Her Name Is Marissa

January 10, 2002
by Ken Stright

Genesis 2:3 – So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. (RSV)

I met her quite by chance, or maybe not.

I'm walking down Church Street in a blistering noontime heat in Georgetown, Guyana. Passing a vendor's stall that appears quite empty, I suddenly hear a faint voice, but I can't tell where it is coming from. So I stop and look, and there, underneath the stall, is a little nine-year-old, seeking the scanty shade offered by the flimsy stall. Her name is Marissa, and she is reading the Bible out loud. She is just at the part in Genesis 2 where the Lord rested on the seventh day when all the work of creation was done. "Little sister, thank you for reading the words. See, this is my Bible and I carry it with me, too."

The next few moments are spent sharing what this story means to us, and I ask her if she ever gets a chance to rest like God did. She just smiles. In her world the idea of rest is quite alien. I tell her that the story gets very exciting when the first people appear and a wonderful garden is given to them. She humours me by nodding, for I think she has read this before. She tells me that she goes to school, and that the Bible is getting easier to read. She watches the stall for her mother when she isn't at school, and she goes to Sunday School whenever she is free to do so, which isn't as often as she would like. I thank her for our time shared together and I'm on my way.

Even as I walk away, I know I have just spent a few magical moments with a wonderful girl who has touched my life, and now is gone to live her life, never to cross paths with me again. Maybe.

Prayer: God of creation, your story still brings people together to wonder at your love and care for us. Bless those who touch our lives this day. May we share a moment with them that is more meaningful than we can ever imagine because you are there with us in Christ. Amen.

About the author:

Ken Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, Canada

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