Bring only your determination to serve
and your willingness to be free.
Don’t wait for the bread to rise.
Take nourishment for the journey,
but eat standing, be ready
to move at a moment’s notice.
Do not hesitate to leave
your old ways behind—
fear, silence, submission.
Only surrender to the need
of the time— to love
justice and walk humbly
with your God.
Do not take time to explain to the neighbors.
Tell only a few trusted friends and family members.
Then begin quickly,
before you have time to sink back
into the old slavery.
You will learn to eat new food
and find refuge in new places.
I will give you dreams in the desert
to guide you safely home to that place
you have not yet seen.
The stories you tell one another around your fires
in the dark will make you strong and wise.
Those who fight you will teach you.
Those who fear you will strengthen you.
Those who follow you may forget you.
Only be faithful. This alone matters.
Your flesh will be torn
as you make a path
with your bodies
through sharp tangles.
Sing songs as you go,
and hold close together.
You may at times grow
confused and lose your way.
Continue to call each other
by the names I’ve given you,
to help remember who you are.
You will get where you are going
by remembering who you are.
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