(dedicated to the fearless and faithful, men of Hope)
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
If you haven’t seen the movie First Knight with Richard Gere and Sean Connery may I encourage you to do so? It is one of the few movies I know where you see men walking in right relationship with one another and in their proper authority. King Arthur and his knights of the round table have a vow that they make to each other, “Brother to brother, yours in life and death.” Their motto is, ‘in serving one another there is freedom’. There are a good many other excellent points that this movie has to make but these are the ones I wish to dwell on.
The bad guy, Maligant, states to Lancelot that men don’t want brotherhood, they want leadership. Maligant failed to see what true authority and brotherhood really are. What he passed off as leadership was merely control and fear. It made his men loyal after a fashion but it did not endear them to one another or to him and it did not strengthen them as individuals. King Arthur’s men walked with the love and confidence of their king, knowing that he would lay down his life for them, just as they were willing to defend him to their own death. Even though the King sat among them as an equal at the table, when he needed to, he took on the full authority of the King and made decisions and proclamations. My husband has recently experienced the strength of the brotherhood and learned some things about walking in authority along the way. I think it would be safe to conclude that he prefers brotherhood to a controlling and fearful regime. It would also be safe to assume that he prefers authority and submission rather than control and fear.
Because of some unfortunate circumstances that occurred in our fellowship Kelly was given spiritual authority for the men’s retreat and another on the original team was given logistical authority on short notice. It wasn’t an easy task, he struggled, but he was convinced that God had something in mind for our men and so he persevered. He had a team (his brothers/knights) to work with and overseers (kings) to guide him along the way. There were times when he was feeling unsure of himself or wanting to please someone that he was tempted to lay down the authority that had been given to him. However, he was walking in submission to our lead pastor and elders who had given him that authority and they encouraged him time and again not to do so. He learned along the way that as he walked in that authority and communicated it clearly things ran the way they should and God moved in ways that Kelly had anticipated. Possible miscommunications were avoided, messages that needed to be delivered were clear, jobs got done that needed to be done, people were free to be where they needed to be. The men were greatly blessed as they met together over the weekend and God ministered to them in a powerful way. Bonds of love and unity were built, strengthened and tightened.
Then they were tested. Sunday evening we had a service after the men returned. Our son, who has been experiencing trouble containing his emotions, was very agitated and it was hard to keep from being a distraction to the rest of the congregation. Kelly was taking full responsibility for him and took him out of the service. Chris ran off and Kelly went after him. Then several of his ‘guys/brothers’ wondered where Kelly was and took off in pursuit. Those brothers covered my man in a way that makes me cry even now. They prayed over Kelly and Christopher and wept with him and for him (real, unashamed, very manly tears). Then they met the physical needs we had. Those men have called and encouraged him and have continued to support us in our struggle. When our van was broken into a few days later, they came again. What was taken is quickly being replaced. They have been shoulder to shoulder with my husband and I am so thankful for these brothers. They have served our family and us in ways they don’t even know.
To the knights of the Hope table, I salute you. I assure you we will stand ‘brother to brother – yours in life and death’. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.