on the prompt word “BARE.”
Three dresses and one pair of shoes, her whole wardrobe. Her home: a tiny apartment, cramped and crowded when people gathered there—cramped not just for space but for freedom to speak above a murmur, to sing the joy in their hearts. They came together “for study,” as they’d say on the phone, but not say what they were studying…
And here was the ticket to a dream. A letter from this prestigious American university who knew of her expertise, her teaching gifts.
She could have the dream, or this poor place where every visitor caused danger, but then just having that one Bible here that she shared with them, that itself did, too.
She could fly away to freedom, fame, and fortune, a big house and a big closet, full of clothes, but she had to decide right now. Two days to the deadline.
She’d wrestled for days with the decision. But now she knew, as she looked at them, their shining eyes, their eager hearts, their love for Him and His word, which they only had in scraps and bits that they carried, concealed.
… She forfeited her dream, and chose the bare essentials.
He read her story last night, and I settled back into gratitude, not so much for my freedom and abundance, as for the reassurance that it had not been foolish after all to let that dream of mine go, watch it float off, high and away, leaving me bereft as a little child who’s loosed her grasp on her beautiful balloon.
I have more than the bare essentials.
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