Until the Next Turn

This is my life, for now.

Round and round I go, treading the worn prison floor in the stifling heat and in my own incessant darkness. No use trying to break the bonds that now hold me—I know because I tried. The fetters that in the old life I would have easily gotten rid of are now impossible to break. And even if I could—where would I go? How would I make my way out of this prison, guarded and blinded as I am?

No. Better now to continue going round and round and grind at the mill. I can still hear, and I hear there is something in the air, some great event, and I am involved in their schemes. So for now, I will wait.

I will wait for the next turn of life. It will come quickly and unexpectedly, just as it came when I was undefeated and caught up in the bliss and the fever of love (or so I thought, dolt that I was)—just as my strength, my eyes, and my dignity were taken from me in a quick turn, so will this come to an end.

It’s not a blind hope. I believe it because I know one defeat does not mean the end. I believe it because in the depths of my despair, in the abject humiliation and the shame of my situation, I remembered the God of my parents—the God I serve. I remembered how he will use even a broken instrument for his purpose the way one could use an old donkey jaw to strike down a thousand men, and he’s not through with me. So I wait for him.

Hark! I hear someone coming. They’re coming for me.

* * *

The crowds roar when I appear in front of them. There must be thousands here at the temple of Dagon, and they’ve all come because of me. To complete their victory and my own degradation they have me entertain them. No need to do much—they are content to see me naked, shackled, filthy, blinded, and helpless without a guiding hand.

At last I rest between the pillars which support the building. The cacophony of their shouts and calls, their jeers, the dozens of trumpets, flutes, drums and cymbals, the sound of all the madness and debauchery, and the stamping of dancing feet make the ground shake under my bare feet.

My turn is coming.

So while they jeer, curse, shout, and taunt me, I pray one last time to the God who watches over me.

O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once….

It should have been different, it should not have ended this way. I had been set apart since birth, a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. I should have had a long life and many children. If only… if only… and yet I am not allowed to fall into despair. My prayer is heard, my strength is returned to me. My turn has come at last—my last chance for redemption.

So let me fulfill my destiny—even if it means that I will perish with the foe. Let me die with these thousands, and accomplish more through death than I ever did while living.

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