Once upon a time there was a little peasant girl who lived in a small, unimportant village. One day, the little girl’s mother grew very ill with a fever, cough, and aching all over. She lay in bed trembling, as if the hands of Death itself were shaking her.
The little girl was scared. She tried everything. But the herbs wouldn’t heal her mother. The soup wouldn’t calm her. And they were too poor to afford the village doctor.
The little girl knew what she had to do. She went to her mother’s bed and kneeled beside it. “I’m going to HIM,” she said.
“Don’t go,” said the dying woman. “He’s too far away. What you’ve heard is just legend. Myth. Nothing more.”
But the little girl knew otherwise. Deep down in her heart. She had heard the stories. One look in HIS eye, and a crippled leg – healed! One embrace of HIS arms, and a blind eye – seeing! One smile from HIS lips, and a broken heart – mended! One look at HIS face was all she needed.
One gaze in HIS eyes, and her mom would not die.
The unbelieving village people scoffed at her plan.
“He’s too far away. You’ll never make it.”
“Why would he care about you? People like us, we’re nothing.”
“She’s too sick now. Not even he could help her.”
But no matter what they said, she didn’t stop knowing. She knew HE could fix anything. So off she went.
Into the woods and along the streams she traveled. All the while, aching to see HIS face. The hills were steep and the valley was long, but in a couple days time, she arrived.
The castle was glorious – bright white like the sun. But where were all the people? She expected many more. Shouldn’t they be lined up, eager to see HIM? Shouldn’t they be banging down HIS door, anxious for help? The silence was eerie, like her mother’s illness. In the still of it, her racing heart pounded like a drum.
The gate opened without a word. The drawbridge and door did the same. The inside of the castle was glowing with candlelight. Bright tapestries hung everywhere – red, purple, gold, and green, as if even the floors and walls were heralding HIS name.
“Welcome,” said a dwarf servant dressed in fine linen. “Have you come to see the KING?” There was a twinkle in his eye.
The little girl nodded, her knees trembling. “I must see HIM,” she said with a crack in her voice.
“This way!” The dwarf motioned with his arm. Straight down the hall. First a right, then a left. She followed close behind. After what seemed like ages, into the throne room they entered.
At the far end of the room, HE sat. The KING of her country. The RULER. The HEALER. Servants filled the hall, and together they sang a song. It was a hopeful song of joy and grace. It was a song that never stopped. It was a song that couldn’t stop.
The song whispered what was good. It whispered that the KING was here.
One look in HIS eye is all I need. One gaze at HIS face. Then she’ll be well. With those thoughts in her mind, the little girl ran, faster than she ever had before, toward HIS throne.
But then something happened that she did not expect. The KING stood up and descended the steps. HE was leaving HIS throne to greet her.
Fear froze her in her tracks. She suddenly felt she might die. She should not have come. Her mother was right. HIS look was too mighty, too strong, too fierce. HIS eyes were so piercing, they cut straight to her heart. HIS stature was so glorious, she fell to her knees.
But right when she felt she might pass out, HE spoke. And HIS words, like a gentle hand, lifted her gaze.
“My child,” HE said.
And everything changed.
She finally understood.
That’s what they meant by the look in HIS eye. It wasn’t the look that would fix her mom. It was the look that would fix herself.
She knew now, no matter what, everything would be okay. Because this king was her king, who had called her HIS child. And in that look were the words, “I love you.”
She knew she could ask HIM anything. Nothing was too much. Nothing was impossible. So she did. “My mother is sick. Will you fix her?” she whispered.
Without a second guess, HE said, “Yes. I will.”
That’s when doubt flowed in like a rushing river. How can He heal her? She is not here. All the other sick people came to see the KING for themselves. But my mother was too weak…and she did not believe.
“I could not bring her!” the little girl cried. “I’m too small weak to carry her. And we sold our only horse to buy food for the winter.”
“You are small and weak,” the KING said. “But I am big and strong. It is done.”
She didn’t understand.
Until HE took her hand. And that’s when she saw, not in front of her, but in her mind. Her mother was standing up, wearing her spring dress, whistling through the open window and making a fresh pot of soup. Her sickness was gone. Completely. No more.
This was not a picture of the past. No. The little girl knew. It was a picture of the present.
Her eyes filled with happy tears, and she was too overjoyed to speak.
She just looked into HIS “I love you” eyes and tried to say “Thank you” back with hers.
The KING hugged her. It was a warm, scrumptious hug. Better than any hug her mother could try to give. So full of love! She hoped the hug would never stop. And even though it finally did, the feeling inside her did not.
The little girl left the castle that day with the memory of the look in HIS eyes. She would carry it with her no matter what came – whether suffering or sickness or mocking or misery. Her KING was big enough to fix all those things. But even if HE didn’t, He was big enough to trust in.
When the little girl returned to the village, she found her mother exactly as HE’d said. The little girl shared her adventures as they sipped their soup together. Two big bowls to celebrate.
“Do you believe me now?” she asked, hopefully.
With a new smile – the kind only the KING can bestow – her mother said, “Why yes, sweetheart. I do.”