The holy man from Assisi is standing in the tent, waiting for a message. His body was still sore from the beating, he and his companion received from the Sultan’s guards, when they first approached his camp. He is remembering the scenes he saw in the Crusader’s camp; scenes of anger and hate, directed at Muslims; scenes of loss and grieving for dead comrades. He felt the same emotions from the Sultan’s soldiers, only directed towards Christian soldiers. He wants to bring both sides together, by convincing the Sultan and his people to accept Christ.
He remembers the day they were brought before the Sultan, who invited the holy man to speak. He saw that the Sultan’s men were fingering the hilts of their swords, ready to draw blood if he should insult Allah and His Prophet. He looked into eyes of the Sultan, and saw curiosity. He took a deep breath, whispered a prayer, and began to speak. He spoke not of doctrine, or polemics, but from his heart, from his own experience of the Beloved. He spoke with respect for his audience. He felt a flame beginning to burn within his heart. It grew as he spoke of the love of Christ, and the joy of God. The fire of the Holy Spirit blazed out from him as he proclaimed the Good News! The Sultan and his court stood back, amazed at the sight. When he was finished, he stood, feeling drained, but at peace. He bowed before the Sultan, who sent him and his companion back to their tent.
Now he sees a messenger approaching; who invites the little man and his companion back to Sultan’s tent. The Sultan appreciates the respect that the holy one showed him and his court. He acknowledges the strength of the little poor man’s convictions, but he and his people will remain committed to their faith. The man from Assisi is disappointed, and saddened; but then the Sultan gives him a passport, permission for his brother friars to go to Jerusalem and reside there. The little man receives it with joy, and bows deeply before the Sultan. The Sultan and his court bow in return towards the little poor man from Assisi.
He and his companion walk back to the Crusader camp. He is disappointed that he did not achieve his goal; but he carries back with him a sign of victory. It is a victory that the Crusaders will not achieve; but a band of brown rob brothers will see the walls of holy Jerusalem. It will be achieved not with swords, but by words, spoken with conviction and respect.