The Mother stood firmly on the base of the mountain. She anchored herself to her sword, alert to the Enemy’s arrows of condemnation flying all around her. One of the arrows pierced her thigh, but she no longer cried out. Half a dozen arrows had already dug into her flesh, and the stings combined to form a continual ache. She gripped her shield, determined to not let another arrow find its mark.
Other soldiers walked past her to make their way up on the mountain. She envied their freedom to climb, and her eyes traveled their direction to the mountaintop. She could see God’s glory radiating the pinnacle, but she quickly turned away when an arrow zipped past her cheek.
A seasoned soldier stopped to look at her.
“I see that you are a strong warrior and that you fight with dignity. I’m leading these new soldiers to the top. Why don’t you join us? You are more than ready,” the soldier said.
“I cannot leave my post,” the Mother said. “I have been called to protect the base of the mountain.
“But you are no longer a new Christian. In fact, it is obvious that you have already surpassed many levels of the mountain. Why do you stay here at the bottom when you can easily make it to the top?” he pushed further.
The Mother looked away from the soldier and secured herself more tightly to her sword. “I have been called to stay here,” she said resolutely. “I don’t know why, but I must obey.”
“But you haven’t even used your sword,” the soldier countered.
“I may not be wielding my sword like you, but I am using it. It keeps me grounded to my position,” the Mother said.
The soldier wanted to say more, but the Mother turned her attention back to the battle line. He gripped his sword, adjusted his shield and continued his climb to the next level.
A time later, a young woman entered through the base of the mountain and stood next to the Mother, setting her shield on the ground. “Can you help me?” She asked. “I can’t keep up with the others, and I don’t know how to get to the top alone.”
The Mother looked at the young woman, holding her shield up further to protect them both. “I cannot go with you, but I can tell you what I have learned. It will help you reach the next level.”
The young woman thought for a moment. “I wish you could take me, but I’m sure your words will prove useful.”
The Mother reached in her pocket and handed a journal to the young woman. “Here is all I know. Take it with you, and you will find understanding as your travel further.”
“But I don’t want to take all your words,” the young woman protested.
“Do not worry,” the Mother encouraged. “Every time I reach into this pocket, a new journal appears. I have given out many to other young soldiers like you.”
The young woman smiled and opened the book. The Mother continued to block the arrows as the young woman read. The words brightened the young woman’s face.
“I can tell from your words that you have already made it to the top of the mountain,” the young woman said.
The Mother’s eyes gazed at the top where God’s glory shined. “I haven’t seen the top with my eyes, but my heart has been there many times.”
“But how could you write about the top with such detail if you haven’t been there? How do you know the path to take if you’ve never walked it?” the young woman asked confused.
“I have walked it many times by faith,” the Mother replied. “Since I’m not allowed to leave the base of mountain, I must use the eyes of my heart and the spirit of belief to visit the top.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to go with me and experience the top for yourself?” the young woman asked.
“No,” the Mother said and drove her sword deeper into the soil. “I have been called to protect the base.”
The young woman stared at the Mother for a moment. “Well, thank you for the words,” she finally said. She put the journal into her pocket, picked up her shield and started her climb to the next level.
Finally, the sky darkened, and the Mother sat down to rest. The arrows halted their flight for a time, but the Mother kept her shield against her body as a precaution. She pulled the sword out from the ground, and it morphed into a small pen. She took out the journal from her pocket and began to write—every now and then she would look at the mountaintop and whisper soft prayers.
As she prayed, she saw a light descending down the side of the mountain. The light became brighter as seconds went by, and suddenly it filled the base of the mountain where she sat. A man stood in front of her with books filling his arms, and the light from the mountaintop reflected off of his gold armor. He unloaded his burden next to the Mother and sat on the ground beside her shield.
“Do you want to sit behind my shield,” the Mother offered, squinting her eyes from the bright reflection of the light.
“No, the arrows no longer pierce me,” he said with a smile.
“You have been to the top of the mountain,” the Mother stated.
“Yes, I have,” he said with a nod.
“Is that why your armor shines?” she asked.
“Yes, but only for a time. I will travel to many levels of this mountain, and the dirt and grime will subdue the glow,” he answered.
“Will you be sad?” the Mother asked.
“No, people are more willing to take my words when they are not blinded,” he said. “Besides, I can go back to the top anytime and my armor will be like new again.”
“What’s it like at the top?” the Mother asked.
“It’s the most amazing place I have ever seen,” he answered.
The Mother looked up. “I wish I could go up there.”
“You have,” he said.
The Mother looked at the man. “I know I’ve been there by faith, but I long to really experience it,” she said.
“You will,” he said. “But now you are needed here.”
“I know,” she said, looking down at her journal. “I must be patient.”
“What you are doing here is very important,” the man said.
“I don’t feel like I do much,” the Mother said honestly. “I share my words with those who are seeking, but other than that, I only protect the base of the mountain.”
The man looked at her surprised. “You are not protecting the mountain,” he said.
The Mother looked at the man’s eyes. The light from his face began to warm her cold skin. “What do you mean?”
“You are protecting them,” he said, pointing to her lap. She looked down and saw her three children curled up safely against her. Her two younger children were asleep, and the oldest looked up at her intently.
“I no longer feel the weight of them,” the Mother said, staring tenderly at her young children. “Their burden is my joy.”
“They are the reason you must wait,” he said softly.
The Mother stroked the cheeks of her two sleeping children and nodded at her oldest with a smile. “I would do anything for them,” she said in a hushed voice.
The man nodded his approval. “You have taken their arrows and kept them safe from the attacks of the Enemy. The two that are sleeping haven’t been awakened to salvation yet, but they soon will be. And you see the oldest? He is watching you, learning from your every move. When he is ready, he will move quickly up this mountain and bring many soldiers with him.”
The Mother put down her pen, so she could wipe the tears with the back of her hand. “I didn’t realize,” she managed.
The man began to gently pull out each arrow from the woman’s flesh. “You are very strong because you have learned to be patient and to obey. Your journey may seem slow, and it may be difficult to see others pass you by; but you carry a heavy load. Your children will be great warriors at a very young age because of your obedience. They will change the world for Christ.”
The woman thought of the many years she waited without knowing why. “Your words have renewed my hope,” she said.
“The Master has sent me to encourage you,” the man replied. “He wants me to tell you that He is pleased with your belief.”
“My belief?” the Mother asked not fully understanding.
“Your belief helps you to abide in the mountaintop that He placed inside your heart,” he said, pointing to her. “That mountain is where God’s presence dwells.”
The Mother laid her hand on her chest and closed her eyes, as the revelation began to take root.
“I must go,” the man said, as he got up.
“I understand,” the Mother said, looking back up at him. “Thank you for sharing your words with me.”
“I brought more of my words,” he said, motioning to the stack of books. “Read them and stay rooted in the His Word, and you will gain peace and courage to stand strong.”
The Mother took one of the books and flipped through its pages. “Yes, I already feel strengthened,” she confirmed.
“I am glad. It gives me joy in my sacrifice,” he said and turned to leave.
“Wait!” the Mother called out. “I’ll see you at the top someday.”
The man smiled. “Sooner than you think,” he said and disappeared.