From the old way of life to the land of new Hope there spanned a narrow bridge that was guarded by the Mighty Toll Collector. Steadfast, the Collector of Tolls blocked the path of those who attempted to pass.
In front of the Collector stretched a long line of people from various walks of life. Many were broken and beaten. Some had done horrible things. All wanted a chance at a new beginning and a new Hope.
Each anxiously awaited a turn to speak to the One who barred their way. When a person reached the bridge, he or she would whisper to the Collector. They all told stories of why they should be allowed to cross the bridge to new Hope. After each brief conversation, the Grand Collector made a decision. Many were turned away. Some were allowed to pass. All were unsure of the criteria that the Collector wanted to hear.
Those who were turned away were frustrated and discouraged. Many would leave. Some would not be deterred, they went back to the end of the line to wait for another turn. All were at the mercy of the Mighty Collector of Tolls.
In the land of new Hope, those who made it across shared stories of the price they paid to the Great Toll Collector. Many told stories of the things they lost, like relationships, possessions and self-respect. Some just had enough and could no longer go on the way they had been living. All were willing to leave their old life behind and try a different way.
*The only toll one pays to cross over to the land of new Hope is to leave the old life behind and have the willingness to try a different way. Many will refuse to change. Some will try to change. All are welcome.