By: Sherry Pryor
I was walking down a street void of any other person except one young girl. She stood short in stature, and her attire was a mixture of too tight and too big. She had a satchel across her body, and it appeared to be a little heavy. I began to walk more briskly to catch up to her. When I reached her, I tapped on her shoulder. The young girl did not seem frightened by my touch. As she turned and her eyes met mine, I became startled. Her eyes were a combination of a deep sadness, loneliness, fear, and doubt. I quickly regained my composure and asked her, “Are you lost?”
She answered, “No, I am abandoned.”
“Abandoned? Who abandoned you?” I asked.
The young girl’s eyes slowly lowered to the ground and then, like a spring, looked back up to my eyes with an intense glare. “You did.”
“What?” I said with great disbelief in my voice. “How can that be? I don’t even know you.”
“Oh, but you do know me,” she replied. “I am your worry, anxiety, fear, insecurities, and doubts. I used to live in your heart and your mind, but recently you have replaced me.”
“Replaced? With what?”
“A person spoke to you and opened your eyes and your heart to God’s grace. God chose to bring many blessings to you. Two of them were the gift of courage and the gift of forgiveness. One of the last gifts He gave you was so large it forced me to vacate from my residence in your heart and mind.”
“Which gift was that?” I asked.
“It was God’s gift of love.” The young girl’s facial expression immediately changed to a look of hate. She yelled, “You didn’t even deserve these gifts! You did nothing to earn them and yet He gave them to you freely!”
“You sound so angry,” I stuttered.
“Of course I am angry. I was comfortable, and now I have to seek others to find a new residence.”
“Others? I don’t understand. Who are these others?”
The young girl’s eyes turned and looked to her right. I followed her gaze and could see she was looking towards a playground filled with mothers and their children. Some of the mothers were in pairs, while others in larger groups were talking and laughing, but there was one woman sitting by herself. The young girl pointed and said, “She is my next residence. Me and my bag of tools [pointing to the satchel] will be in a new residence by the end of day.”
“Bag of tools?” I inquired as I tried to peek inside.
“Yes, I have several tools. Although, the first two tools I won’t need to use as this mother is already experiencing insecurities and self-doubts, so this allows me a window of opportunity to seep into the cracks in her heart. Once in, I can use my most powerful tool, which is my ‘magnifier’. I will magnify her pain and suffering. Once magnified, I will then pull out my tool to sprinkle in depression. For depression numbs the pain and weakens her ability to fight her sadness. Then my last tool will complete the job and secure my place of residency.”
I was almost afraid to ask what her last tool was. But I had to know, so I asked, “What is your last tool?”
“It is APATHY. She will no longer care, and by no longer caring, she will lash out at her loved ones and begin to destroy her circle of support. Then I will be at home! So many others that do not know of God’s love makes my quest to find residency easy.”
A sense of urgency arose in me. The young girl’s words swam in my head. I kept hearing her words saying, “So many others don’t know of God’s love.” I blurted out, “I didn’t know either until someone told me! I could go and spread the Good News to her!” I shouted. “I could tell her about His goodness, grace, and love.”
The young girl looked at me sideways and then grinned. She said, “Of course you can tell her, but you would have to reach her before I do.” Then she laughed and began to turn and walk toward her intended target.
I felt a jolt in my body as I tried to lift my right foot to run to the mother, for I knew I just had to reach her before the young girl did. But my right foot was stuck. I looked down and noticed I was bound to the ground. Roots had grown under my feet. I was planted. I couldn’t move forward.
Then in a blink, I knew. The feeling of shame rushed in, and I began to pray to God with tears rolling down my face. “Oh Lord, You have granted me so many blessings. I have failed at being a good steward of Your gifts. How I love You and Your goodness, but I became complacent and did not share with others all of the gifts You so graciously bestowed onto me. I ask for your forgiveness. I pray for courage and boldness to tell others of Your power and love.”
As I continued with my prayer of repentance, I could feel the grip on my feet lessen, so I started to run towards the playground, my eyes searching with excitement and urgency to find the mother. But my eyes were forced to squint almost shut due to the bright light…It was then I realized I was in my bed, and it was now morning. All of this was just a dream.