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The Huntsman

A first-person Lenten parable on contrition and repentance

It appeared to be such a splendid day.

Light filtered through the overhanging boughs showing well the path I trod. The sounds of the forest held no warning. The cheerful song of birds, the droning of some busy insects, the rustling of branches as a gentle wind came through, but then I heard it though faintly, but with an increasing tenor.

Such is the power of recall. Conscience called them forth and the remembrance of my past sins came on with a daunting swiftness to overtake and encircle me. I heard their baying growing in intensity, making their intent all too clear – to destroy the peace I had, to rip from me any sense and assurance of comfort, just as a wolf tears flesh from the body. At first they’d only stymie my progress forward, though ultimately they would leave me incapacitated like a torn and bleeding body in the road.

Editors Note:

Dear readers:

The unusual linguistic approach in this article is not common fare on these pages. However, to our thinking it is quite an effective way to convey particular spiritual truth(s)—in this case, godly contrition and repentance. [Read More..]

Remembrance of my past sins pursued me like a pack of howling wolves. Their screeching accusations assail my mind, for I remember them all right! Looking over my shoulder into those days, I am assaulted in my mind’s eye by the sins that I recall. The sweat rolls from my face and my heart races as I try to fend off their remembrance, but to none effect. Nervous exhaustion is all I gain as I by my own efforts seek to dispel what is past.

The One I had forgotten in my panic now comes to my aid — that Huntsman who slew these pursuing monsters and buried them that they might not assail and tear and rend. Seeing Him and depending on His valorous work for me, I no longer fear the horrible howling.

And with Him beside me, those brutes retreat like mist before the morning sun. The Huntsman’s comforting words allay my rising fears. His loving encouragement courses through me and pushes out those so recent, well-nigh overpowering feelings of guilt. My running from those dogged pursuers now turns to a walk through the forest toward my home beyond the woods.

Ah, you say, they who are now gone from sight and hearing were but an illusion. No, they were real enough, for I know me.

I see Him still at my side. How could I have forgotten Him so easily? He had always been there, just as He assured me when He slew my pursuers. Yes, fear had beclouded my vision, and as I turned my head to see them I lost my focus on Him, the strong Protector at my side.

There is much yet to this trek through the forest until I reach that blessedly furnished cottage when I am at last out of the woods. His strong words assure me that as He has in the past, so He will in the future accompany me. If I lose my way, He knows the way, for He has been here before.

While I must truthfully admit the darkness between the trees gives me some pause for worry, I but turn my eyes from the darkness to His presence, and my pace remains firm and steady. I know not what lies ahead on this path through the forest, but I know what lies behind, and above all, I know Him who is at my side.