I never knew how dark and ugly it was. Not that I ever thought it was good, but I just had no idea something could ever be so dark.
I was recently reading "Girls Like Us: Fighting For A World Where Girls Are Not For Sale" by Rachel Llyod. I love and appreciate this book for not glossing over the uncomfortableness of the reality of human trafficking. There, in simple black and white, the author shares the heartbreaking story that belongs to her, and so many others.
I read a bit last week, and I can't get it out of my head.
She is telling the story of one of the girls she met through her nonprofit, GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services.
Angelina is 16 years old.
She is off the streets, but missing her pimp.
Rachel has her make two lists, one for "things he did that made me feel happy/loved", and the other for "things that made me feel sad/cry". She is trying to help her sort out her feelings.
She writes and writes, and finally hands Rachel the lists. The list of things he did to make her feel sad or cry far exceeds the happy/loved list. It includes horrific things such as, "...he hit me, he gave me an STD, he beat me with an extension cord, he made me have sex with other men, he raped me..."
The list of when she felted loved and happy was much shorter. She explained one of the things on her list.
"You told me to think of the times when he loved me, so there was this one time, when he got mad at something I did, I can't remember what, and he hit me some... (later...) ...he'd gone to the store and he bought me Cheetos and a chocolate Yoo-Hoo milk...That's the main time I knew he really loved me."
Rachel concludes with, "I'm thinking, how easy it is, how little it takes. A bag if Cheetos and chocolate Yoo-Hoo outweighed all of the painful, awful, evil stuff he'd done. In the right circumstances, it didn't take much at all."
Oh my heart.
"It didn't take much at all."
It really doesn't take much to show love.
It just lit a fire in my heart. When we go out to the streets, and give out a turkey sandwich, in Jesus' name, how much better is it than a bag of Cheetos given from a pimp?
What an opportunity to just meet basic needs, and in so, share a love that's greater than we could ever imagine.
Please pray for us, as we hit the streets tonight, and every Tuesday, that the enemy will be silenced, that Jesus will shine brightly in the darkness, that we will share His love, and that we can meet basic needs.