Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday 2012

You sat in the chair, but every muscle was tensed, ready to flee. You kept pulling your hair over your face, yet you watched every move we made. You were scared. Your hands, your whole body shuddered in fear.

You had come in seeking shelter, a sanctuary. Your story came out in the breath of a whisper. We had to lean close to hear, yet every time we leaned close, you pulled back, shrinking from our compassion. A drug-addicted mom who saw you, her daughter, as a way to afford her drug habit. Ten years old. Prostituted by your own mother.

That was seven years ago. Seven years of being used and abused. Your mother's addiction led her to an early grave, but you were not free. Instead, you became the property of a pimp.

He was cruel. Somehow, you escaped and found your way to us. There was blood on your face., yet we knew you had more wounds and scars than we could see.

We asked someone into the room to help us help you. But who did he remind you of? When you saw him, you looked like a trapped animal, and we saw your mind run through your options: fight or flight?

You kept sucking a lollipop and then, in the other hand, lit up a cigarette. As we watched you, we had to keep turning our faces away from you, so you wouldn't see our tears. How, in God's name, could adults have mistreated you in ways you only hinted at? Would you let us in enough to help you?

So many adults had not only let you down, but had been the source of abuse and pain. We wanted you to be safe, but you couldn't even trust us. Before we could get you the help you needed, you left us. I stood outside and watched you run down the street, running to what I could not even imagine. Your feet, hitting the pavement and lifting, as if they could lift you higher and higher, to a place where there is no pain, no fear, no abuse.

I could only say a prayer: May it be so.

1 comment:

  1. I so wanted this to have a happy ending. May she find the courage and strength to come back again and take a step of faith towards trusting your help.