We sit on cushions on the floor around a tablecloth spread out in the middle. Plates, dishes, bowls, bottles, thermos flasks, trays, all laden with food and drink. A feast laid out for all guests who may come, laid out in order to share our celebration of the coming of that baby who became our saviour. Conversations are going on around the room, some deeply involved, some producing laughter, and others simply commenting on the food. I look up as she comes into the room, and walks sedately to the nearest seat. My face lights up, and my heart expands with joy. I am so glad to see her, having been unsure whether she would have permission to come or not. I run over to her.
Meeting her where she stands I kiss her on the cheek several times over and hug her tightly. “I am SO glad you came! Thank you so much for coming! I wanted to see you so much since I have been back.” She turns so her back was to the crowd and I see a tear roll down her cheek. She takes my hands in hers and says to me with disbelief in her eyes “No-one has ever wanted to see me that much. You are my sister. Thank you.” Words fail me, I hug her again. As we part I invite her deeper inside the room to sit at the place of honor.
I pour her tea and offer her cakes, and nuts and fruit, I ask her how her life is, how she is finding being married, if she is happy. She does not look directly at me but answers my questions in the way she should “Life is good, it is good to be married, I am happy, thank you, how are you?, God is kind.” I look at her, really look at her, as she answers me and I see sadness in her eyes and brokenness. We continue talking, all sorts of meaningless topics are covered, I encourage others to join our conversation. We drink tea and eat snacks.
The afternoon moves on and we play games. In a culture where games are seldom played, where the concept of doing something for pure enjoyment is foreign, we spend time playing, spend time ushering joy into their lives. I watch as her sadness slowly melts away, if only for the moments she is with us. I hear all the laughter, the squeals of delight, the excited chatter, a sound and sight so alien from these people, and my own heart is filled with joy. To see them forget about all that is outside that room. To see them feeling comfortable, safe, peaceful, joyful, excited, happy. I am overwhelmed that He has given me the privilege of helping His joy touch their lives, of giving me the opportunity to see this moment, to have this memory.
The afternoon comes to an end. I find that girl, young lady now. There are remnants of happiness written in the lines of her face, there is still a sense of relaxation and peace about her. I hug her and kiss her goodbye. This time the tear is mine. A tear of knowing that as she walks out of the door her face will soon begin to tell a different story again.
She takes my hand and pulls me into a side room. She rolls up her sleeves and lifts up her top just enough for me to see the bruises that riddle her body. She says no words but looks at me. Words fail me also, I look back into her eyes. I wish there was something I could do, but there is not. She speaks “Thank you for today, will you come and see me another day? Please?” I promise nothing but I say I will try. I take her face in my hands and look at her and say all I know to say, “I will pray for you, God is kind.” She thanks me.
I watch as she walks away and do just that. I go before her maker, and her saviour, and ask him to be merciful, to be her saviour, to rescue his creation.
My brain is very fuzzy these days, and one of the last things I feel like doing today is writing, and I feel like I’m 100% lost for inspiration. For that reason I wasn’t going to do the link up today, but then I thought, well that’s kinda one of the points of this. To write, when we don’t want to, to write, when we don’t have the inspiration, to write, even if the result isn’t great or what we would hope for.
So here I am, midnight (so technically Saturday I guess… but it’s still Friday in the States!), about to do my 5 mins, because that’s what we do round here, and that’s what Lisa-Jo encourages us to do.
Why not join in the link up? You can get to GypsyMama here.
Lets remind ourselves of the rules:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
The weeks prompt is: “Path”
They say your life is a path. From a young age you’re told to think about the “path” you’re on. Think about how your actions will effect the path you go down. Choose your subjects at school wisely, behave well, be kind, etc etc. Choose a career path. When you find the “one” work out what path you’re on together, marriage, kids, the timing of it all.
This path, though it has different stages, it’s called life, and from what I hear it seems to be pretty important. But what no-one tells you when you’re young is that you can make all the right choices, you can do all the loving things, you can live by the rule book, but that doesn’t guarantee you a place on a smooth path, it doesn’t even guarantee you that your path will lead where you had hoped.
We’re on this path, and it’s stretching out in front of us, none of us really have any idea where it’s leading, or what it will pass on the way. I just know there’s only one decision that really matters, only one choice that is really of any significance. That is the one of faith. Will I choose God? Will I choose to trust Him? Will I choose to believe in Jesus, that He is God and that he died for me? Will I choose to accept the power of the cross, my forgiveness, saving grace for me? That’s the decision that matters, because that one choice, that’s the choice that will affect where my path ends, and that choice, it’s the only one with a guaranteed outcome one way or the other.
So I finish by saying, this path of life we’re all on. Let’s contemplate that one choice, and make it wisely. Will we know Jesus as our saviour? And then let’s remember that the other choices, they’re not really ours to make, and we don’t really control what route our path takes. Let’s leave those choices up to God, and let’s taste the freedom in that.
Ok there were my five minutes. I’m glad I did them. If you don’t have a blog why don’t you join in anyway? Write in our journal, or the back of your shopping list, or scribble it on a piece of scrap paper. Try it and see.