“Goodness” and “Mercy” are following you,” “Spirit” whispered. “Amorous” wasn’t so sure; her stepmother “Unbelief” and her stepsisters “Belittling” and “Torment” had convinced “Amorous” that life wasn’t fair. “Look at the plagues, diseases, wars, murders, hatred, greed, discrimination, adultery, theft, and all the other inhumane acts by men plus catastrophes of nature,””Torment” pointed out. “You’d better get your head out of the clouds “Amorous”, because life isn’t going to be what you want it to be,” he added in his know-it-all way.
“Unbelief” as well, found pleasure in snarling at “Amorous”: “You think God is good!? What does He care about us! If He’s so good, why is there so much trouble? Why are children born with diseases? Why are some rich and some poor? – Some beautiful and some ugly? – Some intelligent and some retarded? Why? Why?
“Amorous” was tired of hearing voices of negativity. Their accusations against God and thoughts about the unfairness of life were annoying her. Work had become difficult since her mother “Promise” had died and her father’s name had been changed from “Honor” to “Shame” after he married “Unbelief”. Her lazy stepsisters, being the darlings of their mother, were never required to do anything. “Amorous” had the job of keeping their gardens, with thorns and thistles returning as soon as they were removed. Just like in the fairytale of “Cinderella”, the stepsisters had rule over her leaving no room for “Amorous” to tend her own garden- a garden that became covered over with the weeds of doubt, anger and self-pity.
Unlike “Cinderella”‘s story, “Amorous” had no pumpkin that would change into a golden chariot- no animals that would change into coachmen, but she did have a coachman within- a coachman with a still, but powerful voice who said: “Listen to your heart “Amorous”. Block out voices outside yourself. Remember your name and destiny.” Sometimes “Amorous” wished the still small voice would be quiet. Frustrated that she was supposed to have the power to transform things like “Spirit” told her, she’d ask herself: “Where is this power?!” She couldn’t see or feel it. “Amorous” didn’t realize that the reason power was far removed from her was because she didn’t believe in herself, in her name, or in any of the words her mother “Promise” taught her long ago.
“Oh “Promise”,” “Amorous” lamented, “if only you were alive.”
“She is,” “Spirit” told her. “She’s alive in your heart.” But since “Amorous” was given the nickname “Doubt”, she had become stubborn and resentful and would not listen to “Spirit”.
“Promise” told me that my prince would come, but where is he? My mother believed he would come in her lifetime, but he didn’t. Mother meant well; She wanted me to have hope, but it’s no good to hope for things that cannot be,” “Amorous” bitterly spoke when “Spirit” attempted to remind her of the promise. With “Spirit” quenched, uttering not a word in return, “Amorous” started to cry.
A little salamander poked his head out of the cracks in the sidewalk, startling “Amorous”. “What’s all this commotion?” he asked her with a bit of irritation. Muttering to himself that “these humans are so fragile,” he shook his head in disgust. But his heart became softened when he realized that “Amorous” didn’t have skin as tough as his. “I’m supposed to encourage, not discourage the girl,” he reminded himself. So in a more kindly manner, he relayed: “I’ve been sent to you from above, young lady. I know I look like I’m from below, coming out of these cracks and all, but the “Most High” has given me as a sign to you to rise up from your low estate.”
“You, a sign? How can you, such a small creature be a sign to me?” “Amorous” questioned in disbelief.
“Humph! I can see you don’t know very much. You’ve been with your sister “Belittling”, so long that you do not recognize the importance of small things. I am a mythological being who can endure and live in fire. That, my dear, is a great feat- one that you are to learn from me.
As the salamander spoke, he became majestically transfigured before “Amorous”. His skin turned into a golden color, shining with bright, almost blinding rays. “I have been allowed to show you my glory, that you may know that the fires of life are ordained for your glory. What seems to be unfair is but the material for the testing and purification of the human soul.”
“But, but,” interjected “Amorous”, “I don’t understand. I can’t endure the fires of life one moment longer. How can I be like you when my skin isn’t as tough as yours?”
“You have something better!” responded the salamander whose name was “Secret”. “You have life and death in your tongue and you- yes, YOU have the power to call forth things that are not as though they were, but you have not been using that power.”
“I don’t know how!” protested “Amorous”. “But you do, my dear,” “Secret” assured her. “You have forgotten your name and you have doubted the promises given to you by your mother. Return to the faith you have lost. Put on your name as you would your clothing each morning and say, ‘I am love. I am wisdom and I am well able to do the will of God.” Then you will find yourself speaking creative words of life that will change the world. “Amorous”, you are being commissioned right now to teach others, even your stepmother and sisters whose names will be changed by your love. “Unbelief” shall become “Faith”, “Belittling”’s name shall be “Hope”, and “Torment” shall be named “Joy.”
“Amorous” felt an electrifying force come into her as she believed “Secret”’s words, realizing that moment the world had become her oyster- even the oyster in which the pearl of great price would be formed. She stood in wonder and in the beginning brightness of her glory, knowing her prince would come.
Today if you listen closely, you can hear her sing along with others like herself: “Come quickly “Lord Jesus”, come- Your bride will soon be ready!!”