She checked her suitcases outside, and I escorted her to the airport entrance. Edie Eger placed her travel bag on the ground, faced me, and clasped my cheeks tenderly with her hands. With endearing Hungarian flavor she said, “I am glad for my time in the camp. It taught me many great lessons. I share with you now, so you are free from languish in self-made prison. My dear, you have a child inside, a broken child.” She removed her right hand and patted the tender place above my heart. “She needs a mother. You must mother her.”
Tears cascaded down my face. I couldn’t squeeze words past the round ball constricting my throat.
She brushed the tears from my cheeks. “Be patient with yourself. Forgiveness takes time, but you must give yourself this gift. If I can forgive the Nazi’s who killed my parents, then you can forgive this offense.”
I nodded in agreement, though I had no idea how to accomplish this feat.
She clutched my shoulders, “And you must not fear hard decisions based on truth. Some will not appreciate your words or your actions, but if God is the author, stand in determination.” She gave me a light shake for emphasis.
Edie released her grip and targeted me with her brilliant blue eyes, “Do not forget – the twenty-third Psalm says, “though I walk through the valley of death …” it does not tell you to stop, to pitch a tent, or to build a house. You are to walk. Remember me on the Death March. When your strength fails, take one more step. If you cannot step, ask Jesus to carry you like my friends carried me. Then one day, you will step into the warm sunlight, and once again, a smile will cross your face.” She chucked my chin.
In those moments I couldn’t imagine smiling about anything.
“And do not allow bitterness to steal your love. You have much to offer the world, give of yourself without expectation, and receive the overflow in return.”
She hugged me tight to her chest. I could feel the warmth of her hand rubbing between my shoulder blades. “Love the child,” she whispered, then reached for her bag, and disappeared beyond the sliding glass doors.
I stood outside, wondering if I’d ever be effective again — or if I could ever trust as if I’d never been hurt.
Has betrayal ever driven you to question whether your life is over?
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Video of Edie “Story of a Stranger”
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri with her family.
Contact her via anitabrooks.com or firstname.lastname@example.org