Jude Priestly Journals, Entry 10

Dec. 17th, Year 1 of the Vow

Where did I leave off last night? I feel like I left something out, but I can’t remember what? I can see why father harps on completing journal entries ASAP. Well, if it was important the Lord would help me remember, right?

I really hope father won’t be reviewing this.

Please Lord, make him be so proud of the outcome of this mission he’ll feel like he doesn’t have to double check events by comparing my entries to Blaze’s and Nike’s journals.

Nike calls her journal a diary, which surprised me. I thought she for sure would refer to it as a journal. Is it sexist to think diaries are for girls and journals are for men? I mean women not girls… No, there were plenty of books about boys or men with diaries used in the title. So, I guess it is wrong to play French with the words and make one masculine and one feminine. Shame on me. Is it bad I feel no real shame and I want to think the same?

May heaven help me and plead my cause.

What point am I at accounting for what happened with Sibusiso?

Yes, Cutter Steel- next day after a come to Jesus moment failed with Ricki…

We boarded a small, speed boat, on the gulf coast in a “rink-a-dink town”, as Blaze put it. We literally drove through the waves, until we reached deeper, calm waters, to a yacht that was owned by a wealthy person. Was the Cutter Steel super rich from scandalous affairs, or from inheritance?

There was a docking station to park the speed boat at the yacht in the back. I didn’t even know such a think was possible. I feel like we’re in outer space docking a tiny spaceship to a big one, oh.., wait… ships on the sea are where creatives probably got their ideas for ships in space… Star Trek is just the British Navy against various pirates and enemy navies. Star Wars World War II infused with a political drama and a Royal tragedy all-in-one.

There truly is nothing new under the sun, it’s nuts! 

Anyhow, the moment we stepped foot onto the yacht, we were  patted down by some real thug-looking guys and our weapons were placed in a briefcase for safe keeping. I’m confident Cutter Steel was a bad news dude.

One guy appeared to be the brain of the two. Tall, fresh ironed tan slacks and blue blazer. He wore a white tee and equally bright white sneaks. A silver chain hung around his neck caught a glare here and there from the sun. The neck chain sparkled as much as the sun. And he wore aviator style shades.

The other one was bulking, bearded. He wore jeans and a Hawaiian palm tree shirt. His eyes were so dull and out to la-la-land. Plus, brain barked orders at Hawaiian-shirt-wearing-brawn. That was the leading hunch of my assumption about who was who in this thug pair.

We enter a door into a swanky hallway. I feel like I’m at the fanciest hotel in the world. The space was a tight squeeze though. Our shoulders nearly touched each wall. All this dough and he can’t afford a giant boat with more walking space?

One thug led the way while the other was the tail. We were boxed in. I was grateful the Lord made us a literal human weapon with super strength but my hair wasn’t grown back enough to give me full power. I felt so unprotected.

After a couple flights of stairs, we were taken to a wide open room with an incredible view of the ocean from most of the window pane walls. One wall was a fish tank filled with colorful and exotic— fish. There isn’t another word for fish is there? I mean, I could have used Sea Creatures but that term was so open it could be confused with so many other creatures that lived in the sea and it was just fish in that wall tank.

A glass top desk sat in front of the fish tank wall. Not much was on it. A stack of papers and document envelopes, an electronic tablet, and some pens and sticky note paper.

The rest of the space had a section couch across from a couple of reclining chairs. Yes, glass top end tables that book ended the chairs and ding, ding, ding!!! A glass top coffee table in between the sectional and the chairs!

The modern, square furniture was some shade of gray. The flooring was dark brown and the ceiling was painted powdery, baby blue. The glass tops all had sliver legs. The office chair was like a white, half egg shell. The room seemed ready to merge with the sea.

The brain thug, who I’ve learned was Ronnie, told us to sit where we wanted. The brawn was named Isaac, for some reason, I feel their names should be switched, but is it mean to think Ronnie was strictly a lesser intellectual name? Did I phrase that right? Lesser intelligent name? I don’t know.

I got comfy on the sectional, which was like a brick to sit on. It looked beautiful in this space but was terrible to rest on. This chump was cheap with the interior decorating apparently. Mother always said not only must furniture look appropriate for the space, it must be pleasurable to rest on to enjoy the space. Wow… Mother does come from money. How have I never noticed this growing up?

Blaze remained standing. He looked out into the ocean blue through the slightly tinted window pane.

“So, the Steel guy is a bad guy?” I wondered. I needed to know. I couldn’t ignore this anymore.

“Ricki’s associates come from both sides of the fence. I don’t like to make assumptions. I never ask. We’re just getting intel from him. We don’t need to know.” Blaze explained with a twinge of that tone where one was disappointed in themselves.

Avenging Nike’s kidnapping seemed more like a wicked choice not a righteous one. Did the Lord really send him on this mission or did he go rogue? Sometimes, before Nazarites retire, they do a few things, abusing their gifts for their personal agenda. Then they disavow and retire. Not sure if the Lord forgives them for knowingly doing wrong and abusing their gifts that were meant to glorify God – not doing what they selfishly want. Even if their intent was for justice, if their actions using Nazarite power weren’t under the direction of the Lord, they were in rebellion. The first part of the Bible is clear what God thinks of rebels who know better, they serve the punishment for their crimes.

Was this mission a test for me? Would I lovingly reprimand my elder and potential father-in-law to steer him back onto the path of righteousness? But this is hard, no one can question if you heard from God or not. But if I asked him, and he lied to me, what kind of man would that make him? I needed to pray about this and seek the Lord for guidance. I’m in over my head.

A short guy walked into the room wearing a graphic tee and long swim trunks with a funky design of shapes and lines. It reminded me of fashion from the 80s. Ethnically, the man was ambiguous. I couldn’t tell if he was Native, Asian, Black, or Biracial… part of me felt like he could pass for white with a tan. He was definitely human.

He had the same little kundalini spirit with him that Ricki had, except it was bigger and spiritually coiled all over him from the waist up. The two heads of the black and gold serpent rested on his right shoulder, but it looked like our left, as he sat at the desk.

“Gentlemen, Ricki spoke highly of you. Any friend of hers is a friend of mine. This favor is on the house, I just have one condition.”

Like this was a stage production, this huge, hulking black dude walked in on Steel saying ‘condition’. He was nearly seven feet tall, his biceps were the size of heads. His baggy, all black clothes were too tight. Yikes, I may have super strength but I’m afraid to fight that dude.

“Samson?” Blaze said.

Uh-oh… Blaze knows him? And his name is Samson? That’s funny… heh…

“Blaze Samuelson.” He said approaching Blaze with his hand out to shake. Blaze shook the giant’s hand as Samson continued to say, “It’s good to see you sir, how’s Nike?”

“Likewise Samson. Good to see you.”

The two disengage their hands.

Now I was curious if the man’s first name was Samson or if it was his last name? And did he help rescue Nike all those years ago? But he looked like he was around my age, but maybe he was closer to Blaze’s age. Some individuals age like they got the Fountain of Youth in their backyard and they drink from it daily to slow down the aging process.

“As I was saying, this favor is free on one condition, my man Samson goes with you to take Sibusiso’s inventory.” Steel finished saying.

“So we’re paying you with stolen, illegal goods. Sounds fair.” I remarked.

Blazed glared at me like he envisioned driving a dagger through my heart.

Steel stood up shaking a pointer finger at me while subtly fake laughing… “I like you. You’re like a child.”

Now, I felt a little embarrassed like a small boy.

Putting his hands on his hips, Steel looked at Blaze and asked, “Are we good? Do we have a deal?”

“We have a deal.” Blaze sighed shamefully. I could feel shame and guilt emanating from him. We were talking in the truck.

Blaze walked over to Steel, towering over the little man from across the desk. Steel picked up the stack of papers and document envelopes and handed it to Blaze.

“Your man is in one of those three warehouses. Guaranteed. It’s all there, if you hit a snag, which you won’t, let Samson know. It was great meeting you two, now,” he paused making a jot to the door, “if you excuse me, I must be going.”

The sound of a helicopter subtly chirped outside. I looked out the window, toward the front deck and sure enough a helicopter was landing on the heli-pad. 

“I have a helicopter to catch.” He said as he walked out with thug-brain and thug-brawn following after him.

I think I watch too many movies to think everything works like the movies. Do books do that too? Maybe I should read more to find out.

“Just let me know when you’re ready to hit the warehouses and scope them out. I’ll bring back up.” Samson told Blaze.

“Okay,” Blaze said like something heavy was on his mind. Probably the burden of guilt and SHAME!

“Okay,” Samson said, just standing there waiting for us to leave.

I got up and headed for the door. I realized Steel never introduced himself or asked who was who, how did he meet us then. And how rude could he be? To not introduce himself? No one around my age has manners anymore. Most likely they were never taught by their rude, wild, rebellious parents. Our parents were the protesting, be-who-you-want-to-be generation. Were they? Or am I imagining this? Whatever.

We see ourselves back to the speed boat. Our weapons were sitting in our seats on the speedboat. Blaze’s gun on the driver’s seat and my pocket knife on the passenger seat. I forgot we put those in a briefcase. The boat ride was faster back to shore then out to sea. Blaze drove fast when he was angry, which I felt a whirlwind of rage burning from his soul.

I let him walk in front of me on the docks back to the parking lot. I am forcing myself to wait until we make it to the truck to put him in his place.

That’s something many people don’t understand today. When you truly love someone, you aren’t afraid to bring up the truth to them, and you tell them the truth because you care about their well-being, not their feelings. You end up getting your head cut off if the person isn’t ready to face the truth, but we humans are creatures influenced by what people we care about think. We are designed to be a part of a community and to think similarly yet diversely. We are stronger together than apart. We instinctively understand that too. That is why when we are afraid of getting cut off from a community, we would choose to be silent rather than to speak out in the name of truth because we don’t want to be shunned. We don’t want to be left alone. Deep down inside we know loneliness is bad, deep down we know we are not meant to be alone.

The minute we shut our doors, Blaze behind the wheel and me as the passenger, he spoke first.

“The Lord didn’t give me permission to go after Sibusiso.”

“I was about to confront you about that.”

“I would have lied if you did it earlier… thanks for waiting…” He said.

I guess I shouldn’t admit I just figured it out.

“But we made a deal. Someone like Steel is bad news, you can’t exactly not give him what he wants.”

“Well, what if we figure out which warehouse Sibusiso is at, and let Samson and his crew fight Sibusiso for the stuff.” I suggested.

Blaze shook his head. “No, Samson is a pacifist. He doesn’t do any fighting. He just collects stuff.”

Hmm… interesting… “Who is Samson?”

“Worked with him on a lot of government jobs when Nike was a teenager. My girls still didn’t really know about my work. I needed to train someone to carry on my work because I never planned to pass it onto them. The Lord approved of him and everything. We finished his training and he was about to take the Vow, until he was helping me with a case battling a voodoo high priestess. He got vexed and possessed. I got him delivered but the experience traumatized him. He didn’t want to take the Vow. He stopped following God and became a buddhist. A non-violent pacifist. I have no idea how or when exactly but he dated Nike before she dated Brynn. He broke up with her and nearly destroyed her. I didn’t think she’d ever get over him. He’s a freelancer thief now, stealing or collecting things that won’t lead to fatalities.”

Before I assumed he dated Nike before she was 18, I wisely asked how long it took Blaze to train him.

“Three and half years, that’s actually a short time for training. He caught on so quick.”

“Mother and Father trained me for three months and I already took the Vow before I started training.”

Blaze laughed.

“You grew up getting trained to be a Nazarite. Plus, you took up your brother’s mantle, since you agreed to carry on the family business, you had to take the Vow within 3 days or else your bloodline loses the privilege to be Nazarites. That’s because both your parents were disavowed in retirement when your brother died. The mantle wouldn’t have fallen to you, if one of them were still working or under the Vow when your brother died. They didn’t explain this to you?”

They probably did, I just probably didn’t listen.

“What are we going to do?”

Blaze thought, mumbling and grumbling to himself. Then his eyes lit up with brilliance as he snapped his fingers shouting, “Got it!”

He explained the whole plan on the drive back to Ricki’s. The more he laid it out, I didn’t like it. But it was the better choice. Sibusiso would remain alive. Samson wouldn’t have the weapons. And we would destroy the warehouse and alert the authorities Sibusiso was in the States. But everything had to go as we planned or someone would end up dead, Blaze would end up dead.

Since Blaze called and said we were heading back, the ladies had fresh food ready for us. A lamb roast, with a raspberry glaze, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus. Sun-brewed sweet tea too.

The most interesting thing with our return was the houseboat. The unclean spirits were gone and the kundalini spirit wasn’t anywhere near Ricki. She got delivered and saved.

Blaze and I rejoiced begging to know what happened that led to Ricki’s choice. How in a six hour time span did her life radically change from here into eternity.

I was hungry and my stomach growled to dig in but we didn’t even say grace yet. Ricki and Blaze sat side-by-side across from me and Nike.

Ricki explained, “Well, it was about 20 minutes after you left. Nike came back inside from praying, and she asked me a question.”

“Yeah, I asked her if she thought Jesus was a good teacher.” Nike said

“And I said yes, that I still practiced some things he taught. Many of the things that Buddha similarly taught.” Ricki said.

“Then I opened up my Bible and I showed her the passage in John 14 where Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father but through Him.” Nike said.

“She went on to explain that if Jesus was a good teacher, Him teaching that He was God was more than revealing He was under a higher consciousness and one with the divine. She reminded me the God of the Bible had character, emotions, and was intentional. Suddenly, I realized I was what the Bible defined to be a sinner. I realized the reason I never gave God a real chance was because of hypocritical church people I knew and that wasn’t an excuse.” Ricki explained.

“She wasn’t fully convinced then.” Nike mentioned.

“Right, I still had my doubts. But then she asked me if I was at peace about death. That’s when flashes of fire and suffering came to me. I saw a two headed snake that felt familiar and it took me through a place I could only describe as the Biblical description of hell. I knew if I were to suddenly die, that would be the place I would go. That’s when I accepted Jesus as Lord, finally– for the first time in my life.” Ricki said with tears of joy in her eyes. “I asked Nike if the snake spirit was in me and she said yes. I told her to get rid of it.” Ricki exclaimed, wiping her eyes.

That’s when they went outside to the water and Ricki took her spiritual dip and got water baptized. After that, they came back inside and cleaned out everything that was connected to Eastern Religion, and Yoga and burned it up in a metal trash can outside.

“Then you called and said you were three hours out from being home. I looked at Mama Ricki and said, let’s make lamb.” Nike smiled.

“Which is my favorite.” Ricki said.

This was her salvation celebration dinner.

Very rarely does anyone get a vision to aid in their salvation process. Majority of folks get to hear the message and the chance to take it or leave it. If the Word of God isn’t enough to believe, most of the time a miracle won’t work. Miracles worked in Jesus’ day because the Jews already knew God’s Word and were prepared to receive the truth, but God still does miracles. And today, the Lord heard the fervent prayer of Nike and Blaze and whoever prayed for Ricki over the years and her name is now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Today is a good day.

Blaze led in prayer, “Thank you Lord for this food. Most importantly, thank you for opening Ricki’s eyes so that she may see the truth and know you. Keep her and bless her from here out Lord. Thank you for this chance to be together and to dine as family and friends. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

After eating, Nike suggested we all go for a walk, but Ricki wasn’t feeling well. Blaze wanted to stay back with her. That left us young ones to take a stroll.

For the first few minutes, we said nothing… silence was comfortable with her. It didn’t feel awkward or strange. It felt like home, if home could be a feeling. She casually took my hand and I didn’t retract it. The pull to each other to be closer was too enticing to fend off.

That’s when our conversation started. We talked about what we were streaming lately. She told me some fun stories of working a ranch, with no running water, as a kid. She made fun of me over how I eat. Apparently, I eat like British guy. I didn’t even know that was a thing. British really meant I eat like a rich guy. I just eat how my mama raised me.

Then the sun began to lower, ready to set and we paused under a tree to take a breather. Nike nudged me up against the trunk and put her hand on my chest to hold me there. That look in her eye was clear. She wanted to kiss me as much as I wanted to lock lips with her. 

“I know I said I would give you space and time, but every time we’re together, it just feels right. I’ve never had this with anyone. Ever.” She confessed.

Nike was an experienced girl. She started dating at the age of 13. I’ve only had one girlfriend and she was fake– sort of…

“The minute we become official, we’ll never be allowed to be alone again… not until we are married at least.” I reminded her.

“Can I kiss you or not? We can figure this out as things go, can’t we?” She asked, reeling closer to see if I would cave and kiss her first.

I petitioned the Lord for strength to say no. I don’t think I could really trust us in this situation. How I am feeling, and picking up on how she was feeling, we could too easily end up fooling around and going too far. I also don’t want Blaze to shoot me.

I take her hand in mine and move out from the support of the tree trunk.

“I want to, I really do, but not yet. I think we should continue to enjoy whatever we currently have, okay?”

“What do we have?”

I shrug my shoulders. Then I poke her in the stomach and run away as fast as I can. She comes chasing after me. We play poking tag back to the houseboat.

The end to a pretty, perfect day.

*Edited by Kristen Wenneborg

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