Chapter 2: The King’s Favor
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
Up until this moment, Kester had only seen the king at a distance, and always surrounded by many people. Asaph’s passing remarks and his own impressions added up to very little of consequence. He is king. He is wealthy. He is wise. But Kester was finding all the rumors of vast power and worldly influence hard to reconcile with the man standing before him in hastily-knotted sleeping attire.
Solomon stepped closer. “Who do you belong to?”
In his heart, Kester answered, God. But that wasn’t what the king was asking. “I serve your servant Asaph.”
A faint smile. Another step. “So you know who I am?”
“And you know why your singing pleases me?”
Kester could guess, but that wasn’t the same as knowing. So he gently deflected the question. “Can a child know the mind of a king?”
Solomon’s chuckle was as rich as the tapestries he strolled across. “Tell me your name.”
“I am called Kester.”
The king’s eyebrows lifted. “Unusual.”
“Don’t. I like unusual things. And you are far from typical.”
To Kester’s bewilderment, Solomon knelt before the pedestal where he sat. This is not kingly behavior. I do not want any man to bend his knee or bow to me. However, when the king extended a hand, Kester was reminded of the cats that sauntered through corridors and basked in courtyards. Is he trying to tame me? Am I supposed to be afraid of this man? Kester’s gaze flitted to his mentor.
Asaph looked on with a thoughtful expression, but he showed no signs of undue alarm over this unforeseen meeting. At times like this, an angel could only wait and watch to see what God would do. His ways were mysterious, but His plans were always good.
Kester loosened his grip on the harp and relaxed his shoulders. “If I have pleased the king, I am glad.”
Solomon rested his fingertips on Kester’s arm. “You have, and I think my father would have been pleased as well. This was his.”
“King David,” he said, cradling the harp closer. “The father you love and miss.”
“Out of the mouth of babes.” Solomon’s expression turned wistful. “Is it ignorance that makes you bold?”
Kester cringed inwardly, and Asaph spoke up. “You have given him no reason to fear, my king. And for that I’m grateful. Bid us go, and we’ll leave you in peace.”
Solomon ignored the offer. “Kester, do you want to play some more?”
“If you wish it.”
“Oh, child, I do.” The king gestured urgently with his hands. “Grant me this favor, and I will show you great favor.”
Kester shook his head. “I want for nothing.”
Asaph suggested, “Let him sing as David sang. For joy. For love. For God.”
“So be it. Sing to your heart’s content.” Solomon made himself comfortable right there on the floor, and in a softer voice he added, “I want to remember.”
♦ Solomon seems to like unusual things. Do you? Like what?
♦ Hypothetically speaking, if a king offered to grant a favor, what would you ask for?
♦ Fun Fact: Solomon quotes his father in this chapter. Did you catch the reference?
Author’s Note: This story is a prequel to Christa Kinde’s Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] and updates twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays). More information can be found on the Sage and Song index page.
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