The Parable of The Besieged Knight

There once was a knight who served a noble king. One day his Lord summoned him with an important assignment.

“War is coming to our country from the east. My castle will be heavily attacked. You are one of my most valiant and courageous knights. Therefore, take my beloved daughter to your castle high in the mountains. Guard her from harm and keep her safe, so that when I have put down this attack, I may come and bring her home.”

Zealous to do his Lord’s will, the knight brought the princess to his mountain castle. He doubled all his fortifications. He locked the princess in the tallest tower, with gates of iron set in impenetrable stone. He put up his drawbridge, bolted and locked his massive gates, and melted the key so that no one could betray him by opening the doors for the enemy. He smiled to himself thinking how his Lord the King would reward his efforts.

Months passed, and eventually an army approached the knight’s castle, bearing the banners of the King. “It’s a crafty trick!” thought the knight. When messengers approached his locked gates, he poured boiling oil on them and showered them with arrows. He laughed with glee as the messengers fled from his gates, thinking how pleased the king would be that he had stood his ground against deception. Meanwhile, the army outside settled down for a long siege.

The next day, the army sent an arrow over the knights walls with a message attached, signed with the king’s own seal. “My poor King” thought the knight. “They have captured him – perhaps killed him, and stolen his seal. But I will be true to his final command”.

The next day, a figure approached the gates dressed in the royal robes, but the knight, sure it was an imposter, sent the figure scurrying back behind the lines with a volley of arrows.

Every day, messengers approached the gates, and every day, they were repulsed. Finally, after a long siege, the day came when the knight, weak with hunger – his soldiers all dead, was unable to keep the army from his door. Massive battering rams were set to work on the great gates, which eventually came crashing down.

The knight, all but dead, drew himself up to his knees, brandishing his sword in shaky hands. Then, through the dust, appeared the figure of his King and Lord – greatly angry. The knight collapsed on the ground. When the King’s men finally opened the tower where the princess was locked, nothing was left but a rotting corpse.

The moral? When you’re defending the Truth, make sure you leave an opening so that the Truth can still reach you. Otherwise, it may turn out your defending nothing but a pile of bones.

Moral #2 – Sometimes the person you think is the enemy really isn't an enemy at all.

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