I would like to tell you a story about a little girl . . .
This is a story about a little girl growing up in a small rural community in Australia. She was the youngest of 4 children and much loved by her parents, in fact she was very special to her parents as her older sister had died from cot death and she was considered a precious gift from God.
Her family lived a simple life, living by the Word of God, they followed the scriptures as God had planned for us to do. Her home was filled with love and laughter, life was very good to her. She was allow to roam the farm where she lived, play in the creek, catch tadpoles, build cubbyhouses and get up to mischief with her older brothers. She loved to day-dream, read and draw but didn’t like to dust and clean the house — why did she have to dust while her brothers did more interesting things outdoors? As for washing the dishes, she was sure she did far more than her brothers.
But she was different to others in her community. Her home did not have a TV but the children were encouraged to play games and puzzles, she wasn’t allowed to listen to modern music, however classical music filled the home. She wasn’t allowed to watch movies but was given a plethora of books to read and discover. This little girl did not go to many birthday parties nor was she allowed to attend the school disc. As to the way she dressed, just like her mother and grandmother, her cousins and aunts - she only wore skirts and dresses, she never wore anything immodest, she never wore makeup or earrings or bracelets but was allow to wear a small necklace. Her hair was long and was only lightly trimmed at the bottom. This was the 1970’s, the time on mini-skirts and makeup. She use to love wearing her cousins shoes (platform shoes!) as they made her feel sophisticated and grown up.
Each day began with bible reading and prayers, each meal grace was said and before bedtime a verse from Scriptures was read. The little girl listen and learned, she was taught to love the Lord Jesus Christ and that He would look after her but sometimes she was naughty and would day-dreamed about other things that she shouldn't not have. She wasn't perfect!
But it was on Sundays that made this little girl stand out as very different to her school friends — she didn’t know anyone else outside of her family that did what she did on Sundays. Each Sunday after breakfast, bible reading and prayers the family would climb in their car and travel into the city to the home of their Uncle where other family members would be gathering. They would be wearing their best clothes and all the women, young and old would be wearing hats. They did not attend a church and their meeting contained no priests. The meeting had long periods of silences (they felt very long for a 6 year old), hymns (with no music), pray and bible reading — the little girl learnt to sit very quietly and not to wiggle (her mother would silently frown at her if she did). This little girl knew from a young age how to behave — but her mind did wander as she wasn’t very good at focusing on what she was meant to. She use to like it when interstate cousins would come to the meeting as she had someone interesting to look at! Sundays were not for playing, the little girl was allow to read Christian books, write letters to her cousins, listen to hymns or go for an afternoon walk with her family (or go for a drive - these were lots of fun). No work or shopping was undertaken on Sundays if it could be helped.
Even though she was different, the other children at the rural school did not tease her for the way she dressed as a result she made friends quickly. But there was one thing she hated, and that was when her school teacher would ask the class “who owned a colour TV?”. The little girl would keep her hand down whilst all the class who say yes. She didn’t like being the only one without a TV and she couldn’t explain to others why, she found this embarrassing.
Then she became a grew up . . . and begun to wonder . . .