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Chapter 27: Establishing Hope

It took the Kingdom another eight years to finish rebuilding and restoring order. The lands were brought back to all of their glory; rich soil yielding fruitful crops and the people were united.

During this time, King Eli traveled far and wide to spread the good news of their victory, re-establish trust, and bring a message of Hope. Along for the journey was Princess Elise. It was important for the people to become familiar with their future Queen. It didn’t take long for news to spread about her. She was loved and well received. People felt a sense of calm when they met her. Even those who were most skeptical, due to all the hurt and suffering, came to adore her.

King Eli kept his word in telling all the people

about Hope and the victory he brought about. He also testified to how Hope changed his life and saved him. Still, it was Princess Elise’s idea to build monuments in Hope’s honor and include the testimonies of those most impacted by him as well as the stories of the great triumph over evil. They knew that, without Hope, the world would be doomed.

The people were greatly influenced by the mission of the King and Princess. So much so, they started writing and singing songs of Hope. People would gather around the monuments to sing and celebrate during festivals created to commemorate the victory. Hope was well received and was even given different names. But what the people mostly associated him with was love.

This wasn’t all King Eli set out to do. He relished the opportunity to travel the world and spend as much time with his daughter as possible. For him, their travels to introduce Elise to the people were more of an excuse to spend time with her. Being King and securing the future of the Kingdom was always second and much less important to him than his role as a father.

It was important to King Eli to have a mother figure in Princess Elise’s life. He promoted Miriam to be the Royal Mother. She had a high standing within the Kingdom. She was by all intents and purposes, the Queen, simply without the title and marriage to the King.

Joshua reunited with his father and brother. He also kept his promise and went back for the woman and her daughter he met during his travels. This was his family and they were well taken care of. Joshua had become King Eli’s most trusted ally and pupil. He was mentored to govern the people and make decisions for the good of the Kingdom. On many occasions, when the King and Princess were at home in the castle and not traveling, Joshua and his family were welcomed guests.

After eight years, all was right in the Kingdom. There was a new light guiding the world, and there was peace. For eight years, King Eli was a father. This relationship helped him remember how to love. He and Elise grew close and seemed inseparable. He could see her growing into a great Queen right before his eyes. She was, after all, just like her mother.

Tree of Life

King Eli stood alone above his balcony staring out at the peaceful Kingdom as the world slept. The moon was full and bright.

“Thank you,” he whispered.

The weary King went to his bed and laid down on the right side for one last time.

This is what he dreamt:

The King opened his eyes and found himself standing at the entrance of a beautiful garden. It was alive with magnificent colors, strange but elegant flowers, and spirited creatures enjoying their paradise.

Eli walked around and enjoyed the scenery. He noticed footprints just ahead. They were imbedded in the ground and somehow he knew they were there waiting for him; welcoming him. They walked the trail together, side by side. The presence of the footprints was comforting. He felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted.

Finally, the path the King and his companion were walking ended at an expanse of green land. At the center of this land was a massive tree unlike any other. None could match its beauty. All kinds of fruits were growing from it and many creatures and birds made their home in and around it. The Kingdom was built around this tree.

The footprints walked ahead leading Eli around the tree’s base and this took some time because of how big the tree was. Eventually, Eli was led to a very large mirror, ten feet high and ten feet wide, leaning against the tree. The footprints, still ahead of Eli, then disappeared into it.

He slowly peaked into the mirror, but didn’t see himself in the reflection. Instead, he saw her, Sarai, his wife, waiting for him, smiling. Upon seeing her, he felt his knees buckle just a bit.

“There he is,” she said, “the man I married.”

Eli hesitated.

“I’m…I’m sorry,” he told her gently. It was all he could think to say.

“You don’t need to be. I forgave you a long time ago.”

He paused for a moment, grateful to hear those words.

“Did you see our daughter?” he asked.

“Yes, she is beautiful and strong.”

“Just like her mother.”

“I agree,” she said still smiling and with a little laugh.

“It seems like only yesterday we were two kids hiding in a wine press. Oh, how I’ve missed you,” He said now in tears.

“And I, you.”

King Eli would have looked one last time at his Kingdom before joining the Queen, but he was different. He didn’t need to be King, nor did he desire to have his own Kingdom. All he ever wanted was right in front of him. The thought of looking back never crossed him mind.

“I’m ready,” he said.

Sarai took a step forward and reached out her hand. It passed through the mirror. Eli took her hand and stepped through to join her forever.

After having endured so much pain and unrest, King Eli clung to Hope. And having undergone total transformation, he found salvation through love…because hope would not be possible without it.

The End

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