Historical Setting, 562 C.E. Gaul
“I don’t think I care to learn to read, Papa. But surely Daniel needs to know it one day and Ezra has no time to teach him. So you should teach Daniel if you really want to make another person learn things.”
“Oh, Eve, I wasn’t…” What can I say? Maybe I really do want to ‘make her learn things.’ Maybe I want to shape this twenty-seven year old woman back into the child so I can be a proper father for her.
Dear God, empower me to let her choices be her own. Amen.
“So does God tell you I need to learn to read even if I don’t want to, Papa?”
“No. God wants me to let you make your own choices, as God allows each of us, all of us — Her own created sons and daughters — to do.”
“Your prayer was too short for such a complicated answer. Are you sure it was God who answered or did you just think up your own answer to please me?”
“God answered by being an example to me of a longing parent, as I am also.”
“I can see you’ve set out a God trap for me, Papa.”
“A ‘God trap’?”
“‘Sure,’ you say, ‘It’s all your choice, but if you choose wrong you will burn for it!’ That’s a God trap.”
“That doesn’t sound like the God who is love and who answers my prayers. I would think setting snares with fearful ends and punishments sounds more like a meager last-breath power grab by some retreating emperor or abusive new king rising. It sounds pagan to me. No, I wasn’t setting a God trap. You may choose as you wish. I need to trust your gift to make your own choices and I will still love you even if you would rather not learn to read.”
“I just don’t think it would be good for me to read. Because I can see that only the strange trolls and hags and lonely women read. I mean, no one but hags and trolls and popes even own books.”
“You don’t have to explain it Eve. It’s your choice to make.”
“But Papa, I do remember my name – E-V-E backwards and forwards. I choose not to be Enola – alone anymore.”