Today’s Lenten word prompt is REFUGE.
One of my favourite authors as a child was Patricia St John. Actually, I still enjoy her books!
Her book Star of Light tells the story of Kinza, a little girl born blind who is sold to the village beggar by her cruel stepfather but who is rescued by her older brother and taken to a missionary nurse in the city. Kinza is adopted by the nurse and goes from poverty and abuse to a life of love and security. But after a few months, the stepfather discovers where she is and secretly whisks her back to the village where he can make money from her begging. In collaboration with Kinza’s brother, the nurse travels to the village to try and negotiate with Kinza’s stepfather who denies that he has the child.
There is a beautiful scene where Kinza, who has been hidden under rugs by her stepfather, hears the nurse calling her name and cries out. At once, the nurse scoops the little girl onto her lap and holds her safe. Kinza relaxes in the arms she trusts but then begins to tremble when her stepfather starts shouting. The nurse immediately reassures her and Kinza ceases to be afraid of this horrible man who mistreats her. She has a place of refuge, in the arms of her adopted mother.