"Forgiven"

Skillet

Philip tried to remain faithful. It was hard though when you were the only survivor of a pirate attack and held captured on the ship of the infamous Blackbeard. Those had been his classmates, peers, brothers in Christ who had been murdered brutally that day. No sword had succeeded in killing him that day, but something colder and sharper had pierced his heart at the senseless slaughter before his eyes. And while being tied the mast, Philip had had plenty of time to identify the burning feeling growing inside him and fight to keep it away. Love your enemies, turn the other cheek, live the Message. Perhaps that was why he had been spared, to live to spread the Word to the poor souls that were held captive on the ship with him. But no matter how hard he tried, the sharp, cold feeling remained.

Forgive me now 'cause I have been unfaithful
Don't ask me why 'cause I don't know
So many times I've tried but was unable
This heart belongs to You alone

And it was when he started to feel this hatred rise in him that he would pray. It was when the hatred started to rise he would unconsciously reach for the cross around his neck or idly run a finger over the pages of the small pocket edition of the Word. It was then the prayer would run through his mind; forgive me. He had it running through his mind, body and soul as he watched the cook being burned alive and helplessness and rage was filling his being. Forgive me…

Now I'm in our secret place
Alone in Your embrace
Where all my wrongs have been erased
You have forgiven

During the attack on White Cap Bay, one of the many thoughts that had run through his head was that this was one of the last ways he would ever want to die. Drowned and eaten by creatures that he hadn't known even existed until that moment. As he heard the screams of both men and mermaid, he went into survival mode, swimming as fast as he possibly could and then some. Making it to shore had been his best chance of surviving so when he felt the slick, wet seaweed wrap around his ankle and pull him down, Philip didn't think twice. Blackbeard would never retreat until one was captured and Philip felt threatened. He pulled out a sword and attacked. The young missionary never expected to see those wide hazel eyes, aware, frightened, and betrayed. At the sight of the young mermaid's eyes, Philip felt his adrenaline drain to wariness and his hatred and disgust fade into confusion and regret. Forgive me…

All the promises and lies
All the times I compromise
All the times You were denied
You have forgiven

He felt the sharp, cold feeling come back as they traveled through the jungle. It was Blackbeard's doing that so many men had died, his ship mates, the cook, the lives lost at White Cap Bay, it was his entire fault. And Blackbeard couldn't care less. That evil…

His mind was drawn away from his own dark thoughts to the beautiful mermaid in the water cage behind him. Hazel eyes glossed over, her thick lips opened in a wide 'o,' she couldn't breathe…

Immediately, Philip cracked open the lid without much thought to his own safety. When the Quartermaster threatened to close it, he stuck his bible in so that the zombie wouldn't touch it. He heard the mermaid gasp for breath and was reminded of all the times in which reading the Work had helped him breathe (though maybe in a different way). Her hazel eyes met his green and he saw once again a deep self awareness; he saw a soul. In that instant, he pushed aside his hatred for the pirate who had imprisoned him and focused now on protecting the other imprisoned soul.

Forgive me I'm ashamed, I've loved another
I can't explain 'cause I don't know
No one can take Your place and there is no other
Forever Yours and Yours alone

Walk or die, that had been the option Blackbeard gave to a very vulnerable, naked girl as Philip quickly took the shirt off his back and covered her from the pirates' lustful gaze. Hatred cursed through him again, threatening to overtake him…

No, Philip didn't allow himself to focus on such things as he lifted the frightened young girl off the ground. She had given him a purpose for good instead of idly dwelling on such dark feelings. He only had to focus on the girl who had her arms wrapped trustingly around him. Forgive me and give me strength, Father…

Now I'm in our secret place
Alone in Your embrace
Where all my wrongs have been erased
You have forgiven

To name something is to love it, perhaps which was why God had had Adam name all the animals and plants. So that Man may know love and share that love. When Blackbeard had dared to call her 'creature,' Philip immediately took his protective stance, feeling the familiar cold rise up in him. He quickly beat that down however, focusing on the young mermaid in his care. She hadn't told him her name, but he secretly already had one for her. And in doing so, he had made a promise to both his God and the captivating young girl. His enchanting mermaid, his peaceful siren.

"Her name is Syrena."

All the promises and lies
All the times I compromise
All the times You were denied
You have forgiven

He had been deceived. Both he and Syrena had been manipulated and deceived. And the worse part of it was that Blackbeard had made it seemed like Philip had betrayed Syrena. Philip tried to push back the raging hatred against the pirate captain as he tried to explain to a betrayed, hurt and tied up Syrena. She was the purpose to why he was here, among the crew of Blackbeard and he the reason why she was captured. She reminded him to not let the hatred overtake him and he was her protection. They were meant to protect and save one another. Please God, he prayed as he fought unsuccessfully against his jailors. Let me save the chance you've given me; let me save her!

I get down on my knees
Feel Your love wash over me
There will never be another
You're the only one forever
And You know, I'm Yours alone

When he did finally return to her, he found himself mortally wounded and Syrena unconscious and half dead, drying out in the sun's heat. Grief shook him as he demanded to have her back. Why would the Lord give him such a wonderful chance, such a beautiful companion, if He was just going to take her back again? Part of him caught what he was doing, and the prayer came back, mind body and soul. Forgive me for I do not know everything. Forgive me…

Suddenly Syrena gained back her conscious, as if she had heard his mourning. When she looked at him, her eyes held no emotion. Before he could say anything, she disappeared into the deep pool. Even as she left his sight, Philip couldn't help but give a pained smile. God had heard him, answered his prayer. He had always known that God would give His forgiveness to those who asked, and he felt at peace now. Now he only wanted one more thing before his Lord took him Home. Please, let me see Syrena again. Please, let me be able to ask for her forgiveness Father…

I'm in our secret place
Alone in Your embrace
Where all my wrongs have been erased
You have forgiven

And then she had came back, concern and something else unidentifiable in her bright, wide hazel eyes. You only need to ask, she had told him, her voice thick with emotion as she effortlessly bobbed towards him. And Philip heard the echo of His voice in hers, the same care and plea. Ask…And so he did, not able to keep his own care, his own plea out of his words.

"Forgive me…"

All the promises and lies
All the times I compromise
All the times You were denied
You have forgiven

He felt her cold, wet, but soft lips meet his, the kiss filled with passion, but an innocence that he knew only she had. He allowed her to gently pull him under the cool water, trusting her as completely as she had when he had carried her through land. He felt her strong heart beat, her steady breathe, and her powerful tail propel them swiftly through the refreshing and reviving waters. But most amazingly, he could breathe

This, he realized, must be what forgiveness feels like. It was one thing to know that no matter what you will be forgiven, but it was entirely differently to actually feel it. Like the feeling of you can breathe when you know you shouldn't be able to. The young man marveled at the sensation as he gazed up at the young mermaid in awe and love. Thank you Father, for giving me this gift. Thank you Syrena, for showing me I'm forgiven…

You have forgiven
Forgiven, forgiven
Forgiven, forgiven
Forgiven, forgiven
Forgiven

AN: I tried my hardest to convey what Philip was feeling during the time he was captured by Blackbeard to the significance of Syrena's role in his faith and her pulling him under the water. As always, tell me what you think!