Chapter 15: The Busy Man
The LORD hates those who don’t keep their
word, but he delights in those who do.
PROVERBS 12:20 NLT
Evening sacrifices and evensong came and went. The two Worshipers grafted into Solomon’s household gathered up their afternoon’s work and made their way to the archive. While Asaph filed away their day’s work, Kester lingered near the door, ears straining for any hint of the king’s arrival.
Footsteps came and went. Voices drew closer, then passed by. Minutes became an hour.
“The king has many demands on his time and attention.” Asaph’s smile had a sympathetic twist. “He might disappoint you.”
Kester fidgeted. “He told us to meet him here.”
“And here we are. And here we’ll wait.”
The boy’s eyes widened. “He might not come?”
His mentor sighed. “Any man’s good intentions can be undone in a moment.”
“Has he left you waiting before?”
Kester’s jaw dropped. “Why would he do that?”
“Did he lie?” the young angel asked softly.
Asaph searched his young apprentice’s face. “Solomon may be wise, but he’s far from perfect. I can only assure you that his lapses in memory or manners are always accompanied by earnest apologies. He’ll be here if he can.”
Since his contact with people was so limited, Kester was new to this aspect of life as a Graft. Solomon was human, so Kester couldn’t expect him to be like angels. After a lengthy pause, Kester echoed, “If he can. What might prevent him?”
“Solomon is not simply the king; he’s a son, a brother, a husband, and a father. He manages many servants, makes many plans, indulges in many hobbies, and tames many pets. Even Solomon’s trusted friends must wait their turn.”
“I can be patient,” said Kester.
“For the sake of the king? Or for the sake of his harp?”
His mentor was only teasing again, but Kester faced the question squarely. He finally admitted, “Between the two, I understand the harp better.”
Asaph blinked, then chuckled. “He’ll be here if he can,” he repeated.
Moments later, a series of thin notes caught Kester’s attention. The careless melody was so far off-key, it put his teeth on edge.
“He’s doing it on purpose,” Asaph remarked in bland tones.
“Who is doing what?” Kester felt as if his hair was standing on end, and he patted at it to check.
Solomon strolled through the door, dressed in light robes, wafting expensive scents, and whistling between his teeth.
Asaph ignored the king in favor of answering Kester’s question. “He has an excellent sense of pitch, yet he pretends to be tone deaf.”
“More scolding?” Solomon carried the lion’s head harp in his hands. Lifting it along with his eyebrows, he said, “I’m willing to yield to those with sweeter voices.”
Kester took a half-step forward and went up on tiptoe. “If it would please the king, I will play.”
Solomon knelt before him, proffering the harp. “Please do, Kester. I’ve been waiting all day for this.”
Had the king also experienced a slowing of time? Hugging the precious instrument to his chest, Kester asked, “Will you sing with me?”
“What if my singing is as bad as my whistling?”
“Fear not. I will tune my voice to yours.”
The king’s face went slack. “How did you know?”
Kester looked to Asaph for help, but his mentor only shook his head.
Solomon collected himself enough to explain, “Father used to say that to me.”
♦ Would you say you’re a busy person?
♦ Which do you look forward to more: getting together with friends or getting away by yourself?
♦ How important is faithfulness in keeping one’s promises?
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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