Writing this story has been a great learning experience for me and I wish that it didn’t have to end so soon. Enjoy!
Free as a bird,
To do as I please,
To soar like the eagle,
To overcome obstacles,
To be rid of the chains that hold me captive,
I long for freedom.
I buried Zee today, with Bernice by my side. She was my sister and my best friend for many years, and the only family that I had left. I’m grateful to Yahweh for the support of the man I had slowly begun to love who has made this loss so much easier to bear. The day Zee and I discovered this town seems like another time, another decade, a different age.
Simeon was going to let me go, I had cried out to Yahweh for help in my hunger and desperation for freedom. He had found love he said in the arms of another, one named Absa, a man he said. My hand-maiden would be the cover for his taste for unspeakable things never before heard of in Canaan but I could not let that happen so I whispered it into the ears of the land’s own gossipmonger. Jacob disowned him and Leah cursed him, all of Israel had something else to talk about now that my story had lost its flavour. I still thirsted for his blood even after my release from the farce that was our four month old marriage.
Everyone dies, I just sped things up a little for my husband, one as enraged and impulsive as he was deserved a death like no other, the kind that would give my daughter nightmares if she knew what I had done to her ‘uncle Simeon’.There was a time when I thought that life was easy, that I would be little Dinah forever, oh how I wish it were possible to turn back the hands of time and be her again.
Something was pulling me under, stealing my breath away I as I kept screaming for Yahweh to help me until my screams were drowned out to a feeble gasp for breath. I woke up in a cold sweat like I had been doing every night since I found that I was pregnant. I was the ex-wife of my dead brother, put in the family way by my dead rapist and disowned by my now dead Father.The judge of Israel had put a price on my head, so here I was on foot running for my life with my hand-maiden Zee who diagnosed my recent early morning illness as the first sign of an unwanted pregnancy.
We were living on fruits and the smoked remains of dead animals hunted by Zee and every pool of water in the never-ending forest was a cause for celebration. We slept on the bed provided very generously by the floor of the forest and the fire we made around us kept the wolves away but not the tiny little ants and bloodsucking mosquitoes.
Our journey lasted three whole months and we barely survived but we made it to the little town of Uz which we would make our new home, for my time to nest had come, even as I waited the birth of the creature whom I was sure to hate.
The people of Uz welcomed us with open arms, they were an hospitable people who served the Lord God of Israel. They knew us not, yet they offered us kindness like I have never before experienced even among my people. A man called Job helped us the most, he gathered all the young men in the land and asked them to build us a house. I was humbled in my spirit and the ice around my heart began to melt even as I begun to experience Yahweh’s love all over again.
My daughter came that winter, with Zee by my side, teaching and helping me to bring forth as so many women before me had, the pain was unbearable and is one that I never want to experience again, every push reminded me of the abomination that resulted in her formation and I relived every unholy thrust that Shechem had made inside of me.
I thought I would hate her but the minute I saw her, I knew she was the answer to a prayer that I didn’t even think He had heard. She was a perfect miracle and the good that came out of a bad situation and so I named her Bernice, ‘the one that brings victory’.
Someday, she would sit at my feet as I teach her the way of the Lord, and she would serve Yahweh with all her heart. I had so many dreams for her, and they would come true, this time they would.
As all great writers do, I’ll site my references for this story.
The Holy Bible; Gen 34