She was standing out in the sunshine when I first saw her, a radiant thing in a crimson and orange sari, and many bright bangles. She looked like a bird from the woods in her colors and her jewels, but her eyes were large and soft and gentle, more lake a fawn’s than a bird’s
We welcomed her and her tall father, who stood beside her; but there was always an inward misgiving in our welcome to that father, for his little daughter, Star, was with us, and though he had consented to her staying with us, he might at any time retrieve her….
But nothing could prevail upon him to leave the younger one, Mimosa. We were keeping caste as regarded Star—every scrupulous observance was being kept, for we had not the right to allow her to break the law of her family. We would have done the same for Mimosa. But no, she might not stay.
The child, who in that one afternoon had heard what drew her very soul in passionate longing to hear more, pleaded earnestly:
“Oh, father, just for a little while that I may understand a little, only a very little, and I will return.”
“Wouldst thou shame me, O foolish one: is not one shame enough?
Again she pleaded, all her shyness of her stern father and all fear of offence melted in the strong fires of desire.
“Oh, father, father!”
But he turned on her, indignant: “Look at thy sister. Is not one shame enough, I say?” and he withered her with his wrath.
There was silence for a moment. Then Mimosa burst into tears.
The farewells were soon said. As they were going away the child turned, and I saw the little figure in its bird-breast raiment against the dark green shadows of the mango trees. Dashing the tears from her eyes, she tried to smile to us; and my last memory of her—and it has lived all these twenty-two years—is of big, beautiful brown eyes trying to smile through tears.
And we? We went back to the duty of the day and tried not to be downcast; but the child had been more than usually intelligent; and she had listened with such a sweet and charmed attention to the little we had time to tell her that we could all but hear the Lover of children say: “Suffer her to come unto Me.” Would they allow her to come? If only we might have taught her more of Him! How could she possibly remember what we had told her? It was impossible to expect her to remember.
Impossible? Is there such a word where the things of the Lord are concerned?
An excerpt from the book by Amy Carmichael