Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Stories That Need To Be Told

There are so many stories that need to be told.  Stories that deserve not just a bullet point or to be stuck to the post-it note in my office.  They need to be told for justice, for the sake of believing in the good, for hope and for The Love that always wins.

I have had much to say, but words have been far and creative expression out of reach. Writing alone, telling the story, telling their stories, can be a consuming task, but one I hold with great honor and responsibility.  The short posts the public sees and the occasional emails sent are only a sentence in a novel.

Each case file comes with the black on white information of what has happened to them. It is thick with information, but when it reaches our hands, that is only the starting point of all things becoming new.

The cases of children are placed on the table for discussion and review. (And oh, the cases!)  Page after page of facts of violence, neglect, trauma and exploitation to girls that could be my daughters. It is hard and cold and it breaks the heart to read how abuse has marked them.  I do not think the same or see the world as I did before.  There are vulnerabilities, probabilities and slavery all around me wherever I go. It is a world I have studied, experienced and see clearly...and I have only begun to see.  It is not an overreaction or paranoia.  Slavery is here and there and a familiar life for millions of children in the world.  It is familiar to girls I know who have been rescued by the hand of God.

We will call her Angela.  When Angela first arrived at the safe house we were not sure if we could help her.  We were not even sure with her violent tendencies if we could keep her while having other girls to protect. She wanted to escape. She was mad, furious, broken, and with all the right to be. She had lived on dirty, dark streets most of her life with not much recollection of her parents.  She had been raped multiple times by multiple men until coming into our care. Angela, is only 14-years-old.
 
She did not want to be touched at all, not even for a simple manicure. She hesitated to return a smile as she had learned how to protect herself, but I just kept smiling.

In her careful observation of the home, she saw a world that she never lived in before, a good world.  A place of concern, respect and kindness, a home abounding in love.
 
 We prayed that this good world would cultivate change in her heart and create a smooth adjustment.  We prayed that this good world would not be something she only observed, but participated in. We prayed that this good world would prove there is good in the world, and she would grow from it.

And just as grace has brought her to us, The God of grace has answered those prayers. After weeks of many pouring out love to this little one, at last, comes the light.
 
  I arrived at the home to see Angela running to me!  Running, calling out my name and asking if I could paint her nails pretty and if she could be the first one.  My answer in extreme joy,  "Absolutely, yes, my dear...yes!" This is where trust begins and she starts to smile.
 
 In an empowering art therapy project she writes;
 
"I feel the capacity to change and to be better."

And more than better she is becoming. 
 
 These are the stories I must tell.  The story of Angela and the stories of hundreds more...

 I must tell them for justice, for the sake of believing in the good, for hope and for The Love that always wins.
 
"In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing." C.S. Lewis
 

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for all of your encouragement. You mean a lot to us!

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  2. So very worth telling my friend. Thank you so much.

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    Replies
    1. Love you Tess. You are part of their story. Thank you for your support.

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  3. Thank you for being her voice. Thank you for letting us know her in this small way, and share in the Victory. Praise be to God!!

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