There once was a set of twins. Not just any twins–twins born into abject poverty, abused, enslaved, and hopeless. Their names were Kaily and Mesha and this is their story.
One April morning the twins were discovered fighting for life inside a small abandoned well, 30 feet below the surface of the ground. Their owner had placed them there to deepen their fear of him, as he often did to many of his slaves, but it had been over 3 days now and he had not returned for them. The walls were pitch and covered with black slime. There was no way to climb out; there was nowhere to go. Kaily shook silently in the darkness, the dampness ravaging her young body. She retreated into deep despair and apathy and closed her eyes in an attempt to sleep and dream this nightmare away. Mesha, the weaker of the two, had been crying out for help for hours. It seemed useless now, her tear- soaked face turned ashen as her breathing became more laboured. Despite the pain, she was shocked to suddenly find herself possessing the strength to cry out just one more time. It was in that final cry that a traveler, hearing her faint sound, discovered them in the well and pulled them both out.
The traveler took them with him. After feeding them, clothing them, and giving them a safe place to stay, he learned more about their story. Their parents had sold them as infants to a slave trader. At the ripe old age of 13 they had seen more misery in their short years than most experience in a lifetime. Their misery was compounded by their owner, who would often seem to treat them kindly one day only to violently abuse and belittle them the next. They never knew from day to day what to expect, and they laboured constantly to ensure their master’s whims were fulfilled. There was no peace for Kaily and Mesha, only fear and uncertainty.
The traveler worked for a gracious man, a King, and it was in this duty to the King that the traveler had passed along the road that day where the twins had been imprisoned in the well. The King had given him specific instructions about the time and place where he was to walk. Upon finding them, he knew instantly that he was to take the girls to his Master and present them to Him.
The girls, having only known fear, were afraid to look at Him at first, but when His countenance did not change, and when they saw His kindness, gentleness, and generosity towards them, they willingly became His servants also.
It was not too long before Kaily had grown relaxed in her new freedom. Hearing that her new Master was a generous man, she began to leave the safety of the castle grounds more and more often. After all–she knew the streets of the village well. She had often gone there on many errands for her old master. Having almost forgotten the darkness of those early years, Kaily felt confident now. She liked how it felt to go out by herself. In the eyes of the villagers Kaily had grown beautiful, so as she passed by they would smile and point at her. She grew to be very popular as they went out of their way to invite her over, to talk, and to be seen with her. She had many suitors calling on her.
Kaily was given many gifts from the King, and she would often sell them or trade them in the village for things that she really wanted. She sought to fill every single desire of her heart, and was constantly going here and there, making plans to do still more. Whenever a villager bought something new, her desire grew and she had to have it. She spared no expense. Everyone admired her. Her opinion was important in the village, and she was so preoccupied with the goings-on of the village life, that for the most part she completely abandoned the job and the King who had once sent someone to rescue her.
Once in a while, when things were not going her way, she would return to the castle, and ask the King for more gifts. Even though she never looked the King in the eye, or listened when He spoke to her, and only ever gave Him a nominal “thankyou” if she remember to at all, she would immediately return to the village and squander the King’s generosity once again.
Her sister Mesha, on the other hand, never forgot the darkness that the King had rescued her from. Whenever she was sent to the village, she went first to spend time with the King, praising Him for His kindness, His love, and His mercy towards her. She brought Him flowers from His garden, or apples from His orchard. She would sing to Him as she walked through the streets, searching for those the King would send her to find. Sometimes, she would bring back a beggar, an orphan, or another slave. At other times she would carry messages to fellow servants, or bring food to families in remote areas beyond the village. Whatever the King asked of her she would do, and although she sometimes grew tired, she would always return to her King and eat with Him, sharing her day with her Master joyfully.
As she grew up, her love for Him also grew. She spent more and more time at His feet listening to Him speak. She would often be seen telling the village children all the things the King had taught her. Her deepest desire was to please Him, and to share with as many as would listen to her, about His great love, and graciousness towards all who would accept Him.
One day while Mesha was sharing with some villagers about the King, Kaily walked by. The sisters had drifted further and further apart over time, with Kaily often getting embarrassed by what Kaily saw as Mesha’s over-the-top love for the King. To Kaily, the King was merely a nice guy, even if she thought Him to be a little backwards and a bit of a killjoy. Kaily had heard the villagers whispering about the King, and even about Mesha and the other servants, and so she tried not to let too many people know what He had done for her.
Even though the village was right beside the castle, the villagers knew very little about the King. Although many would claim that they had met Him at some point, most did not see the point in finding out the truth about Him. Whenever the conversation would come up in Kaily’s presence she would wince, and because she really did not know Him either she began to believe all the lies and tales about Him that the villagers had spread.
So on this day as Mesha’s eyes caught Kaily’s, Kaily quickly averted her gaze and swiftly walked away. Mesha brushed a tear from her eye, and continued speaking with the villagers. It was Mesha’s greatest desire that her sister would know the King, just as she did. She would often talk to Him about her, begging Him to go and bring her back by force, but the King would put His hand on her head and gently remind her that He would force no one to work for Him. He would listen intently to her pleas for Kaily, and simply say, “Just trust me.”
Kaily, her pace quickening after seeing Mesha again, recalled the time she had invited Mesha to her home in the village. Mesha had not been moved at all by the beauty of her home. She had not gasped with envy at all the places she had been, or things that she had done. She did not even seem to care about all the people that Kaily always had around her, or their various opinions. Mesha was contented just to be a King’s servant, and was not interested in anything that Kaily tried to entice her with.
She remembered how she had yelled at Mesha that day, and sent her from the house. Instead of yelling back like other villagers would have she simply told Kaily that she loved her, and went back to the castle.
And so the two sisters lived, one in the village, and one in the castle…
The ending to this story is yet to be written, or at least, yet to be read. Every day WE must choose to walk either like Kaily or like Mesha. By whose standards do we use to measure a successful life? Will we let our culture, or the wisdom of the world define our lives? Or will we define our success by what God has promised us through Christ? Kaily let the “village” set her standard. Mesha let it be her King, Christ Jesus.
Every day we choose too. By the grace of God this is still our choice today. Let us not return to the pit Christ died to free us from, but let us pray that although we must walk through the “village” each day, when we see all that it has to offer us, by His strength, we will still willingly return to our beloved King. Let us be willing to abandon everything for His sake, and be numbered among His servants (Luke 14:33). For we know that it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9)
(Amos 6:3-7, 2 Peter 2:15, Prov. 14:22, 1 Cor. 7:29-31, Luke 21:34, Matt. 13”22, Luke 12:19, 1 Peter 4:4, John 12:43, 1 Tim. 5:6, 2 Tim 2:4 2 Tim 2:22, 1 Peter 1:14, Titus 2:12,John 17: 15-16, Eph. 4:17 –20, Heb. 11:24-26, 1 John 2:15-17, Rom. 12:2, Colossians 3:2, James 4:4)
“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’” (Luke 14:16b -24)