Friday, May 24, 2013

The Pink Room


She scratched the paper with her pencil, leaving us sick-hearted staring into her near dead scratched soul. Her self-portrait exposed her bound up, legs sprawled, humanity mutilated by evil incarnate. We listen because her young voice must be heard, but we cannot digest it. How do you swallow horror? I try to wash it down but the heartburn sears. She tells the rescue agency that she doesn't want to leave because her family needs the money. My throat chokes and eyes blur.

Jesus, please come back.

Last night Matt and I attended a screening of The Pink Room, a documentary that follows the journey of young girls in Cambodia who are victims of sex slavery. 100 of us entered the chapel greetin’ and chummin’, our own children safely secured with babysitters who will make more in a night than the average Cambodian makes in two weeks. 100 of us stared deeply into the eyes of precious children who told tales of torture. 100 of us left that chapel never the same, waking up this morning hungover from nightmares. Horror had entered our subconscious and it fights to escape.

I couldn’t watch those caramel skinned babies testify to their brutal suffering without picturing my Henry, my Harper, my Greta.

As my heart shattered, my mind went to those awful places. Do the girls cry? Scream? Who hears their shrieking?

My enraged soul won’t stop screaming.

God, where are you when these itty bitties curl up bandaged, forced abortions, fear trembled, souls destroyed? Where are you, God?

I’m fetal on the floor, tears numb, and I know that right now a pimp accepts $2.25 for the young pretty one down the lampless death hall. A child listed sold on a receipt, along with a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes.

I’m crying out to God when the angels arrive.

Pearls among pigs, the angels fight perversion, rescuing and restoring girls and community. The angels purchase a building in the heart of hell to deliver heart to hell, providing rescued darlings with therapy, medicine, education, and the love of Jesus. The building, a former brothel, is discovered first floor packed closet on closet for evil to consume baby girls, second floor the pink room, left aside for the virgins who would endure the unimaginable for the first time.

The angels pound away bricks and I beg them to drive their sledgehammers into the heads of those who exhale vile.

The angels break down walls and they break down tears, overcome by the wicked that has consumed a country, desperation breeding corruption, alcoholic fathers gambling away the pennies from selling starved children who are left to fight dogs for scraps of food.

But those angels don’t give up. These ain’t no sissy angels.

I listen as one God-sent warrior insists that he is blessed to fight this war, rescuing a generation from the miry pit of exploitation. He confronts monsters, shames pimps, shatters brothels, and redeems lost innocence. 

I hear Jen, an on the ground missionary, celebrate as her school in Svay Pak has outgrown the building where they teach math, critical thinking, self-worth, and feed kindergarteners a nutritious meal and bread of life.

I hug my dear friend, Marla"I'd  give my right arm to be in Cambodia," she tells me, her family waiting on God’s call to send them into this soul-shattering battleground. I am awestruck that she desires to trade in the comforts of false security to angel soar among the wicked.

Thank you, God, for the angels.

My mind can’t erase what it now knows. Those girls have faces, their bodies still beating but the life inside wishing death, they never learn to smile.

The angel warriors bleed courage. I am torn between rage and hope prayers. Lord, please don’t let me forget those faces.

The fight has begun and we must train for war the best way we know how, right where God has us. Everyone can do something. And I beg you to do something. I beg you because there are millions who cannot, their voices muffled by power and money and corruption and the grunts of pedophilia.

I beg you.

Ask God how you can take action, and start by visiting The Pink Room website. Maybe you will have opportunity to watch the documentary. You can pray for the precious children. If you can stomach it, pray for the pimps and pedophiles. The only way to stop this horror is to stop the horrible. You can use the gift of your voice to share what you know. You can give to organizations who are on the ground, lights of hope in plagues of darkness.

No matter what you do, I beg you, don’t forget.

We cannot forget.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day really is for the birds


It's no surprise to me that Ann Voskamp writes so truthfully and beautifully about Mother's Day.

I about cried reading her words, my soul needed them. This is the week that I told Matt, "If I have to listen to her cry another minute, I might hurt her." This is the week that I begged God to let my kids nap so that I could also, only to have my third born poke me endlessly in the eye. This is the week that I sautéed fava beans in their pods thinking they were just big green beans because I can't tell my beans from beans. This is the week that I drove through McDonalds again for a large chocolate chip frappe because chocolate and caffeine are the only legal drive-through fixes to another crappy parenting day. This is the week that I vowed self-discipline, to wake up before the kids for quiet time and a jog, only to curse my alarm, and stick my head back under the covers.

Ann's right. Mother's Day, it's for the birds.

My days don't make for a flowery poetic Hallmark card. 

My days find me carrying around that satan soaked momma guilt as I confess to counting down the minutes, hours, days before my next break from the kids. 

My days are full of less than holy words and tone, and a whole lotta grace. Grace for me. Grace for the kids. Grace for us all.

But the pendulum swings and sunshine breaks the clouds and pudgy baby toes and sweet boy laughter and girl praying precious over her macaroni brings me back to joy overflowing, immense gratitude for the three who left me stretch-marked and heart-stretched.

So to you mommas, you can't fool me. You and me both, sister, we just a broken hallelujah. 

You never thought it would be this hard, did you? You never thought you'd swallow your pride like you do?

Me neither.
And I bet you never thought you could love like this? That breathless lump in your throat when you think about just how much you love the ones who graced you into motherhood.

Bless it. Bless you.