The Truth

Just in case you are NOT visiting Christian Fiction by Wanda MacAvoy –my facebook page, here’s a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label="link (opens in a new tab)" href="http://<iframe src="; width="500" height="507" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media">link BECAUSE for ONE WEEK ONLY, starting Monday, March 9th, you can get Spirit Rock, ebook form for only $.99! That’s a great deal!

The following is the scene where Ahanu, the main character finds the truth about Jesus Christ. It’s my favorite part of the book!

Excerpt from Spirit Rock, Chapter Six

Ahanu had hung back, not wanting to get too close to the white man. The faces of the terrified victims who died to satisfy his bloody-thirsty vengeance danced before him. He tried not to listen, but when the man held up a book—the same book which the settler had held—Ahanu’s face blanched. In his mind, he heard the voice of the young man as he read from a book—that book. He remembered in stark reality the man’s face and heard his cry before Ahanu’s knife did its deadly deed. “Lord Jesus, help us!”

“…vengeance is mine; I will repay.” The words came crashing into his mind. He wanted to run, but he had to hear the rest.

“Jesus did not seek revenge on His enemies, He died for them! Only His blood can wash away your sins.  Can you believe this?”

It seemed as though the voices of a thousand demons were screaming in his ear. Ahanu looked around wildly.  He had to run—get away! As quick as a flash, he slipped out behind the long house and into the woods. He ran and kept on running away. He never stopped until he was at the edge of the dreaded valley where Savanukah and the others had rushed through, driven by fear.

He continued to run, around the swamp, through the thick brush, to the place where he had joined Savanukah. He sat for only a moment, fearing his friend would come after him.  If he stopped here, they would find him, but if he kept going until he reached the rock, he would be safe.

The ascent to the top of the mountain would have slowed down an ordinary man, even an Indian, but Ahanu was home and he was a Susquehannock.  These were his mountains, his lands.  His people had roamed here for more winters than he could count.

When he came to Spirit Rock, he felt as though he was home. He stood on the rock and looked out onto the expanse that he had just traversed. No people. No structures. No… god? Standing there, panting from his run, he filled his lungs with air and gave a great battle cry. As the sound echoed down the valley, He stood tall, and purposefully calmed his breathing—slowly breathing in and blowing the air out through his mouth.

He looked over the edge, thinking about the time he nearly threw himself off of it. He was in such despair then. Was he in despair now? No.

He sat on the rock, looking out towards the setting sun. It blazed its hot rays upon him, his chest and forehead glistening in the light. He needed to think through all he had just heard—all that he had done… all that he had become.

Vengeance is mine; I will repay. Ahanu began to recount all the injustices that had been done to him and his people.  He tried to work up the anger that had fueled too many of his actions, but he couldn’t.

Vengeance is mine… Had he done anything to anger this God? The voices and faces of the man with the book and his family came into view—their looks of terror, their cries for mercy. They were this God’s people, and he had killed them mercilessly.

I will repay. Ahanu shook with fear. How could he hide from a god, the Almighty God, for that’s what the man [David Brainerd] had called Him! His heart cried out for mercy, and tears wet his cheeks.

“I did not know!” he cried. “What can I do to stop your vengeance?”

He tried desperately to recall the other words of the white man. Hadn’t he also called this God a God of love? Didn’t he say that He had a Son and that He sacrificed Him for men… all men?

Ahanu crawled off the rock and knelt before it.  He touched the place where Sucki had lain, seeing once again his trusting eyes, feeling the pain of watching him die.

And he was only a bear cub. How would it feel to watch your son die? His mind whirled back to Siskia. He imagined her presenting him with a son, and then taking the beloved child—a symbol of their love—and driving his knife into its heart. The image was so real that he cried out in fear. “No!”

He thought back to the conversation the night before in Machk’s longhouse. Were they talking about this God? Did they all believe? Had they found a way to appease this dreadful God? For if a God would slay His own Son, what might He do to someone like Ahanu? He remembered Chief Shawátis’ peaceful face as he passed into another world—God’s world. If he knew and Machk knew—if Siskia knew then he could know too! The thought gave him hope.

Ahanu stood once again staring across the deep valley he once called home. He had a new home—a new life. He would go to Siskia.

*            *            *

The moment the man had started preaching, Siskia was in another world.  Time stood still, and she listened with near rapture as the man once again spoke of Jesus. Her mind went back to Pontiac, and her face burned with shame.  She glanced over her shoulder to find Ahanu, but he was at the far end of the circle. She quickly looked away, not wanting him to read her thoughts.

Silently, she thanked God for Pontiac.  He had brought the truth to light, but she now belonged to Ahanu and she was glad. She prayed his heart would be tender to the message.

Too soon, the white man’s words ended. She could have stood there for another hour listening to this man. Oh, he had explained it all so clearly! She would go to Ahanu, hoping that his face would reveal a heart change; but first, she needed to talk with the preacher.

Waiting her turn, she listened as others questioned him, learning much from the exchange. The conversation grew animated as Siskia and the others joined in.

“Siskia. Siskia!” Machk needed to call twice to get her attention, but when she looked at his face, she knew something was wrong.

“What happened?” she asked, looking past Machk in search of Ahanu.

“He’s gone,” he replied, answering her searching eye more than her question.

“Gone? Where?  Did he take a canoe?”

Machk shook his head urgently.  “No, and no one seems to have seen him leave.”

Siskia’s brow furrowed.  What did this mean? “Did you ask the villagers?”

“Yes. We have asked everyone, but he was standing in the back and no one noticed when he slipped away.  We don’t even know which way he went.”

Siskia’s heart was full of dread.  What did this mean? Was he that angry with them for their beliefs? She searched the crowd for Savanukah and saw him bartering with a man near the edge of the village.  Without a word to Machk, she hurried to her cousin.

Touching his arm, she asked, “Do you know where Ahanu went?”

Savanukah looked past Siskia to Machk, questioning him with his eyes.

“No one seems to have seen him leave. He did not take a canoe.  Where would he have gone?” Machk asked.

Savanukah looked around the village, half expecting to see Ahanu strolling back into the crowd. “Perhaps he needed to …”

Siskia rolled her eyes. “That wouldn’t take this long.” Her eyes were ready to fill with tears.

Savanukah’s face lit. “We came through here when we came from our village. We ran into Ahanu on the way.  It wasn’t too far from here.”

Siskia looked from her cousin to her brother and back to Savanukah again.  “Do you think could find him?” she pleaded with her eyes.

“Do you want these beads or not?” the impatient seller barked, waiting for his payment.

Savanukah quickly traded his arrowheads and snares for the brightly colored beads and shoved them into his pouch. “Go! Tell the others to leave us a canoe.”

In a flash, Machk was off. On his return, the three headed out of the village following the path to the north.  It was a well-worn trail—the north-south connecting route for tribes traveling down to the Great Shaumoking Path—and they ran with urgency. Savanukah and his friends had followed this same path when they found Ahanu, or more correctly—Ahanu found them.  He didn’t want to get Siskia’s hopes aroused, neither did he wish to discourage her, but if Ahanu had veered off the trail, he knew they would never find him.

*            *            *

Ahanu’s mind was full of doubt and dread.  Though his steps would lead him to the truth, Satan did not wish to lose this choice warrior to his enemy. He pummeled his mind with all the host of hell as Ahanu made his way down the Sheshequin Path.

When he stood at the edge of the supposed demon-filled valley, his eyes could see the demonic tribe taunting him, jeering and dancing across the desolate, storm-ravaged creek bed. Falling to his knees, he held his head, crying out for mercy.

“Look!” Siskia cried.  “There he is!”

Savanukah looked as she pointed to the other end of the haunted trail. Ahanu was writhing as though in pain. Siskia started to cross the deserted stretch when Savanukah caught her arm. “Wait!”

She looked at him impatiently. With terror in his eyes, he explained. “This place is home to demons, many demons.” He pointed to Ahanu.  “If you do not believe me, just look at him!”

Siskia stared at Savanukah in disbelief and realized her cousin did not know the true God either. She grabbed his arm.  “Savanukah, were you not listening?  My family—father, mother, and even Machk—we all serve the great and powerful God.” She shook her head, her eyes brilliant with a Spirit that Savanukah feared nearly as much as the demons. “I do not fear these puny demons!” Instantly, she tore across the dismal wilderness to the man she loved.

Ahanu looked up, trying to focus on who or what was running towards him.  At first, his eyes glazed in terror, thinking that it was Raweno, coming at him in anger. But as the figure drew close, he realized it was Siskia. Before he could rise to his feet, she was with him, wrapping him in her arms as though shielding him from the angry mob.

“Ahanu,” she panted.

He pulled her close, weeping into her hair. “He wants to kill me for my wicked actions.”

“No, Ahanu,” she whispered. “He wants to save you.”

Ahanu pulled away and focused on her eyes. “The demons,” he cried fearfully.  “They are all around us, Siskia.  Raweno is angry.”

Siskia’s eyes filled with defiance, not towards Ahanu, but towards the one who sought to keep her man enslaved. She rose to her feet and turned to face the howling wilderness. “I do not fear you, Raweno!  You are no god! Jesus is my Savior. He is the Son of the true and living God.”  She stood there for a moment like a mighty warrior defending her ground against the enemy.

Ahanu looked on in wonder as they all fled. There were no more voices, only a silence that left his soul empty, begging to be filled.

Siskia turned to Ahanu and knelt before him. Her eyes were shining with joy.  “I should have told you, Ahanu. We believe in the one true God that the white man spoke of today.”

Ahanu shook his head, bewildered and overwhelmed. He could say nothing.

Siskia took his hand.  “Why did you leave?  Were you angry?”

Shocked by her words, he slowly shook his head.  “No, I was terrified.” As he heard the words that he never would have uttered to anyone, he realized that a greater power than his own was at work. He looked up to see Machk approaching. Standing to his feet and pulling Siskia to him, he called to his soon-to-be-brother.

“We are fine, Machk, but we need to talk.  Can you let us find our way home?”

Machk smiled at the irony.  Did Ahanu know the double meaning of his words? “Good! I will go,” he said and turned to run the other way.

Together, Ahanu and Siskia crossed the desolation and rested beneath the shade of a tree—the same tree where Ahanu had longed for a wife. Siskia waited, sensing that Ahanu needed to talk.

He took her hand, holding tightly as though he feared his words would drive her away. Perhaps they would, but she needed to know. “We left the Great Island and found Bald Eagle’s Nest. Chief Bald Eagle welcomed us but put us to a test to know our strengths and talents.” He went on to describe each tournament and the victors.

“We thought that was all, but it was only the first part of the test.” He bowed his head, continuing in a small voice. “Our next test… was … to kill settlers who were moving into the valley south of us.”

Siskia barely breathed. She longed to end his torment.

“For two years,” Ahanu’s face crumpled. He swallowed hard.  “For two years we have raided every settler who dared to enter our land.” He took in a jagged breath before continuing. “One settler had the book that the white man held.”

Siskia gasped, but Ahanu went on.

“He cried out to Jesus, just before…” But he could not say the words.

He pulled her hand to his lips. She felt the tears wet on his face.  “You see, I killed His children. He will now kill me!”

“No, Ahanu,” Siskia pleaded.

Ahanu turned to look at her. “But He killed his own Son. What will He do to me?”

Siskia’s eyes were tender with love—love for this man and love for the truth. “Ahanu, you know that we would sacrifice animals to appease the gods, right?”

Ahanu nodded, thinking once again of Sucki. As though reading his mind, Siskia reached for the tiny bear and held it out for him to see. “The white man’s God required animal sacrifices too, but they were not enough to take away our sin.”  She took both of his strong hands into hers. “He did not sacrifice His Son out of anger; He did it out of love.”

Ahanu stared at her.  It made no sense, but she continued. “Today, someone asked the same question that I see in your eyes. Why would He do that? I did not understand this until today.  Jesus is God’s Son, but that makes Jesus, God!”

Ahanu stared at her for a moment and then shifted his gaze across the creek bed, trying to understand. Siskia sat quietly, watching as the truth began to take shape in his mind and desperately praying for his soul. He nodded slowly. “So, this Father God killed His God Son because only His blood was strong enough to erase our sin.”

Siskia nodded as the tears flowed down her face. “But Jesus did not stay dead.  He arose from the dead!”

Ahanu’s eyes went wide. He looked at her questioningly, and she slowly nodded as the wonder of this incomprehensible truth washed over her afresh.

“Do you know of any god that strong?” she asked.

He shook his head, once again staring out into nothingness.

Siskia took a deep breath and prayed. “Can you believe He did all that for you, Ahanu?”

Ahanu’s mind rehearsed the last several hours: his fear, his panic, his attempt to escape from the eyes of this God. He thought back to the other side of this wild stretch of wilderness—to his demon-tortured soul. He thought about Sucki’s sacrifice and the emptiness and the yearning and the despair. Then he looked into the peace-filled eyes of the woman he loved and nodded.

“Then talk to him. Tell Him your sins and ask for His forgiveness. Ask Him to save you, Ahanu,” Siskia explained with quiet earnestness.

She bowed her head, and Ahanu did the same. There in the shadows of the woods, Ahanu found release from all his pain, from all his vengeance, from all his grief; and in its place rushed in the peace of God on the wings of His Holy Spirit.

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