Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Have you seen hope?

Have you seen hope? I have. I’ve seen children dance and dream. I’ve seen girls who were sex slaves become part of a family in a safehome, and when they were ready to leave, they left to start a safehome of their own, because they know what hope is.
She was 11. Her early story might sound like your own. A father that seemed to care less and less each day until that day he cared so little, he never returned home.
She was 11 still. Here her story may differ from yours, but maybe you know the darkness of abandonment. Her mother, having no money even for food, crossed into a bordering country looking for work. This child was left alone, her days spent searching for food or trying to sleep when the hunger was unbearable. The only family member in town rejected her.
She will always remember 11. Two men raped her in a field, and left her to cry and bleed. Maybe you know rape. Maybe you know that rape steals your breath. It’s replaced with steel that hardens you from the inside so you don’t shatter into a million pieces lying under the sun bleeding in the middle of a field.
She ran to her only family member, he yelled at her; the steel grew harder. He hit her and the steel replaced her dreams of being safe ever again. When her mother returned the child was taken to a safehome, so that she would not be sold as a sex slave.
By the time I saw her, the steel had taken her eyes; no indication of ever being 11. Instead she had no age, no femininity, no voice. She walked around the other girls like a nervous animal, frightened, angry and envious of any thing that resembled happiness.
She knows hope now. She is no longer 11. She has begun to bathe herself again. She has started to wear dresses. She will talk a little about her past, and she even dreams. She is learning to breathe and to cry again. Steel corrodes through air and water, breath and tears.


Now when I see her, she takes my breath away.

1 comment:

An Ethereal Forest of Stars said...

Amazing testimony. And you write these so beautifully! Thanks for sharing about her story.