Prophet’s words were ringing in Faith’s head.
“You are now Faith, and one of his servants,” Prophet declared proudly with his long white beard, his smiling eyes and a huge grin across his face. His dark brown robe showed none of his kind-hearted and pure spirit. His blue boots and shining green eyes brought joy to Faith’s heart.
“Your job is to tell all about him and the good news, and as for the fear in your heart -- conquer it. Remember… Do not be afraid for I am with you. He will always be there for you.”
Just then there was loud pounding on the little door as the hinges were forcefully scraped off. Faith stared at her mentor and friend he had no look of fear just concern as he whispered to the twelve year old. “You must run little Faith.”
She ran into the basement and waited for the scraping, moaning, wailing, and lastly the scream of Prophet and the thud of him falling to the floor ceased. Faith’s heart pounded, she had a new master. If anyone found out about her then then she would… die. Faith choked back a sob. Death. It was so normal in this life. So much so that she didn’t feel the pain or the sting. It was normal. Normal for the bodies lying dead on the road to be so common she didn’t even notice. It was normal, for a soul to be slain every night. It was normal to be used as a sacrifice for the great Master Fear and the mighty god, Lucifer.
“But, It shouldn’t be normal,” Faith thought.
She felt like her heart was torn in two. So much death, pain, and fear. Her heart had become calloused in the Land of Fear where all this darkness and horror was okay. When she saw a man being slain, she would turn her head. When she heard a werewolf howl, she would close her ears. But now when she was so close to leaving this horrid land where there had never been a speck of light (she didn’t know the meaning of the word) and if there was light it was destroyed.
With a sudden realization Faith was pulled out of her memories and sighed, Prophet was no longer with her and yet she was so close. Her heart thumped as what she was doing began to sink in. She was the kind of girl who didn’t think before she did something, there were usually consequences, but now she was glad she hadn’t taken the time to think. Was she really doing this? Faith smiled feeling for the key in the muddy swamp next to the eerie woods; the only key that would get her out of this prison she had called home.
“Hey, Faith!” A voice whispered causing her to nearly jump out of her skin. Letting out a sigh of relief, she turned around and whispered, “Oh, it’s only you Hopeless.” Faith then went back to prodding through the mud.
“Faith, what are you doing?” Hopeless asked.
Faith whispered, “Shh…! Do you want to get us killed?”
Hopeless repeated the question while Faith took a glance around in the pitch black darkness of midnight where a soul dared not go out , though she could still see Hopeless with his pale white skin, large green eyes and black hair. He wore a long sleeve shirt, a rope for a belt, dingy brown pants, and not to mention his shabby brown shoes with his big toe sticking out of a small hole in the front.
“I’m running away,” Faith calmly whispered
“Why are you running away?” Hopeless asked as he was shivering in the bitter cold.
“Well, don’t laugh but it’s because of this book.”
“What book?” Hopeless questioned glancing around with fearful eyes.
“The book that Prophet gave to me.” She told him
“You mean that crazy loon going on and on about how there is another life you can live away from Master Fear? Come now Faith, you don’t believe him do you!?”
“Well, remember how my name was Faithless?”
“Yeah, then you saw Prophet before he was killed and now you insist on me calling you Faith!”
“Here… just read this, then you’ll understand.” Faith gently handed him the old guide which he read aloud, “Do not be afraid for I am with you. So?”
“Don’t you see? I AM, you know, the Creator,”
“Oh Hopeless… wouldn’t it be wonderful?”
“No pain… no fear… no monsters… no evil… no demons… no more darkness… and only joy. Pure joy!”
“Have you ever felt true joy Hopeless?” Hopeless thought about this.
“No, not really.”
“I have. After I met Prophet I committed myself to a new master. Found the key.” She whispered holding it up it was old, dirty, and rusted but to Faith it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.“A new master!” Hopeless cried a little too loudly.
Just then there was a blood chilling howl of “aaarrrooo.” Faith had been discovered. Quickly she grabbed the key and together they ran through the nearby forest, until they came to a stop at a huge gate with bars, large spikes, and blood on it. Bones crunched under their feet as Faith slowly inserted the rusted key and turned it in the lock. Suddenly they heard a rustling sound beneath their feet. Faith stared in horror as the ground opened up right where she was standing creating a small hole. She quickly grabbed onto the sticky spikes and her feet dangled in midair. Enduring the pain, she tried to swing onto the gate with her feet, but accidentally slipped and scraped her arm in the process. Faith slid down and finally found a nook without spikes. She allowed her left hand to look for more empty crevices until suddenly and without warning, she heard a hissing sound and a high pitched wailing. Skeleton like musty hands grabbed on to her right leg. Screaming, Faith kicked at the hands and tried to get rid of them before they could start to drag her down. Faith was almost up to her thighs in skeleton hands. Quickly Hopeless grabbed a spear sticking out of a skeleton and used it to bat the skeleton hands out of the way. With much difficulty, the hole shrank just enough for Hopeless to grab hold of the key and take it out of the gate. The skeleton hands and even the spikes started to disappear. Cautiously, Faith opened the gates as werewolves came around the corner the cause of that blood chilling howl.
“Hopeless are you coming?” Faith cried as she held open the gate. The wolves were catching their scent. In a second Hopeless would die or he could take his chances trying to find Faith’s new master.
“I’m coming!” Hopeless called out and together they raced out the door. They had finally made it out of the land of Fear.
Wisdom and Knowledge
As soon as Faith shut the door a sense of peace filled her. They had done it. They were out of the land of Fear. For one thing, there were stars so bright that Faith and Hopeless had to get used to the bright light.
“Faith?” Hopeless asked.
“What do you think they are?”
Faith stared in absolute amazement.
“I think they are diamonds.”
Faith gently spoke as if not wanting to ruin the mood, “My mom told me about them before she died, she said they sparkled in the dark and gave her comfort through the fear.”
“So this is what it’s like… a land without darkness.”
“It’s beautiful,” Faith smiled as they stared up at the night sky until they both got tired and decided to go to bed. When morning came, they received a huge shock. Hopeless and Faith had never seen the sun nor heard of its glorious power so, like moths to a light they were entranced and terrified at the same time. The sun was mostly covered by clouds, so it was easier for the two travelers to get used to it even though it took two hours or so. Once the two friends got used to the strange light, Faith got her little bag full of bread and a leather flask of water she had brought along her journey and they split it up. When they had finished eating they packed up their things and started on their journey. After about a mile they came to a fork in the road.
“Which way do we go?” Hopeless asked.
“Well we go… I don’t know… maybe the guide has something.”
Faith read aloud, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Hopeless groaned, “What does it mean to ‘make your paths straight?’”
“Excuse me…” A small voice cried. “You could ask us.”
“Who said that?” Hopeless asked immediately on guard.
“We did.” A slightly softer voice whispered.
After searching for the small voices, they looked down and found a two headed lizard that seemed to smile. One of the heads began to speak,
“I’m Wisdom and this is Knowledge.”
Hopeless replied, “I’m Hopeless and this is Faith.”
“Which path should we take?” Faith asked.
The lizard had two small wings, one black wing, one gold wing, four legs and small rough silver scales. The lizard’s tail had something like a rattle and had one sharp horn and one bumpy horn at the very end of it.
The two headed tiny dragon looked up expectantly, “What are you looking for?” The first head asked loudly and boldly. He had three small horns down his neck and a black stripe down his silvery blue back all the way down to his tail which spiraled mixing with gold.
“We are looking for I AM,” Faith told them bending down to their level.
“Oh, I AM, you mean The Creator?” the second head asked. She was speaking softly and had a tinier voice. She too had three horns down her back but they were smoother and sort of bumpy like a sea horse. She had her own gold stripe down her back mixing with the black down her tail.
The first head, known as Knowledge, thought for a while, “Well, all you have to do is, uhh… how do I put this politely… die.”
“Hopeless shook his head shouting, “I’m not dying just so I can see her master!”
“Her master? So you do not believe?” Wisdom, the second head, questioned.
“Believe what? That there’s a creator? I don’t know if there’s a creator. I mean there might be, I want to see him with my own eyes.”
“Oh be quiet sis,” Knowledge admonished. “You’re scaring the kid.”
“Pardon my sister, but you see there is no other way to get to I AM unless… wait there is one way…”
“What is it?” Faith and Hopeless asked in unison.
Knowledge then turned to Wisdom, “What do you think?”
“It’s awfully risky.”
“What is?” Hopeless asked again.
“They could do it they look like they lived more than our oldest ancestors,” Knowledge exaggerated “But what will they do if they get there and he doesn’t except them?” Wisdom worriedly asked
“Oh, you worry too much.” Knowledge argued
“Will someone please tell me what’s going on?!” Hopeless asked again
“Well there is a way to see I AM, but it is very difficult. You have to go into the Land of Illusions, walk inside the Kingdom of Conceit…”
Wisdom whispered, “You are now outlaws. There is no doubt that Fear will be looking for his escapees.”
Knowledge interrupted “Once you get out of the Kingdom of Conceit, then climb Prayer Hill and you will be able to speak with I AM.”
Wisdom smiled a kind smile, “The Land of Illusions is that way, good luck and God’s speed”
“Remember, John 1:1!” Knowledge called out.
Hopeless and Faith waved goodbye to the siblings and set off for the Land of Illusions.
“How will we know when we’re at the Land of Illusions or not?” Hopeless later asked walking inside a clump of trees.
Faith answered “I think we’ll just… Whoa…” her voice trailed off as they stepped into a whole new country or maybe even into a whole new world. They were in a land full of horseless carriages of all colors and sizes and buildings larger than Master Fear’s Castle. There were noises of loud roaring thunder even though there was no rain. Faith could hear honking pelicans, but there were no pelicans in sight. She noticed diamonds stuck onto a pole flashing green, red, and yellow. A bright red horseless carriage was screeching in an almost musical tone and a small yellow one with the words, “TAXI” almost hit Faith as it swerved around her and yelled all types of profanity. Faith took a step back and quickly fell backwards in a muddy swamp.
The colorful tower windows turned into trees, the carriages, cattail and frogs, and the glowing diamond pole, a rock. After about ten seconds Hopeless took a step forward and the water evaporated. Several hours went by where everything seemed discombobulated, confusing, and strange to the point where she could not tell which way was up and which way was down. One minute they were plummeting down to their doom having fallen off a cloud, the next they were on a dessert island with shark infested water. They watched as a filthy toad became a gorgeous white Pegasus with golden wings and a small white mouse became a muddy fat hippo.
“Hey Hopeless,” Faith whispered avoiding a sleeping dragon. “Look, Isn’t that a cross?”
Hopeless nodded staring wearily at the ginormous beast. She was pointing at the ceiling filled to capacity with gold and jewels. They never would have noticed it, because it was etched into the hard cave wall. Suddenly the scene changed and the dragon became a large flower, the jewels and gold ten foot tall insects including a giant spider, which Hopeless was not fond of and had stood like a useless statue, but the cross was still a cross this time though it was on a wooden garden marker.
Hopeless suggested “Maybe we should follow the cross. It’s the one thing that never changes.” He started racing toward the marker until it all changed. Hopeless quickly found another cross and started to follow it. Faith and Hopeless followed the ever moving cross. It was never something anyone would normally pay attention to, but it was the one thing that never changed and kept them from going crazy. Everything they saw was only an illusion, (an unreal experience) that seemed so real, they could touch it, hear it, and feel it, like they were actually there.
They had gone through caves, mansions, future, past, present, the deep, the sky, even war, they followed the cross until they found the familiar sight of trees and grass. Hopeless counted to five and breathed a sigh of relief.
“It’s solid.” He muttered lying down and caressing the stable ground. Faith smiled at the vast still sky, the still ground, and the light green trees. A huge wave of relief and a homely feeling swept over them. Exhausted, they both sat down for a brief moment then followed the path. They walked past welcoming green pastures, calm creeks, and smiled at the never changing sky. It almost seemed as if the land of Fear was forgotten until Faith brought it up again.
“Hopeless, is finding I AM worth it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, look at this life we are living now. Are you feeling true joy?”
Hopeless smiled. “Yes Faith, I believe I am. Yet something’s nagging me.”
“I’m happy, but I don’t know. I don’t feel complete. Do you know what I mean?”
“I‘ve been having nightmares.” Faith said solemnly. “They seem so real… like I’m back…” Faith shivered, “…back there in darkness.”
“Master Fear was there and I had a sword in my hand with swirly words on it and I heard him mocking me in a dark voice darker and deeper than thunder. He told me, ‘I’m not afraid of your petty sword, I have an army that will kill you, just as I killed Prophet. I can never be defeated.’”
Faith told him, “I never see master Fear. I just hear his voice. I only watch me looking at him. My knees get all wobbly; I shake uncontrollably and something happens. I don’t know how to describe it, but I’m shrouded in a huge cloud of darkness. Then there’s just black and a second later, I see myself lying dead, slain by a sword,” She was shaking slightly then cried
“ What if that actually happens? What if he won’t conquer fear? What will I do?”
“Why do you want to conquer fear?” Hopeless asked.
“So I can rid of these nightmares,” Faith whispered.
“The night Prophet died, he told me to conquer fear.”
“I’m tired of being afraid and I’m tired of death being normal. I want things to change!”
“I don’t think this will work,” Hopeless warned her noting that Faith was now talking to her hands. “Hopeless will you stop being so pessimistic? You want to get rid of fear as much as I do!”
Faith practically screamed, “It has to work, it just has to! The only way to get rid of fear is to go to the source!”
Faith’s passion was growing stronger by the minute and when Hopeless asked her, “What does the guide say?”
Faith lost it, “Who cares about the guide? As long as it gets done!”
Hopeless took a step back. Who was this Faith? Who wouldn’t follow the guide or listen to reason? Hopeless realized that Faith of all people was looking in a mirror gushing at herself.
“Who cares about the guide anyway?” she cried
“I know so much more than that book. I’m going to conquer Fear if it’s the last thing I do. You’ll see!” she told the mirror
“And once Fear is conquered, then I will prove that I, Faith the greatly beautiful, is prettier and more gorgeous then ‘I AM.’”
She made her hands in quotation marks and was laughing hysterically. This was not Faith. Hopeless took a look in the mirror and was astonished to see that in the mirror was a laughing snake. Laughing with Faith
The snake hissed, “How beeeautiful and perfect, you can be ssso much better than your massster. Let meee beee your massster.”
Faith giggled and straightened her unruly brown hair as her own brown eyes were staring in the snake’s red slit like eyes. Hopeless realized that the snake’s eyes kept changing color from red to green to blue and slowly Faith’s started to change as well.
The snake whispered, “I can give you thisss beauty you sssee beeefore you.”
Hopeless cautiously grabbed the mirror and held it away from him and Faith began screeching in a shrill voice, “Give it back! I deserve it! Finders keepers! It’s mine, mine, mine!”
“Faith what’s happening to you?” Hopeless asked. “Where did you even get this?”
Faith coldly answered “I found it. Just give it to me!”
Hopeless, with as much might as he could muster, threw the mirror and the mirror along with the snake shattered into a million pieces, causing Faith to go into hysteria, “I’ll never speak to you again! I hate you! I hate you!”
She sobbed and started kicking and screaming like a bratty toddler. Hopeless calmly led Faith to a bench and after Faith had finished sobbing and screaming then she finally relaxed and after a few more seconds she was normal again.
“Welcome to the Kingdom of Conceit,” a man cried out. “I see you tried out our sample mirror. Here, have another one for only fifty shekels of silver.”
“No thanks,” Faith replied.
The man gasped, then seeing new customers cried, “Hurry, hurry, get Distraction’s beauty mirror it shows who you can become!”
“What was that about?” Faith asked. “He seemed astonished that I didn’t want one,”
“Well Faith, look around you.”
Faith took a step back. Everyone was carrying a mirror with them while they laughed and fixed their hair. Faith realized that everywhere she looked there were mirrors, makeup, jewelry, and clothes that looked like wedding outfits full of vibrant colors. There was even a church full of statues of snakes that were almost like they were crawling up to the ceiling. Some hung down like boa constrictors and others curled around a round column. At the top of the church, where a cross would normally be, was a giant mirror with a large brown snake. The snake’s eyes changed colors as it sniffed the air with its tongue. “Welcome to Conssseite come in pleassse.”
Faith and Hopeless avoided the church and was astonished to find a girl not looking in a mirror. She looked starved and more pitiful than either of the travelers. Her frizzy blonde hair was unkempt and ratty. Her blue eyes were cold and full of despair. Her light pink dress and apron were so ratty and torn you could never call it beautiful. She was staring at the ground in a puddle, beside her was a small hat and inside it were three coins.
The girl got up and Faith walked up to the girl and asked, “Hi I’m Faith! This is Hopeless! What’s your name?”
“Sorrow.” the girl mumbled.
“Nice to meet you Sorrow. What’s the matter?” The small girl looked at the older girl and Faith saw the same expression she had seen her entire life… Fear.
“Well little Sorrow. How can we help you?” Faith asked.
The girl was about to answer when there was a call, “Make way for Queen Compare! Make way for King Selfish! Make way for Princess Beauty and Prince Handsome!”
Sorrow had a new sense of terror in her eyes as she hid behind a statue snake. Queen Compare instructed everyone to put away their mirrors then glancing over and looking at a necklace around a woman’s neck The queen cried
“My jewels are not as good as this one!”
“Guards, if you don’t get me those jewels, then I’ll wring that girl’s neck!”
The guard went over to the woman asked for her jewels and then came back with them, “Now your jewels are perfect!” he cried.
“Not perfect, I can’t find this one jewel that my slave girl stole!” Queen Compare screeched. Faith glanced at Sorrow and put the pieces together.
“You stole the jewel?”
The girl nodded.
“It was enough to buy a house. There is this one nook in Conceit where no one goes and this is where I live. The queen will surely kill me if she finds out about it.”
“Well you need to be honest.” Faith told her.
The girl looked at her with distaste. “You don’t know what it’s like!” She cried softly, “…to be ridiculed day and night about how you look… or what’s even worse is how much better you could look… or to see your mother and father die right in front of you because they refused to sell you… or to go from rich to poverty overnight!”
“So don’t tell me just to be honest because that woman… that family… destroyed everything that was rightfully mine!” Sorrow started to cry.
“It’s okay,” Faith whispered. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. You can come with us,” Faith told her.
The girl looked at Faith and Hopeless. “Where are you going?”
“We are going to see I AM so he can conquer your fear!”
“I’m not afraid,” she stubbornly announced.
“I… I…” She sighed. “Okay… I am afraid.”
“Who is I AM anyway?”
“He created you and me.”
Faith looked over at Hopeless who rolled his eyes.
“Well, okay. I’ll come with you!” Sorrow announced.
The Battle at Prayer Hill
Believing that there was no possible way Master Fear’s comrades could find them; Faith, Hopeless, and Sorrow stayed in there shelter for two more days before they continued on their journey. They had finished off their supplies. After two days of rest, the trio continued on their journey until they came across a monstrous mountain.
“I thought they said it was a hill,” muttered Hopeless.
“A hill is not a mountain,” Sorrow added.
“I can’t even see the top!” Hopeless complained.
“Well let’s get climbing,” Faith persisted.
But before they could begin their climb, a chill piercing sound of “aaarrrooo” rang out. Faith’s heart lurched, her ears rang, and memories flooded her mind. They could not see Master Fear, but they felt his presence. Hopeless started frantically climbing and Sorrow stood stiffly, unable to keep her eyes away from the former master. He appeared as a spider like shadow to Hopeless, as a wolf to Faith, and to Sorrow he appeared as Queen Compare. They watched as the shadows cornered them. The shadows touched them and suddenly Faith found herself surrounded by werewolves and envisioned her mother lying dead on the road. Faith shivered she wanted to throw up. She wanted to close her eyes and hoped the vision would go away, but it wouldn’t. Faith had seen it happen before; Master Fear’s shadows appeared as what you were afraid of and took over your senses.
Faith stared at her mother and cried, “Master! Please help me fight fear, help me not be so afraid!”
“Do not be afraid for I AM with you!” she cried.
“Do not be afraid… Suddenly her eyes were opened and she found a huge chorus of angels crying out ‘For I AM with you.’”
The angels held weapons and gave Faith a reassuring smile.
“Read the guide,” an angel whispered.
Faith grabbed the book and read, “Put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground… with the belt of truth… the breastplate of righteousness… the shoes of the gospel of peace…the shield of faith… the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God,”
Faith stared in amazement. As she read, silvery armor surrounded her. She held a beautiful sword with words that read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Faith grabbed the sword and shield and was suddenly back at the mountain and away from the horrid scene. Her heart skipped when she discovered she was surrounded by a dark cloud.
“My dream!” she thought. She couldn’t see anything. She felt her head swim and her fear grew and she saw the cloud grow bigger and bigger.
“I’m not afraid of your petty sword,” said the loud thunder sounding voice.
But, unlike her dream; Faith’s fear melted away. She thought of the angels, Hopeless, and Sorrow and lastly of I AM when suddenly her strength returned.
“Do not be afraid for I Am with you!” she cried. “Do not be afraid for I Am with you!” “Fear, I’m not afraid! Do your worst!” She challenged Fear and her mind was filled with grotesque images, but she didn’t even blink an eye. She watched as the shadow cloud formed into the shape of a man. Releasing Sorrow and Hopeless’ senses. The man had skeleton hands, a long coal black cloak and fiery red eyes. He hovered over the ground and oozed like a speedy slug. Clouds of darkness covered him like leeches and he had a long black cape that seemed to be torn from rags. He held a sword surrounded by clouds of darkness and he wore a crown made of skulls with knives stuck out of their heads. His feet could not be seen because they were just black mist. The only thing visible about his face was his red eyes that looked like fiery stones.
“Oh… You’re afraid!” The booming voice roared
He went right behind Hopeless and whispered in his ear, “You’re very afraid!”
Hopeless spun around.
“And who is this?” Fear asked.
“Little Sorrow, do you remember me from your nightmare?”
Sorrow nodded her head slightly, but that was all she could do.
Faith’s heart pounded as Fear touched her with his skeleton hands and stroked her cheek with his sharp claws.
“Faithless Faith! You are still afraid… afraid of death… the dark… wolves… and me! You betrayed me but you’re still afraid!”
Faith could hear her heavy breathing as he listed all of the things she was afraid of. Everything he said was true. Faith felt a shiver go down her spine. How could she defeat this enemy who already saw her as defeated?
“Oh well… I AM will get to see you die.”
The shadow snapped his fingers and skeletons dug out from under the ground. Faith handed Hopeless the guide.
“Read…” she mouthed.
Slowly, Hopeless read about the armor of God and he too received armor. His sword read, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Sorrow also read and her sword made her smile. “There is no fear in love.”
They now all had a sword and they fought while quoting the guide which caused their swords to shine and kill the skeletons with just one touch of their blades.
They bravely fought all that Master Fear threw at them. Ghosts, witches, zombies, vampires, snakes, spiders, and the last were the werewolves.
“King Slayer,” they heard Fear call one of the wolves, “Kill them.”
The wolves smiled and ran towards Faith as a huge pack. Faith was stunned and couldn’t think of a verse. She dropped her sword and climbed up the hill. The wolves became men and started climbing too. One of them was right behind her and showed Faith an ugly scar across his face. Faith climbed like her life depended on it, which it very well could have. She kept climbing until she felt the werewolf’s hairy hand grab onto her ankle. Faith screamed and kicked, but King Slayer and another wolf known as Skull Crusher held her fast. Faith was no match against two strong creatures and slowly through exhaustion she stopped kicking.
“Well Faithless…” The wolf sneered at her, relishing her capture and using her former name.
“Look who is greater than I AM. It’s me… Old King Slayer who is greater.”
“I AM hasn’t even helped you!”
Just then, a bolt of lightning flashed and hit the wolf.
Faith smiled. “No one’s greater than I AM,” she thought. Realizing that it was faster to climb up than down, she kept climbing. She could hear the swords from down the mountain as Sorrow and Hopeless slayed werewolves and screamed words from the guide. They had caught on fast. Faith was shaky and tired after her long climb, but she kept going until she reached the top. But, she was not alone, because there on the top of Prayer Hill was Fear.
“Now we end this!” Fear cried with delight.
Faith watched as the mountain filled with monsters. She thought that there must have been thousands and they were all coming towards Faith.
“I AM!” Faith cried. “I need your help I don’t have my sword and I need your strength.”
“Well Faithless, are you afraid yet?” Fear asked Faith.
With a pounding heart, she calmly shook her head. She had I AM on her side. Why should she be afraid?
“No? What about now?” Fear asked as more monsters began to fill the area.
Faith again shook her head.
“Now?” He asked, sounding desperate.
The sky now filled with monsters. Again Faith shook her head.
“Now?” He asked again. All the monsters wailed and screamed.
Faith stepped up and yelled in her loudest voice, “I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU! I HAVE A NEW MASTER! HIS NAME IS I AM AND HE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU!”
“No!” Fear cried. “No you must fear me! You must fear me!”
Faith watched in horror and amazement as his black clouds of darkness vanished and he shrank smaller than Faith.
She watched as he cried out, “Fear me! Fear me!” Faith stared as Fear walked too close to the edge and with an agonizing scream he fell off the cliff with a thud and all of the monsters disappeared.
Faith heard screams of delight as her friends cried, “We did it!”
Faith smiled and let darkness and sleep overtake her. Fear was dead.
After three hours Faith woke up to find her friends.
“We did it!” she whispered.
Sorrow had a huge smile across her face and hugged Faith.
“That was so scary!” She cried with a huge amount of enthusiasm.
“I can’t believe we survived… I mean that skeleton got me and then Hopeless was like,
“‘I can do all things through Christ,’ and wham… the skeleton was dead and we killed all those wolves and two of them were struck by lightning and Fear was dead and…”
“I defeated a giant snake and spider!” Hopeless muttered in amazement.
Then, as if he was called to it, Hopeless knelt down on his knees. “Okay master, I believe you exist. I want the same joy that Faith has and I want peace. I’m now your servant,”
“Me too,” Sorrow added.
“Hopeless,” Faith whispered. “I think you need a new name.”
“How about Hope?” She asked.
“Can I get a new name too?” Sorrow asked.
“Hmm… well what do you think about Joy?”
Hope smiled and said, “That sounds nice.”
“Thanks… I like it.” Joy answered.
Suddenly a soft breeze blew and there stood a man. The man wore normal clothes and shoes as normal as Hope’s, but something about him drew the three children to him. Faith was so drawn in that she ran and hugged him.
“Is that you master?” She asked hoping with all her might it was. The man smiled the largest smile, “Yes Faith… it is I.”
Faith stared softly at the perfect man. His eyes seemed to be laughing and his expression was kind yet he looked like a man who could move mountains if he wanted to. There was nothing abnormal about the man, or as Faith called him I AM, but he seemed to have the prospect of knowledge, wisdom, judgement, power, kindness, gentleness and above all love. That was it! That was what made him so different. That was how Faith knew. She sensed and felt his love. Slowly Faith let go of I AM and bowed to him, allowing her head to rest on the ground. Hope and Joy soon followed. Until it seemed they could stand up once more with much humility.
I AM looked at them with favoring eyes, “Little Faith, you have shown bravery. A kind of bravery that no one in this fallen world could show. You have conquered Fear and for that I have come down to this earth. I have seen your persistence and your journey.”
Faith smiled, but then told him, “I AM, sir this is quite an honor, but I didn’t feel brave and when I get home nothing will have changed. My mom will still be dead and there will still be fear. I AM, I’m not brave, or strong, or mighty. I’m afraid of everything it seems. I thought conquering Fear would have changed that and for a while it did, but I still have nightmares and I still have worries.”
I AM listened and nodded until he finally said, “Bravery doesn’t mean you live without fear. I’m sorry to say but in a fallen world, there will be fear, darkness and evil. Bravery means to do something that is difficult and hard, and sometimes… frightening. Even my servant, Prophet was afraid.” Faith stared at I AM stunned.
“Prophet… afraid…? But he seemed so strong!” Faith cried in shock.
“Faith…” I AM told her, “He was strong because of his faith in me, which is what you must do to conquer that fear in your heart.”
“I will always be with you and will take your burden, but you must do your part and be faithful.”
I AM then came up to Hope. “Hope why have you doubted me? You knew I existed, but fear took control. Did you not realize that I have a plan that involves you? As much as Faith has to choose to have faith, you need to choose to hope and realize that there are greater things in store.”
“You are my servant now and you must stop doubting people and yourself.” He then smiled and said, “Now Hope are you afraid that the world will end, or your friends will die, or Fear will return?” Hope stared in amazement, until embarrassed he muttered,
“No master… I’ll trust in you.”
I AM then turned to Joy, “Young Joy I see you have found friends.” Joy nodded and I AM smiled. “I see you’re smiling now.” Joy again nodded then whispered, “Master… why did you let them kill my parents? Did you like them?”
I AM sighed then told her, “Joy… I love your parents! I love everyone here no more and no less. I had a different plan in mind for them.” I AM continued, “Now I believe you all need new names for your journey ahead.”
“Why?” Faith asked.
“So they can remind you of how to live your life.”
“Faith… you will be known as Faithful. Hope, you will be called Hopeful and Joy, you will be called Joyful. Teach others the good news, share your story. You have fulfilled a purpose and a greater plan. Live each day with joy, hope, and faith. I will always be here.”
Suddenly there was a soft breeze and he disappeared.
“Wow! We met I AM!” Faithful cried.
“He didn’t look like the man I expected,” Joyful added. The three friends sat down mulling over what I AM had said.
Faithful smiled. “Everyone has to hear about this! Won’t everyone want to know how to conquer fear and fight deception? What are we sitting around for? We can’t stop now! Come on!”
Though this story isn’t true we must realize we have a secret that must be shared throughout the nations. The story of I AM… the Creator. Do you realize how precious this secret is? We must share it with everyone from town to city, to state, to country, to continent, to planet to galaxy. All must hear about the wonderful news we have and we must remember that all the doubts and sorrows are just the enemy trying to stop us from fighting and teaching. We must put on the full armor of God and fight. Fight our own fears with faith, hope, and joy. Remember, “Do not be afraid for I am with you…” He will always be there for you through everything whether it is worrying about the possibility of moving away or going through the Land of Illusions. He will always be there.