Once upon a timeÂ there was a little peasant girl who lived in a small, unimportant village. One day, the little girlâ€™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 girlÂ was scared. She tried everything. But the herbs wouldnâ€™t heal her mother. The soup wouldnâ€™t calm her. And they were too poor to afford the village doctor.
The little girlÂ knew what she had to do. She went to her motherâ€™s bed and kneeled beside it. â€œIâ€™m going to HIM,â€ she said.
â€œDonâ€™t go,â€ saidÂ Â the dying woman. â€œHeâ€™s too far away. What youâ€™ve heard is just legend. Myth. Nothing more.â€
But the little girlÂ 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 unbelievingÂ village people scoffed at her plan.
â€œHeâ€™s too far away.Â Â Youâ€™ll never make it.â€
â€œWhy would he careÂ about you? People like us, weâ€™re nothing.â€
â€œSheâ€™s too sickÂ now. Not even he could help her.â€
But no matter whatÂ they said, she didnâ€™t stop knowing. She knew HE could fix anything. So off she went.
Into the woods andÂ Â 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 gloriousÂ Â – bright white like the sun. But where were all the people? She expected many more. Shouldnâ€™t they be lined up, eager to see HIM? Shouldnâ€™t they be banging down HIS door, anxious for help? The silence was eerie, like her motherâ€™s illness. In the still of it,Â her racing heart pounded like a drum.
The gate openedÂ 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.
â€œWelcome,â€ saidÂ a dwarf servant dressed in fine linen. â€œHave you come to see the KING?â€ There was a twinkle in his eye.
The little girlÂ nodded, her knees trembling. â€œI must see HIM,â€ she said with a crack in her voice.
â€œThis way!â€ TheÂ 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 ofÂ 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 thatÂ couldnâ€™t stop.
The song whispered what was good. It whispered that the KING was here.
One look in HISÂ eye is all I need. One gaze at HIS face. Then sheâ€™ll be well. WithÂ those thoughts in her mind, the little girl ran, faster than she ever had before, toward HIS throne.
But then somethingÂ 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 inÂ 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 sheÂ felt she might pass out, HE spoke. And HIS words, like a gentle hand, lifted her gaze.
â€œMy child,â€ HE said.
And everything changed.
She finally understood.
Thatâ€™sÂ what they meant by the look in HIS eye. It wasnâ€™t the look that would fix her mom. It was the look that would fix herself.
She knew now, noÂ matter what, everything would be okay. Because this king was herÂ king, who had called her HISÂ child. And in that look were the words, â€œI love you.â€
She knew she couldÂ ask HIM anything. Nothing was too much. Nothing was impossible. So she did. â€œMy mother is sick. Will you fix her?â€ she whispered.
Without a secondÂ guess, HE said, â€œYes. I will.â€
Thatâ€™s when doubtÂ flowed in like a rushing river. HowÂ 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.
â€œI could not bringÂ her!â€ the little girl cried. â€œIâ€™m too small weak to carry her. And we sold our only horse to buy food for the winter.â€
â€œYou are small andÂ weak,â€ the KING said. â€œBut I am big and strong. It is done.â€
She didnâ€™t understand.
Until HE took her hand. And thatâ€™s when she saw, not in front of her, but in her mind. Â 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 pictureÂ of the past. No. The little girl knew. It was a picture of the present.
Her eyes filledÂ with happy tears, and she was too overjoyed to speak.
She just lookedÂ into HIS â€œIÂ love youâ€Â eyes and tried to say â€œThankÂ youâ€ backÂ with hers.
The KING huggedÂ 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 girlÂ 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 didnâ€™t, He was big enoughÂ to trust in.
When the littleÂ girl returned to the village, she found her mother exactly as HEâ€™d said. The little girl shared her adventures as they sipped their soup together. Two big bowls to celebrate.
â€œDo you believeÂ me now?â€ she asked, hopefully.
With a new smileÂ – the kind only the KING can bestow – her mother said, â€œWhy yes, sweetheart. I do.â€