If you happen to have met me in person, or even have stumbled across this web site more than once or twice, you know that I’m a fan of world travel myself, and have several friends scattered around the world. I currently have friends on at least six of the seven continents, and the one I’m not sure of is Asia. Being a degree or two of separation away from almost every culture and people group on the globe has provided me with many great stories, and hopefully more than a lesson or two.
I read one story today from a friend of friends in Bolivia. She caused me to think deeply, what happens when better is still bad? And not the “aw shucks” bad, but the heartrending, “why God?” bad. Here is her blog entry titled What would you do? (and the J-dude too):
She has two kids.
They were taken away from her by her husband because she was prostituting herself. Its not healthy for kid to be around that, right? He hid them from her for years. But she just found out that he was put in jail for sexually abusing their daughter.
Now both kids are staying with the husband’s brother. He abuses them to, physically and perhaps in other ways. But when she goes to get them, he demands a legal investigation to make sure she is not still prostituting, has a decent job, and can support the kids.
The law can’t help much. After all, she is still prostituting. How do we help? What do we do? She comes to us and cries over her lunch.
And I sit there, wondering where the Holy Spirit hides when we need instant wisdom. I try mix him up like Quaker Oats: thirty seconds and He should be ready to go. But I’m finding that all I have is the silence between me and her. And we sit.
What do you do with this? What can one do? I mourn this situation; this is not the way life is meant to be. I pray, hoping that God will infuse hope into the lives of these people so far away. I pray, hoping that God will help me understand why.
Upon reflection, I do see a glimmer of hope here, and I believe it is there without invoking poetic license. This woman, seemingly without anything, forced by culture and economics to prostitute herself for survival, having lost her husband and her children to poor, desperate decisions … has someone to cry with and to ask hopeful questions. It appears to not be much, but I would like to think that it can mean the world in the moments her tears stream. It is the Kingdom of God breaking in to her life, evidencing that there is a better way, even if today will not be the day the better way begins. Hope against all hope.