|An excerpt from A Fairy in the Palace
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Ari brushed the long strands of black hair from his eyes. There were beads of sweat soaking
his dark brow and his calloused feet were sore from sandals in need of repair, but the young
man finally reached the entrance to the villa after a long and difficult day of traveling the dusty
roads from his home. Just as he had been told, the villa was palatial, impressive, and to him
threatening. The murmur from within indicated that there were many people already
congregated inside. Cornelius was a high ranking Roman officer and was opening up his
home because the man of God, Peter, was coming. Never before had the gentile community
had the opportunity to hear first hand about the Messiah, King of the Jews, rescuer of the less
fortunate. Word of this gathering had spread like wildfire. People like Ari had arrived from
many directions and miles.
In his heart he knew something special was going to happen today. There was an excitement
in the air. As he entered the outer courtyard he saw ahead of him people pushing to get in
through the arch and into the courtyards of the great home. Here was his chance, for they
surely wouldn't notice him in their midst. They wouldn't remember that he was the same youth
they had ousted, tried to kill because he was found in a compromising situation with another
young man. Nobody invited him here today, but he knew that God did, and he couldn't deny
what his heart told him.
Making his way beneath the arch with the others, Ari found a flat stone to sit on, part of a
stairway ascending to the roof level. He felt fortunate to find a place among children and
strangers, crowded that it was. Both courtyards below were filled to capacity and the
atmosphere was electric. Some faces looked puzzled, others uncertain, yet others revealed a
sense of joy, an impending relief. There was a sense of camaraderie. All were eager.
It took some time for the crowd of several hundred to begin settling down. Others were still
arriving. There was still plenty of talk going around, but within a few minutes as the expectation
of Peter's appearance neared, a hush began from one end of the courtyard and spread
throughout. It wasn't nervous anticipation; it was something far greater. The presence of the
Holy Spirit began hovering over the gentiles like a cloud. Peter and entourage entered briskly.
Big Peter stood there looking over the crowd. Those who accompanied him stepped back
against the wall and were absorbed into the sea of gentile bodies.
Silence. Ari could hear the beating of his heart. Peter hesitated as though he didn't know what
to say. He may have never addressed a gathering of gentiles. He began to speak, softly at first
until he found his courage, and then he began addressing the mass of people who were intently
focused on every word. The Holy Spirit took over. Peter was preaching loudly now, and with
conviction and great wisdom. He said "It is true that God shows no favoritism, but accepts
people from every walk of life who will put their faith in God and do what is right."
Ari felt as though God was speaking directly to him. God was telling him that he was loved
exactly as he was, that there was no need for forgiveness for his lifestyle because he was
created exactly as God had intended. No sin committed, no pardon required. He put his trust
in Jesus as his Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit confirmed the experience by filling the place
with a presence of power and love. Ari began speaking in tongues of angels, his heavenly
language, verifying his salvation. Others followed, and soon the entire place was speaking in
tongues, dancing and rejoicing, fellowshipping in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God,
exalting Jesus as Lord.
Peter's friends could hardly believe what they were seeing, yet there would be no denying
the salvation of the Lord clearly being extended to the gentiles. From that time forth there
would be no exclusion from the body of Christ in regard to race or background. In the case
of Ari, God blessed him with the knowledge that his sexuality was a thing of beauty and that
he was as equal in the presence of God as anyone else. The power of love prevailed that
very day at Cornelius' home, an infinite love, inclusive,and for all time.
Only those who perceive will understand.