That’s my girl over there. Doesn’t she just glow with confidence and joy? It wasn’t always like that. Those of you who know her story will remember—you knew her when she was in the window.
You want to know how she got out? Of course you do. Well...I think I’ll let her tell you about it. Oh, yeah, just in case you’re wondering, I changed her name. Remember, her guardians stuck her with “Mara.” Bitter Waters. I still haven’t forgiven them for that—but then, they haven’t asked yet. They are still making all their waters bitter. But that is another story. Here comes Gloria. Yep, that’s her name now. It fits her, don’t you think?
Tell 'em, Gloria. Tell our readers how you got out of the room behind the window.
Hi Donna. Hey there Cryssa. And Rockie, I see you over there, too. You didn’t know I saw you, looking in my window, did you? Oh yes, I saw you. It was great to know that someone cared. Not just one, but all of you and those other people too, the ones who didn’t say their names but looked in just the same. I knew you wanted to help, and it made me start thinking. Wait a minute. Here I am, sitting here in this crimson chair, holding a brass key that looks like it might fit that little hole in the door—and I’m afraid to get out of this thing and take one step to the right. One step.
What you couldn’t see is that just beneath the level of the window pane there was a dragon. I don’t want to sound juvenile, but don’t know what else to call him. He had warty scales all over his body and claws that dug into the planks on the floor. His tail, how I hated that thing, was always in motion, swaying this way and that as if he was a lion about to pounce. It was too long for his body and rope-like with an arrowhead on the end that looked razor sharp. But the most fearsome part of the thing was his eyes. Big as saucers and always open. He was always there, between me and the door. With those big eyes staring.
I hated looking into those eyes. I would rather have died, because every time I looked, I saw scenes of my life playing on them like a movie on a screen. Every horrible and shameful thing that I have ever done was stored right there—in that dragon’s eyes. I couldn’t bear to look.
So I just stared out the window, watching others live their lives, wishing I could make it to the door. Sometimes, I crushed the brass key into my palm so hard that it made me bleed. The sight of that blood smeared on the brass key stirred something up—something deep down inside me. Something that felt like a white bird rising. Someday, I thought he is going to soar and I hope he takes me with him. And then the dragon would roar, and I would forget all about the white bird.
One day as I looked out the window I saw you, all of you, just the beyond the windowpane. Father was there too, just beaming at all of us. I wanted to bad to be out there with you, that I couldn’t stand it. I squeezed down hard on the brass key, and my hand began to bleed. I looked at the blood and the key, and the bird began to rise. I looked back through the pane and I could see you were speaking—all of you. I waited for the dragon to roar, but if he did, I didn’t hear him. I wanted to look at him to see if his mouth was open. He must be roaring. But I didn’t. I didn’t look. I just kept staring at Father, and at all of you.
Suddenly, I heard what you were saying. All of you were saying the same thing, even Father.
The prison can not hold you, for love has set you free
The monster is impotent—just dare to get out of the
Chair—and you will see
All of us have been in prison—watching through our
And look at us now—on the other side
There is everything to gain.
The white bird broke loose inside me. I could feel him soar. I stood up and pushed back the chair. Keeping my eyes on Father and I slid one foot toward the door. I was afraid but excited at the same time. I didn’t want to look at the dragon. Was I in reach of those dreadful claws?
I had to look. And, oh my God, there he was. That beautiful white dove, sitting on the dragon’s head. The dragon seemed much smaller now and wonder of wonder, his eyes were closed. Not as if he was sleeping, for the dragon never sleeps. But as if he was scrunching his eyes closed in dread. In fear. Yes! The dragon trembled.
I sprang for the door and was amazed to see how easily the key slipped into the lock. I could hear you out there, cheering for me. I flung the door open—and stepped out. Into the fresh air and the sunshine. Father was the first to reach me, wrapping me in his strong arms and squeezing the breath out of me. We were all laughing and crying at the same time. Hugs all around. Hands reaching out. Patting my back. Then I saw the rest of them. Thousands upon thousands of ex-prisoners. I could tell because some of them were still wearing their prison garb—but no matter, they were free! I figured maybe they hadn’t had time to change yet, but I knew they would.
So here I am. I spend a lot of time now visiting others in prison. I want them to look into my eyes, to listen to my voice, to know that I am here for them, just as you were here for me. Well, I’ve got to go, now. Father looks as if he has something to say, so I’ll be seeing you around.
Yep. I have one more thing to say to my children today and it is this: Go, my children, go—and set other captives free.
This story is dedicated to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to my husband, Michael, who is always helping me change out of my prison garb. I love you.