This week’s reflections are preparing us for our next guest speaker, Rob Morris, president of Love146. And more than that, they’ll hopefully help prepare us to put fresh hands and feet to love in a hurting world…
On the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, you weren’t bathed and cleaned up, you weren’t rubbed with salt, you weren’t wrapped in a baby blanket. No one cared a fig for you. No one did one thing to care for you tenderly in these ways. You were thrown out into a vacant lot and left there, dirty and unwashed—a newborn nobody wanted. And then I came by. I saw you all miserable and bloody. Yes, I said to you, lying there helpless and filthy, “Live! Grow up like a plant in the field!” And you did. You grew up. You grew tall and matured as a woman, full-breasted, with flowing hair. But you were naked and vulnerable, fragile and exposed. Ezekiel 16.4-7 | MSG
We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification.
They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children…raped each night… seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl…
…All of these emotions begin to wreck you. Break you. It is agony. It is aching. It is grief. It is sorrow. The reaction is intuitive, instinctive. It is visceral. It releases a wailing cry inside of you. It elicits gut-level indignation. It is unbearable. I remember wanting to break through the glass. To take her away from that place. To scoop up as many of them as I could into my arms. To take all of them away. I wanted to break through the glass to tell her to keep fighting. To not give up. To tell her that we were coming for her…”
Because we went in as part of an ongoing, undercover investigation on this particular brothel, we were unable to immediately respond. Evidence had to be collected in order to bring about a raid and eventually justice on those running the brothel. It is an immensely difficult problem when an immediate response cannot address an emergency. Sometime later, there was a raid on this brothel and children were rescued. But the girl who wore #146 was no longer there. We do not know what happened to her, but we will never forget her. She changed the course of all of our lives.
~ Rob Morris, President and Co-founder of Love146
I doubt I need to connect the dots between today’s text and Rob’s story. May both impact us. Viscerally. Vitally. And move us to go, to do. What we can…where we can…as we walk through a hurting world, crying out with God, “Live!”
How does Rob’s story impact you? How about the Ezekiel story? What situation of desperate human need have you personally encountered most recently that has compelled you to act? What happened? What did you do?
Abba Father, use the ice-ax of the hurting face of humanity to break the frozen sea of complacency and self-absorption in this heart of mine. Let me hear and receive your own word to me: “Live!” that that same word may echo through me into this world. Through Christ.