She was finally free, but she refused to forget those still in chains. While she could have lived in relative safety, she chose to risk her life to rescue those bound as she once was. Harriet Tubman knew the danger she would face in returning to the place of her own bondage for the sake of those enslaved. Yet she considered their lives and valued their freedom more highly than her own.
Had I lived the nightmare she lived, I wonder if I’d so willingly return. It would be so easy to slip into obscurity, to hide in the shelter of freedom—forgetting those who suffered I once had. The prospect of losing my newfound freedom might overshadow the potential freedom of others.
What would motivate a former slave to risk life and freedom for the sake of others? This woman who endured such unthinkable hardships came through the furnace of affliction with great faith. She once said, “Twant me, ’twas the Lord. I always told him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,’ and He always did.”
The same God who led her is the God who had heard the cry of the slaves in the days of the Exodus, who upon seeing the oppression of a people in chains spoke these words: “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…” (Exodus 3:7-8)
True love sees the needs of those in chains. And true love hears their cries. But it doesn’t stop there. True love is compassionate. And true love rescues.
Slavery is said to have been abolished years ago, but it continues today. Thousands are trafficked and sold across our own borders. We have a choice. Will we close our eyes to the need? Will we ignore the cry? Or will we see, hear, and act in compassion? Because only true love can set a captive free.
True Love…FREES (from This Life and Beyond’s series #50ShadesOfTrueLove)
Photo Credit: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway | Bucktown Village… | Flickr