sense and don’t see where that one day, God forbid, they might be placed in such a situation."
Martha asked, "Was it that obvious?’
Sister Hanna responded, "You have become just a little withdrawn, but there is no way you have to fear of Cara. We all love her, she looks just like her father."
Martha picked up a bit, "That is exactly what I think. You know, she just started walking around the house calling out for her father."
Sister Monica said, "Oh that is so wonderful. When she is older, you must tell her every adventure you and her father had. She must grow up remembering him the way that you remember him. It is important that children believe that their parents loved one another."
Sister Hanna added, "And in your case, you’ll just be telling her the truth."
Martha reflected, "I’m going to tell her about the first day I saw him. How brave and strong he was. His arms could snap metal."
Sister Monica said, "And he was so gentle and kind hearted. I don’t think I ever heard one story about him being anything other than helpful."
Martha said, "I remember when I first started teaching him about Jesus Christ. Oh, he was so impossible. I didn’t think I’d ever get through to him. But one day. I found him, during a noon break, under a tree, reading the bible out loud. I stood there listening to him read for about an hour, one verse after another. And then he noticed I was there. He asked me why I hadn’t said anything, I told him I just loved hearing his voice reading those beautiful words of the Lord."
Sister Hanna said, "Oh if ever there was a love, it has to be yours, Martha."
Martha said, "For the brief time we were together. I think we lived a life time of memories. Had I known he would have been taken away from me so quickly. I would have offered myself to him. . .."
Sister Hanna uttered, "No. You did the right thing. You were true to your upbringing, to the scriptures, to all those things that make you pure. And at the right time, he being a gentleman and you being a lady, your marriage was all the more special and you have no regrets."
Martha nodded, "You are right. It was just a moment of weakness. For that one night seems like an eternity when I look back on it. But we were husband and wife and the bed was not defiled. It is better to wait until one is married so that God can bless the union."
Sister Monica uttered, "That is why the elder sisters in the community all love you and respect you. You did things the right way and so did Zioniah, no matter how tough the situation was, he did also. Because of him, three of our own will grow up to have happy and normal lives. Knowing that the man who saved them, was ultimately saved by the love of his wife teaching him about the salvation of Christ."
Martha asked, "You think so? Do you think that Zioniah ever found peace?"
Sister Hanna responded, "In your loving arms, Martha. I’m sure he did."
Martha suddenly uttered, "You know, sometimes, I’ll be in the house and I think I can hear his voice, calling to me and Cara. But Cara was born after he was taken from me."
We see that an emergency meeting has been called in chambers. Lots of the community are present. It seems that the worse has happened again.
A brother uttered, "I hate to be the one to bring bad news but it has been confirmed, one of our young children is missing."
We see the whole congregation reacted with shock and disbelief. One of the people asked, "How can this be? Don’t we have those expensive security robots to protect us?"
Another person said, "It is happening all over again."
Martha spoke up, "I told you it was a mistake to rely on those killer machines. Think about it, there had to be a reason that company sold those machines to us in the first place. They obviously have a flaw in them."
Elder Thomas said, "We’ll have to form a search party, like we did last time. Hopefully we can find the child."
Someone uttered, "It is happening all over again."
Another person spoke, "If Zioniah were here he’d know what to do."
Martha jumped in, "But he is not. And this is something that we are going to have to deal with ourselves. Now I think that we need to upgrade the security robot’s software. Place men out there with the security machines. Maybe one man for every ten machines. We should never stop looking for the child. That was a mistake we made years ago, we gave up. We should never give up."
Someone said, "Zioniah’s wife is right!"
We see that at that moment, when she heard someone refer to her as Zioniah’s wife, that her face changes. We see light come back into her eyes. She is not alone anymore. The next few days were days of rethinking. Some police from the super domed city came by.
Male officer asked, "Who is the leader of this clan?"
Martha answered, "We are not a clan, we are a community. There are many villages with in this one biodome."
Elder Mark said, "How can we help you?"
Female officer said, "We have heard of a situation where barbarians and bandits have been attacking the dome cities next to the Badlands."
Elder Mark said, "The reports are true."
Male officer asked, "Have you been attacked personally, in your village?"
Martha answered, "Yes we have. We have a child that is missing."
Male officer said, "Well. It could be that the child just wandered on off. It happens a lot you know."
Martha responded, "It doesn’t happen to our children. We teach them well."
Female officer said, "Yet, you claim that one is missing. How many children do you have in your village?"
Elder Mark answered, "Hundreds."
Female officer said, "Yet, only one is missing?"
Martha said, "That is right."
Male officer asked, "Did you notify the authorities when the child first went missing?"
Elder Mark said, "Yes we did."
Female officer asked, "What did they say?"
Martha responded, "The same stupid stuff that you are saying right now!"
We see that Cara is much older and the community has all gathered for her baptism. It has been a long while since Zioniah was taken away by the elders and presented to the authorities in the super domed city. His little girl whom he never met has reached an age where she is ready to accept the Lord and become part of the greater community. The baptism is being done by her grand father, Elder Mark. Every one is much older now and some are showing the traditions of time, gray hair, a few extra wrinkles. The baptism takes place and all rejoice and are happy for Cara.
Martha uttered, "This is a wonderful day, Cara."
Cara responded, "I wish my dad was here. How long did those reprobates give him?’
Martha uttered, "I’ve told you many times, they would not allow any member of the Amish to attend the trial. We have no idea what happened to your father, after your grandfather along with some of the other elders turned him in."
Cara had obvious resentment, "Why couldn’t grandfather just let dad be? He never hurt anyone, he just tried to find a place to live."
Martha nodded, "I know, dear. Believe me, if anyone has had a hard time forgiving what your grandfather did, it was me. You father was everything to me. I didn’t really start to live until I met him."
Cara spoke, "I wish I could have known him when I was younger. All I have are the pictures you managed to save. A few recordings of him and you. They didn’t even give you a chance to be happy together, did they?"
Martha returned, "I was happy, dear. In the short time that Zioniah and I were together, we lived a lifetime of memories. He was a big man, but not just in stature, in heart. When I introduced him to Christ, he just flourished, you would have loved to watch him in that process. So much of him is in you. When I look at you, I see his warm and humble eyes, your hair reminds me so much of his. You have his ways, strong yet fair, powerful yet gentle."
Cara said, "Mom, you sound like you miss him more than I long to know him."
Martha responded, "I haven’t held back anything from you concerning your father. The truth is that he was loved by more than just me."
Cara said, "But yours was the ultimate love, right, mom?"
Martha started to cry, "Oh, dear, you have no idea. I was lost before your father came into my life. I hated your grandfather for turning him in. It took years for me to work through the process and learn to forgive once more."
Cara uttered, "I forgive grandfather for the both of us. He robbed you of a husband and robbed me of my father."
Martha stated, "That is why your father would be so well pleased with you, Cara. You have such capacity to love and to forgive. You are part of a younger generation that seems to embrace the teachings of Christ in a new way."
Cara said, "I only know God because of you, mom."
Martha uttered, "That is kind of you, dear, but I can see the Holy Spirit working inside of you, I see it in the actions you take and the things you say. You are well founded in the Lord, Cara. Let him move you to greatness, and move you to humbleness."
Cara voiced, "They took dad to a military prison didn’t they?"
Martha cried even more, "Yes, dear. That is the only thing that makes any sense. They stole your father from us, but I pray that God will keep him, always."
We see a large gathering in one of the main buildings. Lying in the bed is Martha’s father Elder Mark. The group gathered around him is very sad and seated next to him is his wife and Martha and Cara. Elder Mark is dying and these are his last moments in the world.
Elder Mark spoke weakly, "I’m glad that you all are here."
His wife said, "Keep your strength."
Elder Mark shook his head, "No. I haven’t much time and there are things that need to be said."
His wife asked, "Like what? What can be said, you are a leader of this village, this community. We all love you."
Elder Mark told, "But I haven’t been a good father to Martha. All these years watching you grow up to be the fine woman that you have turned out to be."
Martha was visibly saddened, "Oh, father, I know how you feel. Save your strength."
Elder Mark went on, "These are trying times. They test each and everyone of us. They test us in ways that seem strange. A century ago when the Amish community decided to help colonize Mars, they couldn’t have imagined what wonders and horrors were before them."
Martha uttered, "The Founders had a vision from God and he told them to go forth and colonize Mars and look, we did it."
Elder Mark said, "When you were a little girl, Martha, I used to watch you run about and play. You never seemed to fit in with the rest of the children. You were always running off, to explore or discover something wonderful for yourself. I feared with your strong independence that you might never find your place in the community."
Martha voiced, "Dad, it is okay. I’m fine now. . ."
Elder Mark said, "No you are not. I took away from you the one thing you valued the most. I robbed you of you soul mate. I have to tell you the truth before I can no longer. I hated Zioniah from the very beginning, but I pretended to be fair." The others all react because they hadn’t known this revelation. "I didn’t want you to marry him. He was from a different way. He was black. And not of our people. If only you had settled on one of our young men."
His wife uttered, "But that wasn’t Martha’s way. She had a different path than that of all of us."
Elder Mark said, "I see that now. But back then, it seemed like life was mocking me. I was the only elder to have a son-in-law that I couldn’t even stand to look at."
Martha was overcome with shock, "I never knew you felt that way. Father, we are God’s people. How could you let prejudice and hatred get in your way of your faith?"
Elder Mark went on, "This is why I am telling you now. Because I was so good at hiding it. Mankind can go to the stars, but human nature is still with him. My sin was prejudice and deception. I’m the one who called the authorities and explained what had happened out in the Badlands. I left out the part about the quantum recycler and made it sound like Zioniah had just murdered those people out of nothing more than revenge. When in truth, our own children had been kidnaped and were going to fall victim to those barbarians. I sold out the community for a few million shekels reward."
We see everyone in the room. They are all shocked beyond belief. Cara is crying uncontrollably because of the revelation that her grandfather sold out her father, who was a good
man, and her grandfather did it out of spite.
Martha uttered through her tears, "Rest in peace, father. I forgive you and so does Cara."
We see that everyone has gathered for the funeral of Elder Mark. Elder Thomas who was older then Elder Mark is conducting the ceremony. There are lots of people here. Other villages and towns are represented, we can tell by the simple plain clothing, but each village, has a distinct style all the same. The revelations that Elder Mark revealed before his death are worn heavily on the faces of is community. As Martha and Cara sit we can see that gossip is running abound. Most of the other villages had learned of Zioniah from his good deeds and they held him in great affection. Now they had to deal with the fact that a member of his own family had betrayed him for nothing more than resentment and prejudice and money. All those things, the Martian Amish looked seriously down upon. After the last rights and ceremony they all gathered to one of the larger buildings were there were refreshments and food. Various members of other villages would finally make their way and offer heart felt condolences. At one point when Martha looked around she couldn’t find Cara. After looking harder she became worried and she finally found her young daughter outside. Cara was more like her mother than Martha wanted to admit.
Martha asked, "Cara are you alright? You don’t have to stay at this if you don’t want to. It is a bit much for the both us, you can go on home if you’d like. I’ll explain to the others."
Cara said reflectively, "How could grandpa do this to us?"
Martha shook her head, "I don’t know. I thought I knew him. Honestly. A lot of us thought we knew him. I never realized he had such demons haunting him. It poisoned everything he touched."
Cara asked, "Do you think father would have forgiven him, if he knew about the betrayal?"
Martha answered, "Honey, your father and I were one in Christ. When I told your grandfather that I forgave him. I was speaking for both your father and you and me. Oh yes, your father was and I pray is, a God fearing man. When he was taken for me. I discovered he had taken my bible with him."
Cara said, "It was a mistake, mom. I’m sure dad didn’t mean to. . ."
Martha said, "No. You don’t understand. That was the bible we both used. It was the one I first taught him about God and Christ with. He had his own, but mine, the one with all sorts of foot notes, and scribble, I had put in it throughout the years, he loved that one so much. When I realized that he had taken that one, it was a sign to me. He was telling me that he was still there. He knew what was happening to him, but he wanted me to know, that our love was forever."
Cara voiced, "Oh, mother, I hadn’t realized."
Martha said, "It was just something that your father and I had together. Something that I knew that others didn’t."
Cara spoke, "Still I find it hard. I know that you have forgiven him, but I am not quite there yet. I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the back by someone I trusted and loved."
Martha stated, "That is because you have been. We both have been. But it is in these moments, that our faith in Christ must ultimately rise. Not in the good times when we offer up thanksgiving. But in the hard times when we are tested to our limits! That is when our faith in Jesus Christ must shine and the fire that burns in our hearts never to be extinguished."
Cara said, "Mother, you have such faith. Will I ever by like you?"
Martha responded, "My dear daughter, you are already beyond me."
Cara uttered, "Ours is a simple life, in Christ, in love, in life."
Martha spoke, "There is a reason we all learn that phrase when we are children."
We see as Martha and Cara talk to one another, mother to daughter, some of the members of the village have found them. They quietly gather around them offering up words of encouragement and faith. But Cara seems distracted and her eyes are fixed on something way out in the distance.
Martha finally notices her daughter’s remoteness and said, "Cara? Are you alright?"
Cara responds, "Father?" Martha and the others all try to console the young woman. But she will not be put aside this time, she repeats herself, "Father?"
Martha says to the others, "She is just taken back with remorse. So much has happened."
Now we see Cara as she breaks away from the group and goes running on off towards the fields. Martha realizes this and give chase with finally the rest of them in pursuit. It is at this point that we see what Cara has been talking about, she saw something out in the fields. As we see Cara running ever faster, almost stumbling but managing to keep her balance as she runs through the dust and the dirt and then through the fields of grain. We see that she is headed for the end of the field where we now see a figure approaching. It is a man. Is he a menace to the community? Is Cara running off to confront the figure? It is at that moment that Martha almost freezes in her tracks. But the next second, she is now running all out, just like Cara. The rest of the community is way in back of them, the two women are running so fast.
And in one moment Cara is within distance and she opens her arms and throws herself into the tall dark man’s arms, and he receives her.
Cara expounds, "Father! You’ve come home to us."
The next moment we see Martha as the wraps her arms around the stranger but he is not a stranger. It is Zioniah, he has come home. He has found his way back to the loving arms of Martha his wife who never gave up on him.
Zioniah uttered, "Cara. I recognize you from the pictures your grandfather would send me." He looks into his wife’s weeping eyes, "My love I’ve returned. I was lost, but now I am found."
Martha can not stop weeping, "Oh my love. Oh my love. God is great this day! For he has given me back the one thing I thought was taken from me forever. You have found your way back home. Cara, this is your father!"
Cara hugs her father as if never to let him go, "I know, mother! I know. . ."
The rest of the gathering have now started to arrive and they are all shocked and amazed, they are also with tears, but these like Martha’s and Cara’s tears of joy and great relief because brother Zioniah is now come home. We see the men of the village as they shake Zioniah’s hand, smiles and pats on the shoulder. It seems like it has been forever. The women of the village as they too are weeping and they offer up hands of praise to God Almighty for delivering their brethren back to them.
Martha kisses her husband, "Zioniah, thou art a fine man to lay eyes upon?"
Zioniah responded, "But I’m all dirty and I smell strong, how can you say this, I must look all the worst to anyone."
Cara put forth, "Never have I seen my father better. . ."
Martha voiced, "I love you, Zioniah."
Zioniah responded, "It was your love that got me through it all. Through the times when I thought I had nothing left, I kept praying, reading our bible. I knew I was not alone."
Martha kissed him strongly, "I have always loved you. From the first time I set sight!"
© Copyright 2016 Victor Darnell Hadnot. All rights reserved.
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