Why her, and not me?
We visited a karaoke bar that a few of my friends have been visiting the past couple months. Last week we made an acquaintance with a young mother in her late twenties, from the countryside, who too shares the same faith as me. What poverty drove her to this dark place? Why does she have to be here? Why did I get to live my life peacefully across the tracks while she has to sell her body to make a living? Her boss kept her busy so she didn't have time to talk with us. I can't help but wonder if that was on purpose.
I pleaded with another woman, a mom of a 13 year old girl, to stop smoking,and to leave this dark place, as she puffed away. "Take care of your body," I told her. "God has created you and desires you to know Him." I find myself extra bold when I'm inside these places. I feel I have little to lose. Our reputation has spread down the street as the foreigners who love these women. They know we care about them, but there is a strong force of evil that holds them back from freedom.
As we returned home yesterday we entered another shop of a girl whom we haven't seen for some time. She smiled as we entered the shop but we could tell she was not happy. Her thin arms are cut up and her color gone from her face. Precious, young one, out here helping to support her parents and her family of 8. "Come out of this place," we pleaded again. "We love you and will walk with you."
"I know you do, but I don't know how to leave." "What are you afraid of?" We asked. Fear is in her eyes, there's no escaping it. We wept together as we held hands, three of us.
"I have a daughter." I spoke gently, choosing my words carefully. "Every night I hold close to me and look into her eyes and tell just how precious she is to God and to me. You were made for a reason, a purpose. You are special and don't let anyone ever tell you that you aren't." She cried more as I spoke. "Those words aren't just for my daughter, they're for you too!" I cried. She shook her head, and I couldn't believe the pain I saw in her eyes at that moment. She can't even look at herself. She doesn't have the strength on her own to leave that place. She can't even imagine how great the love of the Father is for her. The extent of His forgiveness and healing that He awaits to offer her.
Why her, and not me? That's the question. Why has God been so gracious in my life and it seems in hers, that there has been no evidence of grace. Or maybe there has. Now there is. Since we started walking that street, I know that God has and is pouring His grace out on these precious women. I pray one day that they will know it for themselves.
I am so undeserving of His love and grace. He's poured it out on me. But with that truth, I know that I have a responsibility. Those girls need us to keep walking that street and to keep loving them. There are so many streets to walk down, so many more girls to love. God, please do something!