“Songs for Christ” had sponsored Ryan to do a singing tour of Africa. For the better part of a year, he would perform in different countries across the continent. He hoped that his music would inspire people. In his off hours he might do some humanitarian work, moving people to believe in Christ. Village people listlessly stood around to listen. They didn’t understand the words, but it seemed to soothe them.
Some of the smaller children would follow him around after a show. He’d make quips, but the children only seemed to understand the sentiment behind his smile.
Ryan prayed for them in his heart as he walked anyway. He reached behind himself to lift one of the children onto his shoulders. The girl and boy screamed, running away from him. Only one girl remained; frozen to the spot, and staring ahead. A male lion with a white scar on its forehead, walked the dirt road toward them. It roared softly as it drew nearer.
Staring ahead, Ryan tugged the small girl’s arm.
“Run off. I’ll stay here.”
Her shocked stare informed him she wasn’t going anywhere. He began to sing; not knowing why; only that he had to use the only gift he had. The lion slowed, then stopped, regarding him a moment with twitching tail before resuming its walk.
Covering her ears, the girl pointed at the beast, and shouted something in her native language.
“It’s deaf?” Ryan queried.
Panic took hold. He began adding elaborate actions and a dance in efforts of placating the beast. It merely flattened its ears and slinked forward. Ryan placed himself between the lion and the girl. Rushing footsteps came from behind. A stocky man sprinted past him as the lion pounced. It clamped down on his arm and strained with teeth exposed, yet unable to break the skin.
“No!” yelled Ryan as the lion clawed at the stranger’s chest.
With jaws still clamped to his arm, the stranger lifted the beast without effort and delivered a resounding slap to its rump. It tumbled free. The stranger stamped his foot, sending a minor tremor through the ground.
He pointed down the road, back the way the lion came.
“Go on; bad kitty!”
The lion growled indignantly, pulling its head back, and breaking into a run.
Ryan snatched hold of the girl’s hand.
“Go back and get help.”
The child ran off due to Ryan’s gesturing. In her absence, he looked at the stranger, fearing he would soon bleed to death from the slash if not treated.
“I’m alright,” assured the man.
As he turned, Ryan could see his shirt in tatters, yet not displaying signs of injury.
“Are you an angel?”
“No, but one spoke to me about a week ago. I was told to go to that mountain,” he said, pointing to a lonely pinnacle of rock jutting from the plain.
“Well… thank you.”
“I thought you were coming too.”
“Yeah, I was told to meet a man along the way who’d accompany me. One who could sing with the voice of an angel.”
“I’m meant to be on a tour.”