‘God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.’ St. Augustine
Somebody forgot her. Before that they had named her Nava which means Beautiful but they forgot her anyway. In the early days she was a tumble of wildflower hair, street smart and bright as a button. She learned how to survive by not giving up, that’s all.
She kept her hope in her pocket and lit it at night like a little candle against the darkness. But all this not giving up left her tired and dirty, like a man who has worked all his life down a mine clawing for coal, day in day out. Coal dust breath, coal dust hair, coal dust clothes. Everything got greyer and when you are grey you are more than easy to forget.
‘Nava, Nava’, sometimes her name would come to her like a prayer on the wind as the street dogs barked and gates banged open and shut, open and shut. ‘Nava’.
Then there was another name in the town, although no one told her she heard it in whispers on the market square and at night as the men gathered around a fire. Jesus. His name plus everybody’s words. Jesus – teacher, trouble maker, revolutionary, miracle worker, mad man, freedom fighter.
Freedom. That’s what Nava wants. Sweet peace, fresh air, a clean slate. So she takes her hope in her pocket and pushes her way through the crowd of local dignitaries, the onlookers, the overseers, the underdogs, the over excited. As she gets closer, she can hear laughter like sun beams playing with shadows.
The crowd is so thick and insistent that when Nava gets to Him, she is on her knees. And there He is talking with a little girl, a girl with a tumble of wildflower hair. He blesses the little girl with a twinkle in His eye and she runs to her mother while Nava kneels, so still that she feels like a monument to something.
‘Nava’, He speaks her name like a prayer on the wind that is forever. He speaks it like sweet peace, fresh air and a clean slate. But more than that He remembers her and she is not coal dust anymore. She is beautiful.
‘He has made everything beautiful in its time.’ Ecclesiastes 3 v11a