Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: A Newfound Treasure
By Tim George
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Numeria winced at the sound of her own voice as she spoke the name of her chief servant. When he had first been brought into her household as a mere child she gave him that name as a reminder of her disdain for all barbarians. As far as she was concerned back then all slaves were arm pits; a stench to be tolerated.
Ahala ran ahead of his mistress, shooing gawkers out of the way as her entourage made its way to her husband’s private box. It was hard to remain inconspicuous when you lived in the abundance that Numeria Sertoria Fimbria did.
“Have you ever seen such rich purples?” whispered a woman a few seats away to her companion. “She must be most blessed by the gods of all who are in this place today.”
Numeria ignored the chatter around her and settled into her box at the Amphitheatrum Flavium. Commoners and such called it the Coliseum but not people of breeding such as herself. Ahala bowed and began to back out of the box.
“No Ahala.” Numeria paused. “Uh, stay here as I may require further assistance.” She turned to the three others attending her and dismissed them to return to the household.
A roar rose from the crowd as the gladiators entered the main floor of the giant open aired building. Numeria didn’t know why she had allowed her servant to persuade her to come here today. This was a place for blood thirsty men and their prestige hungry wives. People came here to impress and to be impressed. Numeria’s wealth and position had long since removed such a need from her life.
“Ahala.” Numeria again paused, cleared her throat, and whispered where only her servant could hear. “Excuse me my friend. Sit with me a moment brother.”
Had it been a few days earlier such a conversation would have been unthinkable. But, things were different now. The whole world was turned upside down. In the midst of her abundance, Numeria had come to see how empty she really was. Ever since she had been introduced to Christus and the truly abundant life He offered, everything had changed.
“So my brother, why did you want me to come here today? This hardly seems like a place for believers in the Way to come.”
Ahala cast an eye toward the action on the floor of the Coliseum. Gladiators were finishing up their first exhibitions and the crowd hushed as it awaited the main event. Numeria followed her servant’s eyes and was startled to see a rag tag group of obviously beaten people being led into the center of the dirt arena. They had no swords or shields. In fact, they looked to only be children.
Ahala looked back at his mistress. “I knew you would not believe this unless you saw it for yourself. I am so glad you laid down the emptiness of your own wealth for the eternal riches of the Messiah. Thank you for calling me brother. You are indeed most blessed my lady.”
Before Numeria could respond, Ahala jumped up on the stone riser. Taking advantage of the momentary quiet among the thousands assembled he shouted at the top of his lungs, “Long live Christus, Christus is King. There is no king save Christus.”
Sheer madness followed. Within minutes a cadre of legionaries grabbed Ahala and dragged him into the arena to join those already there. Amidst the chaos, he turned and looked into the stands and smiled. He was looking directly at his mistress. In the midst of the insanity Numeria smiled back. She understood.
Within moments ravenous lions were released. The poor people now huddled alongside Ahala were defenseless. At first, a roar calling for blood arose throughout the place but then was magically silenced. The place seemed frozen in time as every eye strained to focus on a newcomer to the arena floor. Then a collective gasp rose to the sky. For standing between the lions and a man whose name means arm pit was a beautiful Roman woman. Her exquisite toga lay at her feet as she stood only in a simple tunic.
“Christus is King,” she shouted to the stands.
Numeria turned to Ahala and took his hand. “Thank you for teaching me what true abundance is. We are indeed rich today my friend.”
Ahala nodded, and together he and his newfound sister received the greatest reward of all.
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