An Interview with Arisha
Q. What was life like for you before you arrived in the Israelite camp?
A. Life was … unpredictable. I never knew how long I would stay in any one place. I was never a part of the household; I was almost invisible. Until I did something wrong.
Q. What do you most appreciate about the camp?
A. Miriam. She loves me like a daughter. At least I think so. I never knew my mother.
Q. What does she do that makes you feel like her daughter?
A. She calls me by name. She listens to me, tells me stories about her life. She even makes me tea sometimes when I should be waiting on her.
Q. You knew Danel in Arad. How did you come to know him? What was he like?
A. Danel was the wazir, the king’s right-hand man. I met him when I came to the temple. He and his family were so sweet to me. They were the first people that were nice to me without wanting anything in return.
Q. What differences do you see between Arad and the camp?
A. The king in Arad—he was treated almost like a god. Whatever he wanted, he got, including women, food, possessions, anything. If everyone else went without, too bad. He hid in his palace and did not concern himself with the welfare of his kingdom.
Here, the leaders are people, like everyone else. They are respected, and honored, of course. But they walk among the people, talk to them, suffer with them, rejoice with them. Yahweh is the only one worshipped. That is completely new to me.
Q. What do you think is next for you?
A. I don’t know. Miriam says I cannot stay with her forever, and I know she is getting older. But she is beginning to speak of marriage for me, and that frightens me.
A. I’ve never seen that work out well. Except maybe with Danel and Yasha.
Q. If you could have one thing here, that you didn’t have in Arad, what would that be?
A. A real home, where I’d never have to leave again. With a real family, who knew all about me and loved me anyway and would never leave me.
Q. And you don’t think the God of the Israelites can do that for you?
A. I don’t know. I’m still learning about Him, but sometimes I think the things I dream about are too great, even for Him. I guess I’ll find out.