The Sweeter Song
by Nancy Gwany
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a King and His two daughters, Restriction and Devotion. The King loved His daughters very much and could not go a day without seeing them. Despite all His responsibilities over the Kingdom, He ensured that every day they walked together by the river that flowed through the city. On their walk, the girls would relish in the silence while focusing on the sound produced by the flow of the river stream. Although standing in the presence of their Father was enough, it was the anticipation of the topic of discussion that excited them the most. Each walk was accompanied by a new lesson that often delivered the same message. A message of Truth, Grace, Compassion, Forgiveness, Mercy and Unconditional Love. When the King would speak, they felt as though the river itself would stop to listen to His voice. His voice provided a sense of security and comfort that surpassed all measure. The way each chosen word was delicately strung together made them feel privileged to be in His Presence. The softness in His utterance only emphasized His immeasurable love for them. They continued their walk until they stumbled across the border of the neighbouring city, at which point they would turn around and walk back towards the palace.
The girls often wondered what was beyond that boundary, and both Restriction and Devotion had asked their Father several times. It was always the same answer the King provided: “In due time, you will know.” “Due time” was slowly creeping up. You see, the neighboring town was one that let out a siren song that could only be heard once the children of the Kingdom became of age. The Father spent those daily walks preparing Devotion and Restriction for the time their ears would start picking up those few decibels that could forever alter their life. The siren song was so enticing but provided a false hope, invisible to all listeners. People felt compelled to answer the call and cross the boundary to the neighbouring city, only to be met by Destruction and Disaster. Coming back to the Kingdom was often difficult, although the gates were always open.
The next day, as Restriction and Devotion prepared for their walk with their Father, they sensed that something was different. However, they were reassured as they heard His voice that is “the same yesterday, today, and forever”. He sat them down and finally told them about the city beyond the border of the Kingdom. He told them all about the siren song, the story of those that followed it, and the destruction that was sure to follow if the call was answered. Restriction and Devotion were left with an aching feeling that they too may follow the siren song out of weakness.
Restriction came up with a plan and approached her Father. She asked to be locked in a room until the siren song was over. Although Restriction will still be able to hear the song, being physically constrained, she would not be able to respond to the call. She would remain in the Kingdom; however, she would be forced to give up her daily walk with her Father. Not wanting to impede on the freedom He raised His daughter with, the King reluctantly agreed. Oh how He wanted to warn her, tell her that His Kingdom was a Kingdom of Freedom!
Devotion witnessed her sister’s plan, but she had a different proposal. She shared her plan with her Father and asked for His help, which He joyfully agreed to.
The next few days passed in total silence until one afternoon ‘it’started. Restriction and Devotion started hearing the siren song. Immediately, there was banging and loud aggressive cries’ coming from Restriction’s room. Devotion, however, wasn’t constrained in a room. She quickly looked around in a panic as she felt herself slowly getting pulled towards the siren song. Before she could take the next step, her Father appeared, swiftly picked her up and cradled her in His arms. He whispered to her in an old familiar way. As soon as she heard His voice, the siren song in the background reduced to a low murmur. She focused on the voice she was accustomed to hearing while embracing the comfort of His arms. Just like that, the siren song was no longer a threat. It had become an irrelevant sound in the background compared to the voice of her King, the sweeter song.