She stood in the middle of the small, unfurnished efficiency and surveyed her new home. She eyed the entire place; from the cracked, slightly peeling ceiling and walls to the rough, bare wood floors. There was a small closet, a slightly larger bathroom and in one corner was a mini refrigerator with a hot plate beside it... and there was a small window. She was grateful for it all.
She knelt and unrolled her bed...laying aside her clothes that happened to be in it; a pair of jeans and a 't' shirt. As she walked towards the window, she fleetingly thought of those friends she had left behind. And she smiled to herself, for she knew to them her present abode would not even be considered 'meager'.
Was it only three days ago, she mused to herself, that she had discovered how very 'poor' she had been all her life? She had never known the 'richness' that was now hers. In all her nineteen years of living...she was under the impression that she had the means and money to get everything and anything she wanted...or...would ever need. It never occurred to her that there was something else...a gift...that was priceless and all the money in the world could not purchase it. She never knew that the 'gift' was absolutely free and was hers, just for the asking.
She stood before the window and watched a blaze of burnt orange and gold fight a losing battle against a methodically approaching dark blue sky. Suddenly, eyes...filled with marked disdain, appeared. She gasped out loud swallowing the lump in her throat, as hurtful words echoed in her ears and she relived the pain that she had experienced just hours before.
Her parents had just returned from...'somewhere' and she, for the first time in months, miraculously, was not flying... 'high'... on something or the other. She had thought to get out before they arrived back, leaving a note, but decided that she wanted to at least 'try' to talk to them. Perhaps, she could get them to listen to her when she explained what had happened to her...and why she had to leave.
"His child??!!" Her mother walked towards her...her eyes flashing as she looked at her from head to foot. "You look different... you're spaced out!" She looked back over her shoulder at her husband and giggled gleefully, "She's high!"
"She sure is." Her father responded with a machievous expression. "Where'd you get it...? Let us know, we sure could use some of that."
"Go upstairs and sleep it off, sweetie." Her mother said, looking at her with a wide, condoning grin.
"I am not high," she responded, inching towards the door where her small duffel bag sat, "I've just had enough of this kind of living. There is a better way...better for me...and you." She looked compassionately at them both. "Mom...dad...please, just bear with me for a moment and let me finish telling you...there is a God and He..."
"Have you lost your mind??!!" Her father's voiced interrupted and loomed at her, as he stepped forward blocking her exit route. "Now you listen to me, young lady! Belief in God is one thing...but this is ridiculous! You're taking this entirely too far and it's not necessary! Why," he demanded, "can't you stay here and go to church?!" He cast a quick devious look at his wife, who immediately chimed in.
"Why, sure....sure you can, honey", her mother stepped in front of her with a persuasive cajoling tone, "you can go to...to...God and Jesus and...all that, right from here...we won't stop you..."
"I can't do it from here mom," she tried to explain, "...I need to be around people that 'believe'. I need the support of those that are able to help me stay strong in Christ and I cannot get that from you or dad...please understand. Here...," she took a piece of paper from her pocket and attempted to hand it to her mother, "here's the place where I'm going to be. You can reach me there any time and I'll ...." Her mother snatched the paper out of her hand and ripping it to shreds, stomped on the pieces as they fluttered down and littered the deep, pile carpeting.
"We don't want this...we want you!!!" She screamed at her. "Who in the hell is God anyway??!! Does He provide the money for your education??! Well," she demanded, "does He???!!" She glared at her daughter and went on furiously. "Does 'He' send you to Europe for the summer?! Who buys your clothes and feeds you....?! Who?!! Is it Him...or us?!!" Her mother folder her arms across her breast and abruptly swung away from her in a huff.
She didn't answer her mother. She was recalling her years of extreme 'poverty'. Tears ran down her cheeks, as she thought of how she hardly remembered a day in her two years of attending college, when she hadn't been under the influence of some sort of drug. And the summers she spent abroad were a complete blurr. For amid the orgies and drinking sprees, she floated in and out of reality...unable to recall so much as even one name of the numerous arms she had been in.
"You can't even answer your mother...can you?!" Her father father's voice bellowed accusingly, hastily ushering her back to the present. She watched, as he began to march angrily back and forth across the room before he stopped in front of her, his eyes narrowing. "Now you get this...and you get it straight," he spit out, "your loyalty...your life...belongs to us! You make up your mind and do it now...and whatever you decide ...it is permanent!! Do you hear me?!!" His pointed finger was inches away from her face and she stepped back. "Permanent!!" He yelled, as went on, "not one penny will we give you...not a dime...ever!! And do you want to know why? Because the bottom line, kiddio, is this; you cannot be 'His child' and ours too!!"
She understood, that for the time being, her father had spoken the truth and she softly responded. "You know what, dad...? you're right."
Deciding not to even try to get to her duffle, she turned and left them standing there...stunned into silence. Before she left through the garage, she made her way around her father's Lincoln Town Car, her mother's Bentley, her Jaguar and grabbed her sleeping bag.
The evening air was brisk, but comfortable and she inhaled deeply. She was leaving her parents behind, the house that she had grown up in...the only home she had ever known and she proceeded to walk the thirty blocks to The Mission...where it had all started. There they welcomed her with open arms and they prayed for her...and her parents. Then, taking her around the corner, they secured a place for her to stay and promised that the very next day they would help her find a job.
She lingered at the window and continued to peer intensely into the heavens, which now had begun to sparkle with the beautiful gems of the night. And once again, out of the blue, eyes appeared. But these eyes were filled with compassion and love and she heard a different voice...one that called her 'beloved'.
It was at that moment... without an inkling of a doubt... she knew. She knew she was 'His'. She knew, she was forever...A Child of the King!