The King and the Commoner (part 1)
There was once a young girl, not much older than 17 years old, who lived over on the beautiful countryside. Her name was Abigail Wakefield… well, everyone actually called her Abby. Her family was not considered wealthy, but they had some land, a nice farm, a small herd of sheep, and enough money to live comfortably without any want. Abby’s best friend in the whole village lived but 90 feet from the front door of her home. His name was Jacob. They had grown up together because her father had found him as a small child who had been abandoned in a small, run-down shack. Her family took him in and cared for him; and when he became of an age where he could take care of himself, they gave him the one-room shed off to the left of the house for his living space – he was now 18 years old. He earned his keep by helping around the farm – he did all the chores that a hired hand would do, chores that a biological son would never even consider doing.
Abby always believed that providential intervention had caused her father to find Jacob that stormy day so many years ago. She believed God had long-before planned for it all to work exactly as it had. However, Jacob shared no such sentiments. He didn’t believe in God – or, even if God did exist, He would never receive any recognition, gratitude, or praise from him. What kind of God allows a helpless child be abandoned? What kind of God “plans” (as Abby believed) such tragedy to happen to people? He was bitter, angry even, that someone Who seemed to pride Himself on His “everlasting love” could be so cruel in His dealings with a child.
Regardless of their differing opinions, Abby and Jake always enjoyed each other’s company. They had so much in common, so much to talk about, so much to compete in. every Sunday afternoon during the summer months, they would enjoy fishing contests; and in the fall, they would compete in hunting. In the winter they would enjoy snow games and building fires. No matter what they were doing, they never grew tired of each other’s company; they never grew bored or looked for friendship elsewhere; they were comfortable together, free to be themselves without reserve.
That time of the year when weddings were planned and marriages were vowed had come once again. As customs declared, when a male turned 18 years of age, he was of age to choose his bride. Jacob loved Abby, and he was sure that she cared for him the same way. There was one problem. Because Jacob was an orphan and served as a perpetual “servant” under Abby’s father’s household, Abby was off limits. Her class, though not very high, was beyond what Jacob was allowed to marry. If by some miracle the father consented to the marriage it would mean Abby would then be lowered to the class of a slave, equal with her husband – which also required the consent of the prospective bride. For her to choose the life of a slave would be most absurd, especially when her prospects had every promise of being far better than he could ever give her.
Jacob could not persuade himself otherwise though, his heart was set on Abby and he would not be satisfied till he asked for her hand in marriage – knowing full well the possibility of her accepting such an offer was beyond likely. First he went to her father. It was a dark, muggy night; he found Abby’s father alone in the feel. No doubt he was pondering the idea that his daughter could quite possibly be married by the end of this marriage season. When he finally reached her father, Jacob spilled his heart. Her father knew the dangers of a believer marrying a non-believer; but surely Jacob’s love for her was strong enough. Perhaps one day he would see the truth of their faith. So moved by Jacob’s honest confessions of his feelings for his only daughter, viewing Jacob as more to his family than just a slave, and fearing losing him completely if he refused his offer, her father cautiously and hesitantly consented to his proposal. Speechless, yet exuberant, that her father had agreed, he slowly walked back to his little shack. He couldn’t sleep that night. Thoughts shot and raced through his mind, keeping time with the wind howling outside his door.
His proposal must be perfect. He hoped upon hope that she would accept him. The proposal period was in one week so he had time to plan what he would say, what he would do, and how he would ask. He thought the anticipation of that moment, of how she would answer him – so close, yet so far away – would surely drive him insane…