A couple of days ago, I took the time to read both Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind and An Echo in the Darkness that are part of the Mark of the Lion trilogy, I took me a whole day for the first while the second one, 2-3 days: I could not put these books down!!!
My greatest takeaway from A Voice in the Wind is the power of your inner circle. One of the central characters, Julia Valerian is the perfect example of what can happen when you foolishly seek independence. Unfortunately, Octavia her frenemy introduces her to Calabah and that’s when everything falls apart….
Julia was drawn to Calabah because of her new ideas…women independence (and I thought feminism started much later) but was eventually corrupted against her own family and the person who loved her the most, Hadassah.
Ok. I don’t think that I would like to provide spoilers for those who would like to read the books. I will say that for history junkies like yours truly…It’s quite dramatic.
Days after reading An Echo in the Darkness, I had the following lingering thoughts:
- Who do I have in my inner circle?
- Who has influenced me over the years?
- Who has dragged me down?
- Whom have I discouraged or had a negative influence on?
- Why am I drawn to each person?
- Do I bring out the best or the worst in them?
In connection, a few weeks earlier, I listened to a sermon at my home church about the law of the inner circle which John C Maxwell also writes about and I couldn’t help scribbling and drawing a couple of my own cartoons (Maybe I will be brave enough to showcase them in a future post).
I came up with the following characters:
She is the type of person who oozes with wise anecdotes of her own experience, of others and is constantly in-the-know. It is prudent to have Wilmas who are “book-smart” and/or “street-smart” to enable you to consider the abstract and practical aspects of life. I like having resourceful people around because they make my life so much easier as they also help in charting the way forward every time I am in a fix. But do not be overly-dependent on her, because she is human and her word is not the gospel truth…
One of the speakers (A married couple did the sermon) gave a wonderful anecdote about lobsters: If you put a lobster in a fish tank filled with water, it would most likely struggle out within a matter of minutes. On the other hand, if you place two or more lobsters in the same fish tank and leave them for even two hours, you will probably find them still in the tank. Reason: when one struggles to crawl out, another lobster pulls her back in. Suzie, unlike the lobsters, will make sure that you get to the next level by holding the ladder for you. I am sure that you have one person who is constantly forwarding emails about great job opportunities or accompanying you to the career fair….. Career-wise, this is would normally be a great sponsor, given her level influence, experience and networks. Supportive Suzie could also be the person who lends you money or at least lets you crash on her couch when you have been kicked out by your landlord coz you got fired and can’t make rent money.
Linda in Swahili means guard so she is the type of person who has got your back at all times or in the words of Bruno Mars, would catch a grenade for ya… Don’t get me wrong. I am not talking about a puppy with big round eyes on a leash. No one can stand sycophants. Linda will go the extra mile to ensure that your good name is not tarnished but will also show you some tough love when the situation demands it.
I picture her as a sanguine-type of a person. Maybe like Maria, Julie Andrews’s character in the movie Sound of Music. Olga is always looking at the bright side of life even though you feel like today is doomsday. This is the type of friend who will let you dampen her shoulders with your tears, throw tantrums (and a couple of other things), or just sulk in your pajamas all day and later on treat you to copious amounts of ice-cream topped of a word or two of wisdom just to make you feel better. If you are a person of faith, Optimistic Olga will offer to be your prayer and accountability partner or sneak in a sweet note/bookmark into your Bible. These friends just make our world a better place by simply being there.
So what sort of friend are you?
You might also enjoy:
Photo by Nathaniel Tetteh on Unsplash | Last updated August 2018