Avi could feel the music flowing through his body, raising every hair. By the end, David and Zariah were standing next to him, singing along. Their harmony was like honey and wine. Every word sent warm chills down Avi's back.
Coming out of the melody was like being unbound from a musical spell. The drifting tone of the mysterious song released him, and he opened his eyes. He looked around, finding the crowd in front, Zariah at one side, and David on the other. His searching eyes sought the only person that mattered to him at that moment. Their eyes met. The Lord beckoned him with a sideways nod. Avi heard David talking to the crowd as he stepped aside to speak with King Yeshua.
“Thank you, Avi,” the Lord said. “Well done. You’ve shown me great faithfulness.”
“It’s only because of your grace, My Lord,” Avi said.
“I have many more songs I would like to sing to my people through you, in the coming years.”
“They will not all be easy to sing, Avi.” the Lord said. He looked out toward the horizon. The world reflected in his eyes. “The places I will have you go will be difficult. Though, as you've learned, the fruit at the top of the tree is always better despite being harder to reach.”
Avi gasped as the remembrance of his conversation with Margreth in the fruit orchard tree flooded in. The Lord gave him a knowing smile. Avi could not help but acknowledge it with a hug. The Lord returned the embrace.
Avi drifted back into the crowd. Within another moment, David motioned to the musicians. The music got loud, and the crowd moved with the rhythm. David provided the vocals as the music rumbled the ground like thunder.
Avi moved toward Zariah as she cut through the crowd in his direction.Her eyes were wide, and her grin could have swallowed a million stars. She came to him and placed one hand on the small of his back and the other on his shoulder.
“My head is spinning!” Avi said.
“Mine too,” Zariah said. Music blared around them as the crowd danced.
“The song wasn’t me at all,” Avi said. “Not at all.”
“I’ve never heard anything like it,” she said.
“Well, you know what we need to do now?” Zariah said.
“Dance!” They moved together with the music. The crowd moved in time with the thumping rhythm. Within a few minutes, the rest of the Sundar delegation came to surround Avi and Zariah. They all effusively showered him with compliments. As they all bounced together, he deflected, insisting that it was not anything that he had done. He repeated it many times, giving praise to the King. It wasn't long before the music had overtaken them all. Avi's siblings danced wildly with Bhoora, who didn't know any of the steps but seemed happy to join in.
All of a sudden, Zariah stopped dancing. Her eyes shifted, looking out past Avi's shoulder. He turned to see what she saw. It was King David approaching through the crowd. The music was still blaring, but he had come down the steps. He reached out for Avi's hand and grasped his forearm. He had to speak loudly over the music.
“Nice tune, Brother,” King David said. “Would you join Jerusalem's thousand-man choir? We could use a songwriter, poet, and a voice like you.”
Avi smiled. “Wow, thank you,” he said.
“Is that a yes?” David said. Avi looked across the crowd at the tiny Tamesh delegation. They danced as if they hadn't a care in the world. However, Avi knew that back home, and in many other places, there were those who opposed the King. He feared the rebellion that was growing in a hundred other beautiful places. Avi looked at Zariah, who was waiting as expectantly as her grandfather. He leaned close to David so he could be heard over the thunderous music.
“A week ago, I would have said yes without question,” Avi said. “But now, I can see that the Lord wants to use my voice elsewhere.”
“I respect that, Brother,” David said.
“Your elsewhere, and her elsewhere may be the same elsewhere?” David asked, gesturing to Zariah.
“I hope so,” Avi said. He felt Zariah’s arms tighten around him.
“How about this?” David said. “Before you leave Jerusalem, let’s get together and write some sweet tunes. I have some ideas.”
“Yeah, that would be amazing,” Avi said.
"Great,” David said but then added, “I got to get in on these new dance moves. Catch ya later.” He kissed Zariah on the forehead. As the crowd closed in around them, David danced a path through the people laughing as he did.
“Wow,” Zariah said. “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure,” he said with a smile. “I finally understand what I’m here to do.” He reached for her once more. “Now, let’s dance.”