Beads of sweat twinkled like diamonds on the woman’s forehead. Her hands, too, were wet and slid on her sword’s hilt, but there was no time to pause and wipe them. She swung around and a clang rang out as her weapon struck her enemy’s. Then with a duck and a twist, she knocked his sword far from him and slashed his right hand.
The man screamed and glared at her with pure hatred blazing in his eyes. The woman barely noticed, though. As he ran away to bind his wound, another soldier stepped in to take his place.
There was always another one.
The dark clouds overhead rumbled and, with a flash of lightening, released the first drops of rain. The woman’s long, brown hair quickly grew wet and plastered against her face while her dress became heavy and limp.
A slash to the leg felled another soldier.
Another took its place.
But another rose.
Her strength began to wane. An evil smile flickered on her enemy’s face as she took one step and then another backwards. He pressed forward, swinging harder and harder. Panic rose within. She tried to pour more strength into her swings, but her arms ached. She was so tired…so tired of fighting.
Despair crept into her heart again. There was always another enemy to engage…another battle to fight…the same war to wage.
Clang! Her sword hit her enemy’s. The girl’s swing was weak and ill-timed, though. Her weapon slid off the end of his and his sword sliced the air, headed for her chest. She took a step backwards and slipped in a puddle, landing on the ground.
She lay gasping and motionless, then slowly turned over and fell onto her hands and knees. Despair and weariness swarmed her like the enemies crowding close now, cheering and mocking. I can’t get up. I can’t go on. I am so…so…so tired.
As she lay there on her knees, she became aware of a soft breeze. It kissed her face and blew a whisper to her ear: “Try again,” the voice murmured. “Stand up and fight again. My grace is sufficient.”
The woman closed her eyes and began to mouth words. Ancient words of strength and victory. Then, just as a soldier reached for her, she wrapped her fingers around her sword’s handle. Gripping the weapon, she rose to her feet.
The triumph melted from her enemies’ faces, replaced with anger and—could it be?—fear. She lifted her sword and, with a shout, returned to battle.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
“I am afraid. But I keep on loving what’s on the other side of this fight. And that will have to make me brave.” – Captain Fleck Blackstar (The Blackstar of Kingston by S.D. Smith)