“Look at me! See who I really am.”
by Jeanne Christensen, RSM
My name is Emma and I am living a nightmare. Someone said it is Lent. What does that mean? I think it’s something about God being tortured and dying so I can be saved. I can tell you that I have been tortured and suffered pain while I was waiting to be rescued. Who would save me? Is there such a savior? I didn’t expect to be rescued, saved, but I was. One of my “tricks,” a compassionate social worker, gained my trust after a few “visits.” We pretended to have sex, but we just talked. Then one day when my trafficker was too drunk to notice, my savior took me away from the dingy motel where I worked. We went to a safe house where the bed was clean and warm and no one could force their way into my bed or my body. They said I’d been saved.
But what happens to me next? I don’t have skills, I was only 13 when my trafficker lured me away from home and school. I have been gone for so many months I’ve lost count. If I get sober, will I be able to stay clean when I’m rejected by others? Or when I remember, and want to forget, what I’ve been through?
I can’t go back to school; no one would understand. Can I even go back home? Will my family want me back? Will they blame me? When I’m older, who would want to date or marry me? Will I ever be good enough to have and protect a child of my own? Exploited kids aren’t supposed to be thought of as criminals, we’re victims!
Will my savior answer my questions? Find me the help I need? Can my savior protect me when my trafficker hunts me down? Do saviors hold you when the nightmares come? I hope so—the nightmares take away my breath!
Question: If you met Emma, what would you say to her? What is she saying to you?Tags: Lent