‘Leaving’ is a frequent theme in many folk songs that I am familiar with: many years ago there was the “Leaving of Liverpool” a song that was made popular by the Australian group, The Seekers. I also used to sing an Irish folk song called “The Leaving of London”. I noticed recently that there is even a catchy popular song called, “Leaving California” (who would ever want to leave the Golden State?). I write all this because leaving has been very much on the menu for our family in 2015. During that year, I retired from the church where I pastored for ten years in Red Deer, Alberta, and moved to a community ninety miles south. It was a difficult decision to leave behind friends, work and home; Red Deer had been comfortable for us as a family. Yet it was clear that God was behind all this.
Interestingly, leaving is also a common biblical theme. In Genesis 12:1, a key scripture, the Lord tells Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” In Deuteronomy 1:6, the Lord says to Moses, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites.” And in Acts 13:2 and 3, the Holy Spirit sends off Paul and Barnabus on their first missionary journey. Then there is that touching word from Simeon as he gazes at the Christ child in Luke 2:29, “Sovereign Lord, now You dismiss your servant in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen Your salvation…” If we take a backwards look at our lives, we will see that some of our most challenging moments were when (having heard God’s call), we packed our bags and sallied out into the unknown, trusting that He would be with us.
Leaving is a notable sub-theme of The Voice of Aedistamen. Owa’en has already left behind a life of privilege in the aristocracy of Davarensrod. Of course, all this is forced upon him, and he finds himself in the depths of slavery in the Northern Silver Mines. However in volume 5, the healer Bansadok, through cunning and resourcefulness opens up to Owa’en a new possibility. Though crushed in mind and in spirit, Owa’en accepts the challenge to leave behind what he was, a slave, and to pursue his destiny: the deliverer of his people called by the Ghaedesh-Mor. He will face many further challenges. But they will always be resolved by trusting in the Ghaedesh-Mor rather than living by his wits.
Tony Hilling is a retired pastor, lawyer and writer. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland and now makes his home in Western Canada. “The Voice of Aedistamen” is his first novel. You can reach him at: