Page 15: A Letter to Jonah’s Mother
“First, I miss you very much,” I wrote to my mother. “Today I am resting near the Orontes River, after a long three days of preparing for war with King Shalmaneser III. I know that you warned me of great peril in this endeavor, this conflict—but I write with complete confidence that I will reunite with you before too long. An unfortunate wave of convoys steered me to the armies of Que Cilicia. As you already must know, our King is part of an eleven king front preparing for battle with Shalmaneser III, a bully of a King, to be sure—what I’d call the Bully King of the Assyrians.
“I speak from the heart, mother, when I talk about my desire to have a wife and children one day. This journey brought along with it much loneliness and has hindered my happiness, even though I spoke to the God of Elijah during my travels. I am glad that I did, but I must tell you that it still was not enough to fill the void. Being part of this campaign to defend our home, rather than being pushed into the sea, will ensure a better life for you and for your other son, my brother.
“I am surrounded by good men, some of the bravest, some who remember the drought when I was a boy. Many question how we were able to survive it. I keep silent about our special house guest who brought about the salvation. Our rugged life here is filled with salty breezes and quiet nights. I find myself thinking of roasted vegetables and our garden filled with blue flax.
“When I return, I will make time to discover my father’s shipbuilding talents for myself. Some of it was passed on to me, and of that I am pleased and proud. Our hearts are aligned, mother, and my faith is aligned with your example. This is the reason I have no fear in this strange land. There are things that I have never seen. There is an abundance of manpower that accomplishes so much in so little time. Relying upon your examples keeps me focused. This letter is not meant to cause you more anxiety. I urge you to read between the lines. This letter is intended to strengthen you spirit while your older son presses forth and your younger one remains safe and happy.”
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