Tested (chapter 3)

Year of Our Lord 1099, July

Brother, I send this to you in the utmost confidence.  While you might not be able to help me, you are still my friend.  Do not tell mother anything.  This letter doesn’t exist.  You may receive this letter at the same time as my past letter, as I will send it with the same courier.  Not much time has passed for me here in Jerusalem, but every day seems like a lifetime.

I spoke with a priest, foremost.  The feelings I am feeling must be the work of either the Devil or of the Lord.  I do not have much discernment in me for that matter.  I am in conflict on whether or not it was right to fight our way here, to retake the Holy City.  I am in conflict with the act of killing the Saracens.  I do not know what is right and wrong anymore and that bothers me.  When I talked to the priest I conveyed the pain I had felt about the killing, and how the Lord had said not to murder.  The priest told me that what we did was for the glory of God, and that he will forgive us when He sees us in Heaven. 

Somehow those words no longer hold any weight to them.

He then perhaps said that talking to someone about it might be useful, and he offered his services.  But how can I tell a man of the cloth that I have doubts?  So I send this to you.  Though you might not be able to reply to me, it does help having my thoughts bared before me.

How can I kill in His name when we are told not to kill?  How can I trust what a man says, even a man of the cloth?  I know that might seem sacrilegious, but man isn’t perfect.  We learned that with Adam in the garden.  And what about the Saracen?  Was he an evil person just because of his religion?  But he saved my life.  I didn’t kill the man but I feel his eyes on me even now.  Like he is shouting at me for not saving his life.  Is not the greatest commandment love God and then love others?  Wouldn’t the Saracen be considered my neighbour?  If they are then why are we killing them?  It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Even Jerusalem seems to be telling me that I am doing everything wrong.  Isn’t life sacred?  Isn’t love supposed to triumph over greed and hate?  How can God love His people if they are murdering His children?  Yes they don’t believe in you but that doesn’t make them any less His children, right?  I feel more confused than I did before.

I need time to pray and to think.  If I am wrong about everything, then this is certainly an attack from the devil.  But if I am right…does this make me as evil as the supposed evil of the Saracens?

I have made up my mind.  Whatever the case be I cannot stay here.  With the battle won, there isn’t a reason for us to stay here anymore.  I am going to leave and return home as soon as I can.  With luck, you will see me in a few days of this letter.

Your Brother