Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bronze Bow

A Jewish boy (Daniel) vows vengence against the Romans. He joins a band of mountain robbers that are fighting for the cause of freedom. One task he has is to help capture a large slave being transported by some traders. This slave ends up being one of his "burdens" (though he later realizes he is a friend.)

He ends up caring for his disabled sister after her previous caretaker dies. He comes to know life in the town better. He also knows the people who are being hurt by the acts of the robbers. However, he still supports them and their cause of freedom. One day, one of his friends (Joel) is caught. When the leader of the band of robbers refuses to help him, Daniel organizes a group on his own to rescue him. He does it, but at the cost of the black slave and another friend.

During this time, he also meets with Jesus. He marvels at his understanding of doctrine and his simple explanations. He hopes he will be their leader. However, he is not willing to drop the hatred that he feels towards the Romans.

His sister had made great progress towards normalcy. However, it turns out she had been talking with a homesick Roman legion. This drove Daniel nearly to the breaking point. He wanted to kill the Roman to seek his revenge. This hatred, however, nearly led to the death of his sister. Finally at the end of the story, after his sister has been healed by Jesus he gets the courage to forgive the Roman and let him know about his sister.

The story provides the powerful contrast between the force of hatred and the force of love. The Roman legion was also serving from a conquered land. He was just a normal person with normal emotions. Daniel's hatred made it difficult for him to see through the uniform to the person beneath.

Daniel observed that some people may not really want to be healed from their ailments. (Perhaps the blind man would be disturbed by what he would see.) However, he failed to see the same with his country's condition. (The Romans were rather benign rulers and their overthrow could leave somebody even worse in power.) The blinders of hatred can cause bad things to happen and end up destroying the hater even more than the target of their vengeance.

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