She was so happy and thought joyfully how her family would relish the cookies. She also tried to think of who else might benefit from a plate of them.
But lurking in the shadows was an enemy. He was a dark and sinister liar. He wanted to destroy this woman AND her family. For many days he had been watching her happy service and it made him sick...all that smiling and peace. How he hated her. She was so bright and shiny...He wanted to snuff her out.
He knew just the trick. He dialed up a local gang he knew - some tough guys who could get an ugly job done quick. The enemy didn't want to waste any time. All the light flowing from this young woman was drawing people closer to the True Light that lighteth all men. The sooner he snuffed her out, the better.
He called up Criticism. "Hey, I got a job for you. I need it done quick. Bring whoever you need. She has a lot of protection and I think you will need some back-up."
Criticism called his buddies Anger and Hate. They loved doing jobs with Criticism. The three of them together were very successful. The people they snuffed out were often so injured they could hardly look up.
The gang showed up and attached themselves to Joy's husband. He was tired that day and not aware of the dangers lurking about.
"Hi honey. Welcome home." Joy said, full of joyful anticipation.
"Yeah. I'm tired today."
"How 'bout some tea and cookies?"
Joy made a pot of tea and brought out a little dish of cookies. She placed them on the table for her husband to enjoy. He sat down at the table heavily. True, he was tired, but he also had the extra weight of the "gang" on his shoulders.
"What's this? Are these chocolate chip cookies?"
"Yep." Joy replied with a smile.
"You know I don't like chocolate!" He spied the platters that Joy had prepared to share with the neighbors. "What are you doing? Feeding the whole neighborhood? What do you think, I'm made of money? I wish you would just think once in a while!" He shoved the plate away and went to take a shower.
Joy had taken a big hit, low and hard, right in her stomach. She fell back and tried to catch her breath. Criticism and his gang gave a sinister laugh.
Anger and Hatred were ready and waiting to get their claws into Joy. If they could then they could easily attack Joy's husband and children. But, unfortunately for them, Joy was wearing the belt of truth. While it was a heavy hit, the belt protected her and she was able to stand up again. Joy quickly unwrapped the platters and put the cookies in the cookie jar, submitting to her husband.
Dinner simmered on the stove, so she called the children to set the table and got her recipe book out. She had used all the butter, but there were a few bananas in the fridge and she knew that her husband would enjoy some banana bread. She set to work right away.
Anger and Hatred were frustrated. "Hey Criticism, we are gonna need a lot more help. She's wearing armour!" Criticism thought for awhile. "I know, call up Murmurings and Disputings...hey get Unthankful to come over too. The boss wants this job done quick. We don't have any time to lose."
Unwittingly, the children hummed while they set the table. Joy made banana bread with a humble heart. When her husband got out of the shower and saw her submission, he was convicted by his harsh behavior. He kissed his wife and tousled the children's hair. Peace reigned in the home.
But reinforcements had been called from the dark side...would the light be snuffed out? The shadows loomed...
(...to be continued)