Appearance: Chin length, slightly wavy brown hair, warm brown eyes, youthful, 5’7” tall.
Race: Half human/half crete
History: Timothy is the youngest son of a crete miner and a human woman. He and his older brother have lived in the Graylin Valley north of Valcré their entire lives. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him while his father died in a mine collapse when Timothy was in his teens. Timothy works for a mining supply warehouse, one of the only businesses that will hire him due to his mixed blood. In his little free time, he enjoys teaching the children and citizens of his town who could never afford formal teaching. He has a deep faith in Elôm.
Author Notes: Timothy was not one of my long established characters. I did not know he existed until I actually started working on The King’s Scrolls, but he quickly become one of my favorites. As his name and love for God hints at, he was heavily inspired by Timothy in the Bible, who I’ve long held a deep interest for.
Timothy was actually the result of several ‘what if’ questions I asked myself during a brainstorming session for TKS. I’m afraid I can’t share those questions without spoilers, but it was really cool how it came together. It was all very complicated at first, but through a lot of note taking, I managed to untangle the web and come out with a story for his character.
What I’ve always loved most about Timothy is how difficult his life is, yet he remains incredibly dedicated to his faith. He’s had to face so much sorrow and backbreaking labor, but no matter how exhausted he gets, he always makes time to read Scripture. He thirsts and craves it more than food, rest, or anything else in his life. And he’s so humble. There is something very special about him, but he does not see it. It’s his quiet humility and underlying strength that really makes me admire him as a character. He’s exactly how I want to be in my life, and I hope he is a character who will both inspire and encourage readers. [Amen, Jaye! You summed up exactly how I as a reader view Timothy; I couldn’t have put it better. You have definitely succeeded.]
As with many of my favorite characters, I have a theme song that is dedicated to Timothy and helped develop his characters. It’s Enduring by Non-Stop Music, which I think is very appropriate for his character.
There’s Timothy! I can’t believe I get to meet him personally. I look up to him and admire him—and now I get to meet him. My hands grow slightly moist as I pull out a chair for him to sit on. He sits. We don’t say a word. And somehow, it’s not awkward.
I’m a little scared of Timothy. He seems so apart—quietly bold for truth—but I would like very much to get to know him better. It looks to me as though he’s not quite at ease, but he probably is despite appearances. I’m a little nervous as it’s always a challenge for me to make conversation with quiet people. But his dark eyes sparkle a little, and though his manner is quiet, it does reassure me. He isn’t exactly what I expected.
I glance down at my notes that I prepared in case my mind went blank. He waits. My mind jumps to his brother—a logical place to begin.
Tell me about your relationship with Aaron. You two seem close. What was it like growing up with him? Do you have a favorite childhood memory?
Timothy crosses his hands. He seems quite at ease now. He doesn’t hesitate. Aaron and I are very close, which I am deeply thankful for. He could hate me since it was my birth that led to our mother’s death, but that’s not Aaron.
I nod. Praise Elom for that.
Timothy motions agreement. In a way, being so much older than me, he’s almost been like both a brother and a father. Since our father died when I was twelve, he, along with our friend Josan, took on the responsibility of raising me. I think some of my favorite childhood memories were when he would teach me things like wrestling and climbing. He worked so often that we really didn’t have much time to do those sorts of things, but when we did, I cherished every moment of it.
I nod again. I’m sure you did—especially since you don’t have much time for that anymore either. And you’d rather use your free time for other things now.
A gentle smile breaks over his face. Yes. There are great needs to be met…and great blessing to be derived from walking with Elom.
So you love the words of Elom. What is your favorite Scripture and why?
It is difficult to choose only one of so many, but I like, The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.* He pauses in quiet meditation. Life has been difficult, not just for my own family, but for most of those around us. The mining valley I come from is full of oppression and trouble. I often turn to this verse to remind myself that I can find strength and shelter in Elôm no matter what trouble is around me and that, even when trying times come, He won’t leave me to face it alone.
That’s a beautiful Scripture. I love that one as well. He IS a stronghold, and He has a strong hold upon us. We rest in his hand, no matter what, just as you were saying. And that ties right in to the next question: what Scripture passage do you believe Ilyon needs most right now? What would bring them the most hope, comfort, and strength?
This answer comes almost instantly. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.*
I smile. Maybe Timothy and I have more in common than I thought. Now that has been one of my favorite Scripture passages for many years. It’s so freeing to rest in the Lord no matter what.
Timothy smiles and then grows serious. Everywhere you look, evil seems to be prospering—from the emperor to the unscrupulous mine owners were I live. It’s easy to get discouraged and wonder why Elôm would allow that, especially when His children are suffering so. He leans forward in his chair. But we must learn and remember to rest in and wait on Him. He is not blind or uncaring. His timing may not align with our own, but it is always perfect. Trouble comes, but waiting and resting in Him always brings the best outcome.
Amen. It’s evident that this is what He has been teaching you—and I know He will continue to teach you this throughout your life. His rest speaks through you to others. In fact, along those lines, I understand that you enjoy teaching others—especially of Elom and the words of the Scrolls, but also in practical life skills. What drew you to teaching? Did you have any teachers or mentors growing up other than Josan and Aaron and what from their examples has made its way into your teaching?
Now he seems slightly lost in thought. The fingers of his right hand clench around his left thumb–fingers that have seen hard manual labor, but are still slender and agile. A writer’s fingers. I jerk my attention to his words as he speaks at last. My father was my primary teacher. There isn’t much in the way of formal teaching in the Graylin Valley, at least not for the average person. My father always had a desire to teach and help people better themselves through it. That’s not a typical crete trait, but my father had a real heart for people. I always admired him for that, and I guess, after he died, I felt compelled to continue his work and have developed the same love for it.
Your father sounds like a wonderful man.
He was. Timothy’s eyes are thoughtful. I wonder if he is missing his father. Of course he must be. I drop my eyes for a moment, then catch sight of the notes in my hand. When— I pause and clear my throat just slightly. His eyes shift quickly and alertly to mine—When and how did you first feel Elom’s call upon your life?
My father started teaching me from the King’s Scrolls before I was even old enough to truly understand any of it, and continued this every day as I was growing up. His passion and faith, I believe, is what initially inspired my own love for it. But, as strange as it might sound to some, I think his death is what changed me from loving to learn about Elôm and my faith to truly living my faith. It was one of the hardest times in my life and taught me how to cling to Elôm and put into practice what I believe. It was easy to follow my father’s example and feel sheltered under his faith, but once he was gone, even though I still had Josan and Aaron, I felt as if Elôm were calling me to trust Him fully with my own faith and not rely so heavily on others.
That is an incredible call. So Elom used your loss to reveal more of Himself to you.
Timothy nods and leans back in his chair. I’m still young, but the longer I live, the more proofs I see of how Elom does indeed work all things together for good for those He has called.
And that change you mentioned from the love of learning to real life is so essential. Without the life, the head knowledge is useless.
Without His love flowing inside of me, I am nothing.
Both of us fall silent for a few moments. I am contemplating the vastness of what our Lord is doing in our lives. Then I look up. Timothy’s gaze is serious, yet there is a questioning, almost playful quirking of an eyebrow and lifting of a lip. I raise an eyebrow slightly in response, then, having totally derailed from my notes, glance back at the paper in my hand. On seeing the next question, a grin breaks out, but I quickly replace it with a partly serious face.
How do you feel about archery?
Timothy laughs, and I can’t help but join in. Archery and I have been battling each other since I was a boy. Both my father and Aaron tried to teach me, but I just could never get the hang of it. Aaron likes to tease me about it sometimes.
I’m sure. But do you ever wish you could learn?
I do wish I could get better at it. Having two capable hunters would certainly help when food is scarce, but Aaron more than makes up for my lack of skill.
Elom has a purpose in that too. But moving along…You have a wonderful heritage—the loyalty and quickness of the cretes on one side and the friendliness and patience of the humans on the other. Do you feel more closely connected to your crete heritage or your human/Arcacian heritage?
Was that a slight sigh? I can’t quite tell. He answers without hesitation, though.
My father and Josan taught me much about the crete culture growing up, but since they are the only two cretes I’ve ever known, I’d say I feel more connected with my human heritage. I wouldn’t say it’s a very close connection, though.
Would you like this to be different?
Growing up being half crete in Arcacia is not a very easy thing to do. Most Arcacians don’t have a very high opinion of cretes since the cretes turned away and left Arcacia. So, in many ways, Aaron and I have grown up feeling more like outsiders—not completely a part of either of our heritages. It would be nice to be equally accepted by both.
I hope one day you can experience that. I glance back at my notes, ready to move on, but Timothy’s quiet voice interrupts me.
So do I. But regardless, I am accepted by Elom, and He is what matters.
I look up and catch his encouraging gaze. Yes. I pause. Your Arcacian heritage does show through in your eyes… they’re the same color as mine. Growing up around humans, that’s probably normal for you, but Ilyon eye colors vary much more than they do in my world. Since I don’t have the chance to see the bright colors that you do, what’s your favorite?
Probably blue, like my father’s eyes. They were like sapphires. That’s where Aaron gets his blue eyes. I remember wishing I had blue eyes too, but now I like knowing that my brown ones are a piece of my mother. I never got to meet her, but it’s nice knowing I share some things in common with her.
That’s very special. I can’t help but think that it’s amazing how he has come to accept even the small aspects of who Elom created him to be, despite the difficulties he has faced throughout his life. His time with Elom accomplished that, of course. You seem to have a lot of Scripture committed to memory. Tell me about how you memorized the writings of the Scrolls—from what age, and did you have any particular method of doing so?
My father started me on memorization quite young. One of his methods was to have me copy verses down. It was also a good way to work on my writing skills, which is something not many people have where I live. Beyond that, it is the daily repeated readings that help keep the words in my mind. I’ve read through the Scrolls several times since I was a child, and some passages far more than that.
That is a treasure that will bless you and others around you all your life. You are a blessing, Timothy, and it’s been a privilege and honor to meet you. Keep living for Elom, no matter what. Can you leave me with another passage from the Scrolls?
Timothy smiles and stands. Shaking my hand and gazing intently at me, he quotes:
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.* The blessing of the Lord be upon you.
As he departs, I reach for my Bible. Thank you, Timothy.
For more information on The King’s Scrolls, see my Blog Tour and Introduction post.