Juxtaposition (A Comparison of Realities)

Dear Mr. Murray,

You long for the world’s greatest FTP MMORPG (Free to Play Massive Multiplayer Online Roll Playing Game) with the following features:

  • It must be compatible with both PC and Mac.
  • It must be a mix of machinery and magic, set in the future, yet with some old-school styles.
  • The graphics have to be insanely real and/or cool, making you feel worthy of such an awesome look.
    • It must run at the utmost of smoothness, making the game run at ease.
    • It must be 3D, and the kind where you click and your character goes/attacks, including WASD keyboard movement.
  • At the beginning of such a game, the character creation process has to be like a creative mind explosion containing, races, classes, customization galore, and stat combinations making your character very unique.
    • The race selection process must be a sense of teamwork spirit which will never end.
    • The classes must go farther than the simple warrior, mage, ranger, and mechanic.
  • Your username must be epic, short, simple, and above all else, not taken.
  • The tutorial must make you like the game and not get bored right away.
  • The weapon, armor, and upgrade variety must expand beyond anything else, including personal customization of armor and weapons.
  • The maps must go on and on, containing 1000’s upon 1000’s of different monsters and bosses.
  • There must be a strong sense of community, not big enough too make you feel like an ant, but not small enough to make you feel like a giant at level 30.
    • There must be a simple leveling up system, making the max level around 65 or so.
  • The PvP (player versus player) and PvE (player versus environment) must have many different parts to it.
    • When not in towns/outposts, one race is able to fight against the other.
    • There must be a part of the game when all races may come together to fight for a certain goal benefiting that race.
    • If you’re super awesome and OP (over powered), you get recognized in some way by rankings.
    • When playing against monsters, the environment must be interactive.
  • The battles must be fast paced and epic like none else.
  • May Americans play it and none else. Inter-communication is just the worst when it comes to MMO’s.
  • The stats and skills must be vast and upgradable in creative ways, making PvE and PvP an extremely strategic yet fulfilling process.
  • There must be an endless list of quests which get harder and more exciting as you play on and on.
  • A good guild system must be in place.
  • A good party system (forming groups with others in situations) must be in place.
  • Obviously, some places must be restricted until a certain level.
  • There must be a pet system.
  • There must be a cool travel system.
  • And may everything else not be said, but merely implied by the self view of perfection.

However, Mr. Murray, before you drool over your laptop, let us get things straight: even when you have found a game that has come close to such expectations, you still walked away unsatisfied. And when dissatisfaction had strangled countless hours out of you, you blamed your dissatisfaction on the fact that the game failed to meet your standards.

Now, on the other hand, here are the features of the alternative:

  • Compatibility? It is reality.
  • Awesome graphics? Well, you can’t see it.
    • But if you could, you would see that the dark forces are scarier than all human concoctions of scariness throughout history put together.
    • If you could, you would see the strength of the kind of armor and steel upon the finest of warriors carved throughout the fiercest of flames and forged in the darkest of storms.
    • If you could, you would see evil at its height, surrounding every area of all human existence.
    • But if you turned around, you would see the greatest Protagonist to ever walk the face of earth, heaven, and hell, holding out His hand for your servitude.
  • Customization? You lay your life upon the alter of sacrifice, and the Lord and lords and King of kings (creator of all creativity, therefore infinitely creative) will carve a masterpiece out of a rotting piece of wood.
  • PvP and PvE? There is none; only PvS (player versus sin).
    • The enemy of sin is infinitely more dangerous than an atomic bomb lit for all eternity.
    • It is everywhere, so warfare will never be in lacking.
  • Win-loss ratio? The only fight that has ever needed being fought was won by your King. To wield His victory in every battle is to secure a win that will go down upon the pages of eternity.
  • Guild-party system? You have the Church, a band of fellow soldiers that, if following heavenly orders, will be willing to aid you to the ends of the earth if able to.
  • Skill-stat system? It is called sanctification. The more you allow God to work in your life, the more faith that you will have. Faith is simply the coinage for purchasing the already purchased (by the cross) promises of God.
  • Level up system? It is called faith. The more of it that you have, the more impossibilities will be possible.
  • Quests? The Lord of hosts has an endless list of souls to save and battles to win by means of prayer and humility, bringing honor and glory to Himself which will never fade.
  • Battles? They are difficult like none else, yet the rewards that they reap can never rot or be forgotten in the heavenly realms.
  • Other players? All of humanity is involved and is consequentially at stake for how you go about it.
  • Fulfillment? To rely fully upon your God is to be fulfilled to the utmost. Show Him your faith, and He will show Himself faithful (which is not reliant upon your faith, for His name is Faithful and True, but His work in your life is reliant upon your faith).

Final clarification: the first one destroys you, and the second one not only saves you, but redeems you into the army of the Lord of hosts, fully committed to His glory and honor.

Free will is a gift, but any gift from God is always given with the intention of being given back to His will.

Count the cost.

Sincerely,

The Person of Grace

The Eye of the Storm

Never before had a storm of such magnitude and strength raged across the vast coastline below the large, brick lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper held his peace as he continued his duty of feeding the fuel for the large light. As the fuel reached its brim, he walked up the spiral steps to gaze out the window at the top.

145 mph winds hammered against the brick walls. The sound was that of a never-ending train, roaring across amplified steel tracks. This had been continuing for about ten hours when suddenly.. there was a total silence. The lighthouse keeper proceeded to take a step outside. There was no wind, not even a slight breeze. The lighthouse was in the eye of the storm. As the lighthouse keeper gazed at the surrounding walls of torrential winds, he pulled out a small, worn Book and read,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof rawr and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Amen. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early. The heathens raged, the kingdoms were moved. He uttered His voice; the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Amen. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He makes wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

A tear fell from the eye of the lighthouse keeper as he closed Psalm 46 and gazed at the torrential winds, once again, drawing near. With a deep breath, he stepped back into his lighthouse with one thought: “There is such peace within the center of such a storm, for within these walls I am safe. I only pray for those lost sailors in such a storm, that they might see the light and be saved.”

Love at First Sight, or Lack Thereof

It was a dark, cold, and stormy night, and faint whimpers could be heard from a little girl’s bedroom. As she clung to her sheets, she could hear the creaking of her father’s footsteps coming to her aid. As the door slowly opened, hallway light illuminated the dark room, and two watery eyes turned to peer into the light. “Everything okay?” asked her father. “Daddy, my night light went out, and I couldn’t see anything. It was so dark, and something could have gotten me!” Her father smiled as he walked to the corner of her room and turned on the side light. “You know, that reminds me of a story. Want to hear it?” The little girl shifted a little under her blankets, repositioning herself upwards, and slowly replied, “Yes please.” A smile sprawled across her father’s face. “Okay then! It goes like this..”

“Once upon a time, there was a little girl who couldn’t see a thing! Ever since she was born, she was blind. Her parents were very poor and struggled to get by, but nonetheless, they managed. However, because they were very poor, they couldn’t afford to move closer to a school for the blind, so she was left with no choice but to attend the local school. At home, her parents could help her, but when she was at school, she was on her own. Teachers would be very frustrated with her, because the only way that she could learn was by listening, and she was only able to do homework and tests orally. Consequently, she had very few friends, and no one really enjoyed playing with her, because how do you play with a girl who can’t see? ‘Well, you can trip her,’ so the kids thought.

“Truly, no one stood up for her, until a young man transferred. It was only the third grade, but none the less, he was a man. On his first day of being at that school, when someone tried to shove her over, he nudged her to the side and was knocked to the ground in her place. Even though she was unable fully express her thanks or repay him, this act of chivalry would set a pattern for many years to come. All throughout their schooling years, he would guide her from class to class. He was not violent, but he was very protective. If anyone ever did anything to her, he would always be at her side to receive the laughs as well. Once they graduated high school, they both attended the same college. While at college, she was no longer made fun of, but she did need much help with studying and homework.

“He helped her the whole way! All the way until the end. They both graduated side by side. It was then that he made a big decision. Due to technology advances, he sold all that he had so that she could have eye transplants. The thought of being able to see was foreign to her because she could never afford such a thing. So she went to the doctor and a successful surgery was performed. In order for a full recovery, she was not able to see for a full week due to a blind fold over her eyes. But before she could take her blindfold off, this young man led her out to an open field with a picturesque panorama.

“Little did she know, when her blindfold was taken off, her first sight was that of a young man on one knee holding out a beautiful ring. Tears filled her new-born eyes as she gazed upon the only person who had been with her the whole way. Through his tears, he choked out the words, ‘Vienna Daw, my darling, will you marry me?'” A long pause took place as the little girl’s father began to tear up. The little girl, on the edge of her, bed blurted out, “What did she say?! What did she say?!” Her father smiled as he slowly said, “She said… yes.” His daughter, filled with excitement, leaped up in joy. Then she paused to think, “Vienna…”

It was then that her mother peered her head through the door and asked, “Is everything all right?” “Yes, my darling, everything is just fine.” he replied with a smile, “Okay. What are you two up to?” Their daughter instantly shot out, “Daddy was telling me a story!” Her mother laughed and said, “Oh! A story. I love those.” As she walked out, she said this with a twinkle in her eyes, revealing the faint scars beneath her eye brows.

Simplicity

No matter how many books I read..
No matter how many hymns I sing..
No matter how many spiritual songs I hear..
No matter how many friends pat me on the back..
No matter how many accusations harass my thoughts..
No matter how many times I try to figure out life..
It all comes down to this:

Jesus Christ.

Simplicity: He died in my place with the final words, “It is finished!”

All I need do is believe.

Hope

Hope: a ray.
A light that’s at the end.
A gleam of joy that says, “Hello.”
A sign of something’s send.

Hope: a shout.
A sound of victory.
A song of joy, that calls, “Horrah!”
A banner meant for me.

Hope: a crook?
It hangs up high in doom.
How can life be switched with death.
Then buried in a tomb.

Hope: a Truth.
A Knight of every star.
Even when all hope is lost.
It rises near and far.

The Helen Keller Within Us All

I went to the last play by CB Productions that I will ever see: The Miracle Worker.

It was a play about Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.

I have literally spent hours trying to put my introspection to words, meanwhile deleting everything that I type because I find it impossible to articulate not just how incredible the play was, (Kyra Heaps became Helen Keller: enough said) but how deeply moved I am by the comparison of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, to Jesus Christ and the Christian.

All of that to say: I give up.

However, suffice it to say this:
If only every Christian could see how desperately Christ wants to communicate with us. He literally gave His life so that He could be our eyes, our ears, our hands, and our feet. He continuously woos us to Himself, willing to go to whatever length it may take to show us that He is the way, the truth, and the life. His disciplinary measures are capable of stripping away everything that we have in order to simply show us that we must be fully reliant upon Him to live according to God’s means and will. And even when He does go to such measures, it is all too easy for us to flail our arms and mistake His love for hate. However, even when He disciplines us in the harshest of ways, although we can’t visibly see Him, audibly hear Him, or physically touch Him, we must remember that He does what He does out of love and not out of hate (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6). When Helen Keller was learning to communicate, Annie Sullivan did whatever it took to teach her. Likewise, Christ died on a cross in order to become our only means to communicate with God, and communication with God is the only way for a Christian to successfully live according to the Word of God. Only when we realize our dependence upon Christ may we love Him with everything that we are, humbling submitting to everything that He and the Father would have us to do. All to say, we love Him because He first loved us (I John 1:19).

And even when we can’t see that, hear that, or sense that, we must never forget,

“We live by faith and not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7).

The Ghost Ship of Zion

Three pirates sat idle in their quarters below deck sipping the little amount of liquor that was left. To their dismay, getting drunk was currently not an option. “Arrr, Tobias! Be ye’ inclined to sharpen me dirk? ‘Tis been a’while since it’s cut ripe, ye’ see.” The pirate across from him crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. “Ye’ dirk couldn’t cut wind, let alone flesh. Mad, ye’ arr.” The first pirate stood up enraged, removing his tiny knife from his holster. “Say once more, and ye’ be dead! Ye’ hear?!” The second sat back in his wooden chair and laughed hysterically. The third pirate, with one real eye, joined into the humor and laughed as well.

The pirate standing sighed in frustration and clumsily sat back down, lazily dropping his tiny knife to the table in the midst of them. A calmness mixed with awkward silence swept over the three as the laughter died down. After a few seconds of this, the third pirate piped up and said, “Eh, mine be bigger.” The second pirate raised an eye brow as if to say, “Oh, so ye’ say?” Standing up, the third pirate drew his giant cutlass and dropped it to the table. He leaned into the other two and said with a deep growl, “Ninety-two, be the number of souls added to Davy Jones’ locker, thanks here to this beauty.” The second ominously stood up and said in a slow, prideful tone, “Anstis, ye be fit for not but the Lazaretto. Mine!” he shouted as he drew his even bigger rapier and dropped it to the table, “owns two-hundred and twenty-nine!” The first rose quickly and said in a loud gravelly voice, “Arrr! Mine be.. b-.. mine’s ki-..” he awkwardly sat back down as he stared at his tiny knife. The others leaned in closer to hear his proud claim. “Mi-mine.. Grrr, forget the dirk!” he quickly rose up once more. “strangled, these hands have, hundreds more than ye’ ever seen! Dare ye’ not challenge these logs of appendages, ye’ see.” After a momentary pause, the third pointed to the second and shouted, “Ye’ can’t even count that high! I don’t believe ye!” A tumult of anger arose among the three, and before long, an all out brawl had broken out; they leaped and pounced on each other, wrangling on the floorboards in fury.

SLAM!

The captain walked through the broken door and shouted, “What be the matter, ye’ scurvy sea dogs?!” The first pirate, in anger, whispered to the third, “I thought ye’ locked the door.” The captain responded, “Stupid! Stupid ye’ be. I have a key.” The second muffled a laugh and mumbled to himself, “I thought rhyming t’was extinct.” A scowl blazed across the captain’s face. “Grrr, I require something of ye’ three.” The three pirates stood up, only to see the captain pull out a little boy from behind his back. “A stow-a-away, he be, and time runs short for me to keep an eye on our new prisoner.” The three pirates let out a hearty laugh, “Harrr! A prisoner!” The captain picked the little boy up and threw him to the feet of the three. The little boy slowly gazed up to his new captors with his deep blue eyes, slightly covered by his worn, thin brown hair. “Keep him out of trouble; do whatever ye’ deem fit. I couldn’t care less.” And with that being said, the captain walked out and slammed the door behind him. The door creaked open for a second or so, and then fell inwards to the wooden floor.

As the three pirates stood in shock at the door falling to the ground, the little boy tried to crawl around them and out the back door. “Where be ye’ going?!” Laughed the second pirate, grabbing the little boy by the rags on his back. “What’s yur name?!” The little boy opened his mouth halfway as his tongue twitched fervently as if he was trying to speak. His face hardened and his eye brows squinted as his mouth desperately tried to get words out. The first pirate nudged the second in laughter as he said, “Mute, he be!” A morose, guilty look spread across the boy’s face. His mouth closed as if to surrender. “Useless! Utterly useless!” said the three pirates among themselves. “To the brig!” they all agreed.

The second pirate, still having a firm grip on the little boy’s back, dragged him across the ship and threw him into one of the ship’s many jail cells. “Ye’ be worse than me children back home.” The third pirate, standing nearby, nudged the second saying, “What home?” In response, the second said, “Harrr! What children?!” Laughter broke out among the two. The second pirate, infuriated, after closing the little boy’s jail cell, chased them all the way up to the main deck. It was then that a loud splash was heard, followed by a gunshot. Laughter ensued among the whole crew.

The little boy crawled to the nearby wooden wall, and huddled his knees up against his chest, burying his sobbing eyes between them. Growing up, his parents had quickly learned that he could not speak, so they simply left him in a back ally for him to fend for himself. His dream was to be a sailor or explorer, so as the years went by, he was eventually recruited to be the cabin boy for one of his country’s battle ships (no need to speak; only to obey captain’s orders). However, their ship was soon attacked by the pirates to whom he is now captive, and as his ship was sinking, his only option was to sneak on to the pirate ship and hide. This has all led to where he is now.

“Pssst,” whispered a voice from the other side of the hall. “pssst, boy!” The little boy, ever so slightly, raised his eyes to look around but saw nothing, so once again, he buried them between his knees. “Over here!” This time, the little boy was sure that he heard something, so he lifted his head and looked to his side. “What are you doing in a place like this?” a dark figure asked from behind bars on the other side of the hall. Little did he know, the little boy couldn’t speak. He crawled up to the bars and asked once more, “Why are you here?” At this point, the little boy could see him, so the little boy pointed to his mouth, slightly opened it, and shook his head. The man gave a large, slow nod as he said, “Oooh, I see.” The little boy nodded and looked away. “Well, I can understand,” said the man in dismay. The little boy looked at him and scowled.The man laid his hands on the jail cell bars and then used all of his forearm muscles to push down on the bars to lift himself up. However, his strength was not enough, and he crashed to the wooden floor in defeat. He then turned his eyes to the little boy and glumly said, “Believe me, I understand.” The little boy’s face showed of sympathy, which soon turned into a nod which meant, “I believe you.” In a similar fashion to the little boy, the man sat against his jail cell wall, staring at the other side.

“I have been down here for years, and every day, I wonder why I am still alive. They are pirates so you would think that they would just kill me, but they do not. I think they find it funny to keep just one man alive, barely hanging on to life, at least what is left of it.” He slowly continued, “and you can only be the prisoner of a pirate ship for so long before you overhear a few things, strange things, and even unspoken things.” The man smiled through his grief and then laughed, “They have taken over so many ships and ‘ruled’ the sea for so many years, you would think they were fearless and unstoppable,” his face suddenly returned to seriousness, “but believe me, they are not.” The little boy looked over at him as if to say, “Please, sir, explain.” The man continued on, “They have looted so many ships, they have every kind of weapon, firearm, and cannon imaginable, and they have added on to their ship, time and time again, reinforcing its strength and durability. They could care less about the ships which sail the sea, but that is not what worries them.” The little boy lowered his head and squinted his eyes as a form of saying, “So then, what does?”

The man lowered his voice to a deep, ominous tone to whisper, “The Ghost Ship of Zion.” The little boy’s eyes widen in wonder and horror, visually asking, “And what, sir, is that?” The man shook his head and softly said, “It is only seen in the worst of storms. It sails where no one thinks it will sail and appears when least expected. But there is a catch to it,” he stopped to take a deep breath, “it is only ever seen when one is in the water.” The little boy tilted his head and slightly glanced away as if to ponder what was said, putting the pieces together. The man looked even more intensely at the little boy and then said, “Not: in the boat, which is in the water. But: overboard, in the water. The only pirates (or sailors and passengers) to ever see The Ghost Ship of Zion are those who fall overboard in the darkest and strongest of storms, which is when either one of two things happens.” The little boy raised his eyes brows in wonder. “They either swim back to their ship and are hoisted up onto the main deck, or they swim towards what they think they see,” the man paused to squint, “and vanish.”

CRACK!

A loud boom of thunder exploded from the sky, and suddenly the ship began to sway back and forth more and more intensely. Rain began to hammer against the side of the ship. The man clung to his jail cell bars, as well as the little boy, to keep from rolling back and forth with the boat. Voices could be heard from above deck, commanding each other to man the sails and take positions to battle the waves. Suddenly, a strange clinking sound could be heard. The little boy looked up to his jail cell lock, which was barely keeping the barred-door closed. It was loosely swaying in opposite rhythms as the ship. The pirate had closed the jail cell, but in the heat of the moment, he had neglected to lock it. Soon after, the swaying of the ship became so intense, the lock rose in an upward motion, which left the little boy’s jail cell door swaying back and forth. He shot a worried look at the man. “Go!” said the man. The little boy quickly stood up and ran across the hall to grab the keys, and then he came back to unlock the man’s jail cell. The man clung on to the little boy and tried to stand up, but then fell down and rolled over to the opposite side of his jail cell. He looked up at the little boy and said, “I was a dead man anyway.” The little boy ran to him and tried lifting him up, but the man said once more, “I can’t walk, or even stand. Please, just go!” The little boy, realizing the circumstances, gave a respectful and understanding nod and then ran out of his jail cell and up the stairs at the end of the hall.

When he had reached the top of the stairs, he opened the brig hatch and climbed out onto the main deck. Rain was pouring at an unbelievable rate, which made the floorboards extremely slippery. Men were running back and forth, trying to maintain their duties. This made it very easy for the little boy to move about unnoticed. He knew very well that he needed to find a safe place to hide, for when the storm was over, they would think that he had escaped and maybe fallen overboard. As the tumult of rain doused him, he moved as fast as he could through the chaos of men to find a hiding spot. The more in the open his hiding place was, the least likely they would look there. As he fervently searched the main deck, he pondered whether he should have stayed or not, however, if he had stayed in his cell, they would have returned and found it unlocked, which would have caused them to lock it, consequently making any chance of escape impossible.

But then it happened, as he was searching the other end of the main, he found himself face to face with the captain. “Ye’ made a big mistake, scurvy lad. I’ve had enough!” He reached for the little boy, but the little boy began sprinting in the opposite direction. The captain ran after him. As this chase pursued, the pirates began to catch on to what was happening, and soon every pirate watched in awe of what was to happen next. The little boy ran to the head of the ship, where a pole extended outwards in front of the ship. As the captain walked closer and closer, the little boy began to back onto the pole. The ship’s sway made it almost impossible to keep balance, when the captain shouted, “Tell Davy Jones I said, ‘Hello!'” And with that, the little boy stepped backward, but his foot felt nothing…

From a view of the entire ship in the midst of the storm, the little boy could be seen falling backward off the head of the ship. Time eased to molasses as he watched the ship grow farther and farther away. The tragedy of the moment was that nothing could flash before his eyes. He had no home, and he had no family. He had nothing. What felt like concrete hit his back, or vice-versa, and his shocked, frail, body disappeared beneath the dark waters. As he began to sink, his arms and legs kicked into reflex, and soon he began to swim upwards, against the flowing monstrous waves.

But then he saw a shadow in the distance: something extremely large and bulky. A giant lightning flash illuminated a large ship with a pearl white flag cutting bravely through the storm. Acknowledging this as his last hope, the little boy began to swim towards the ship. His strength was almost completely diminished, but with his final moments, he knew that if he could shout loud enough, that ship would come to save him, so he summed up every last bit of energy that he had left and shouted,

“H——-h-h——————–H–eh—-“

His tongue could form no words. Neither could his arms paddle any longer and soon his legs gave way to the undertow of the current. Water surrounded him completely, and soon he stared up at the surface at the water. Every few seconds, lightning would illuminate the giant waves which grew smaller and smaller. And so, with the little boy’s final seconds, he reached upwards one last, final time and mouthed what he could never say,

“Help (oh Zion).”

His eyes closed shut to welcome death into vision when he felt a firm grip on his wrist. Suddenly, a strong pull began to drag him upwards, towards the surface of the water. Time began to blur as the little boy’s lungs felt the threat of collapse. Next thing he knew, he felt a rope being strapped around his waist which lifted him out of the water. Wood gave full impact to his head as he could feel the sensation of solid foundation beneath his limp body. Words hung in the air around him, as he could faintly hear sailors shouting,

“Captain overboard! Captain overboard! He’s drowning! Can anyone see him above water?!” “Halt! Captains orders: hold the life boats! It’ll be a three day’s journey back!” “Follow commands! He said what He said!” “Aye, aye!”

A sailor picked up the little boy and carried him into closed quarters. The last words the little boy could hear while being conscious, were that of a man looking at him in the eyes, saying,

“He jumped overboard for you..”

This shocked the little boy as darkness encased his vision.

The little boy’s eyes opened to see a bright room, illuminated by sunlight. The bed was still, so still that he knew that he was on land. The swaying of lush trees could be heard in the distance from an open window on another side of the room. He struggled to sit up due to soreness, but after rubbing his eyes, he saw a broad man sitting on the end of his bed, dressed in fine Captain’s apparel. A confused look crossed the little boy’s countenance as a grand smile glazed the Captain’s face. Soon, the Captain began to laugh a joyful laugh, and not too long after, the little boy joined into the laughing as well. The Captain stood up, and walked to the little boy, gently picking up his wrist with a firm grip. A tear rolled down his cheek as he softly said,

“You were worth it.”

Recognizing the firm grip on his wrist, the little boy smiled and with moist eyes, said the words,

“Thank you.”