Thursday, February 23, 2006

I bought you to set you free.

I heard this story last week, and found it really powerful. I don't think I need to make any comments, it says it all.


Back in the 1800s, a young Englishmen traveled to California in search of
gold. After several months of prospecting he struck it rich. On his way home
he stopped in New Orleans. Not long into his visit, he came upon a crowd of
people all looking in the same direction. Approaching the crowd, he realized
they were gathering for a slave auction. Slavery had been outlawed in
England for years, so this young man’s curiosity drew him to watch as a
person became someone else’s property. He heard “sold” just as he joined the
crowd. A middle-aged black man was taken away.
Next a beautiful young black girl was pushed up on the platform and made to
walk around so everyone could see her. The bidding began.
Soon the bids surpassed what most slaveholders would pay. As the bidding
continued higher and higher, it was apparent that two slave owners wanted
her. The miner stood silent as anger welled up inside him. Finally, one man
bid a price that was beyond the reach of the other. The girl looked down.
The auctioneer called out, “Going once! Going twice!”
Just before the final call, the miner called out a price that was exactly
twice the previous bid. An amount that exceeded the worth of any man. The
crowd laughed, thinking the miner was only joking. The auctioneer motioned
to the miner to come forward and show his money. The miner opened up the bag
of gold he had brought for the trip. The auctioneer shook his head in
disbelief as he waved the girl over to him.
The girl walked down the steps of the platform until she was eye to eye with
the miner. She spat straight in his face and said through clenched teeth, “I
hate you!” The miner, without a word, wiped his face, paid the auctioneer,
took the girl by the hand, and walked away from the still-laughing crowd.
He seemed to be looking for something in particular as they walked up one
street and down the other. Finally they stopped in front of some sort of
store, though the slave girl did not know what kind of store it was. She
waited outside as the dirty-faced miner went inside and started talking to
an elderly man. She couldn’t make out what they were talking about. At one
point voices got louder, and she overheard the store clerk say, “But it’s
the law! It’s the law!” Peering in, she saw the miner pull out his bag of
gold and pour what was left on the table.
With what seemed like a look of disgust, the clerk picked up the gold and
went into a back room. He came out with a piece of paper and both he and the
miner signed it. The young girl looked away as the miner came out the door. Stretching out his hand, he said to the girl, “Here are your manumission papers. You are free.”The girl didn’t look up.
He tried again. “Here. These are papers that say you are free. Take them.”
“I hate you!” the girl said, refusing to look up. “Why do you make fun of me?”
“No, listen,” he pleaded. “These are your freedom papers. You are a free person.”
The girl looked at the papers then looked at him, and looked at the papers
again. “You just bought me… and now you’re setting me free?”
“That’s why I bought you. I bought you to set you free.”
The beautiful girl fell to her knees in front of the miner, tears streaming
down her face.“You bought me to set me free! You bought me to set me free!” she said over and over.The miner said nothing.
Clutching his muddy boots the girl looked up at the miner and said,

“All I want to do is serve you- because you bought me to set me free.”

13 Comments:

Blogger Amy said...

Two words: So true.

3:10 p.m.  
Anonymous Someone Surely said...

All Things ME!

Saints Eve, I've, U've, and Stave
and Stove, brothers, brothers all,
at Twilight near sand and wave,
went walking in the waking Fall.

St.Eve, most uneven in the lot,
found in his hand a grain of sand,
amazed but dazed he thought:
The world! The sand! It's in my hand!

St.I've, in-inwardly introspective,
failed to see skies, sands or even waters,
nor all that in them daily live and give,
caring only for his cares, not theirs

Stove was hot as hot can get
bringing heat to all he met
while Stave was scared as Fear,
so from everyone and anything stayed clear

St.U've, with Stave and the Saints,
talked and talked and talked and talked,
and as the only one, who really
enjoyed the time he walked.

~ Asymmetry.

4:54 p.m.  
Blogger Amy said...

Okay, well, I did it. "My Cave Survival Guide" is up...just for you. I know it will only feed this running joke, but hey, it was a blast to write and it's educational, too! (lol) I don't know if you are going to the retreat this weekend, but if you are, have a blast! God bless!!!

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Anonymous Wafula said...

An amazingly thought-provoking read!Blessings!

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