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He was carried from his birthplace wrapped in a baby blanket. He returned a man, walking with long strides on the street near where he was born. Surrounded by his large following, he sensed from the onlookers an unknown emotion–it was misery. The foreigners were easily noticed. Word swiftly passed. It was an invasion by an unarmed band. The authorities checked them out and judged them safe. They were wrong.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. (1 Peter 2:9-10a NIV)  

The earlier long-anticipated father-son talk had been the missing piece. Mother had joined the two and shared her stories. She gave her adopted son treasured memories of his real parents, the people they were and the palace they called home.

His adopted mother and father were the second and third witnesses to his destiny. The first came as a prophecy a week before. It happened while walking the road alone. When he came upon a stranger, he greeted him. The man replied to him by calling his name. Sitting on a log, the stranger continued, “Shortly the whole truth will be revealed. You will return to the place from where you came. Until then, learn all you can and teach it to all who follow. You will free from bondage and bring justice to the people. You will be the example. Others will watch and do the same. When you see me next, it will be time.”  Then he got up, walked into the woods and vanished.

That day, as his parents spoke words they had stored for so long in their hearts, he detected the stranger’s voice blending with theirs, as if they were a trio. The only mother he had ever known lovingly put her hands on his shoulders. “Victor,” she said. “Victor Emanuel Leonidas Salvador.” That is your whole name. You will need to remember it when asked by those who loved your father.”

God’s plan was confirmed. The group around the young man steadily grew in maturity and in number. At their favorite spot, Victor’s inner circle learned everything he knew. They took a sacred an oath. If they broke faith, they would bear the curse of the broken-winged bird.

As they concluded the chorus of their song, the light from the campfire dimmed then grew bright. Then Victor laid eyes on the stranger of the woods. He had somehow joined them. To his kind acknowledgment, the man nodded and said,  “There’s a ship waiting.” He continued, “Tell the captain to take you to the island. It’s your first stop. Make haste. You will have no time to sleep. Say good-by to your family. Make a small bundle with a jar of water and some bread for the journey. If others hear of your venture and wish to join you, then welcome them, but only if they pledge loyalty to King Victor–even to the death. Meet here at first light.” As quickly as it brightened, the fire died leaving lit torches to light their path.

“You heard him,” Victor said. “We’ll have plenty of time to talk of this later. Back at first light. Let’s go!” With that they were off. They would not see the mysterious man again until all seemed lost.

Next Part 3, “Repulsed”

 

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Under cover of darkness, the baby was whisked away in the arms of the woman who would become his mother. This was no kidnapping. It was a rescue. The little boy wrapped in the blanket was in mortal danger. The plan belonged to the baby’s true father, the king. The woman was the king’s trusted sister. Joined by her husband, the baby’s new father, the three boarded a waiting ship. Their destination was a port across the vast ocean.

Though raised by someone other than his parents, the little baby remained heir to his father’s kingdom. Corrupt officials formed a cabal and threatened the throne. Once the king knew of their plot, he had to act fast. The few at court he could count on were not enough. The schemers would stop at nothing to gain power, including murdering the prince. The king could live in exile, while the rebels ruled as regents. Knowing his son was safe and when he became a man he would return to wear the crown was enough. And that is what happened.

Far away from the port where they disembarked years before, the little baby had grown into a strong lad. His adopted father and mother were the only family he knew. They taught him well. He was kind and polite. He was smart and gifted with his hands. He honored his Heavenly Father as well as his elders and parents. As he worked one day in the field, his father saw the strong muscles he had developed in his arms and his back. He was working more like one of the men than a boy. His father knew it was time. He needed to be told about his true identity.

But a few days went by and nothing had been said. From the kitchen window the mother looked out and motioned to her husband. He got up from the table and outside the window their teen son was sitting with seven of his friends. They were in a circle while he was teaching them something that had him pointing to the trees, the sky, the birds, and the hills. They listened in rapt attention. And when he got up they also rose and followed, still asking questions. The husband and wife looked at each other in amazement. “Now,” she asked, “are you going to tell him or am I?”

The next day, while setting posts in the ground, the young man appeared and asked his dad if he could help. “You sure can,” father said. As the son commenced to work, the father took a knee and mopped his neck. There’s something important we need to talk about. I’ve been waiting for the right time, and I s’pose this is it.

The young man, stopped and faced his dad. “Would this have to do with God’s plan for my life?” Oh, it was the right time all right.

Continued in Part 2

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