Today was a chilly, windy day. In addition to making sure both girls were properly vaccinated, Elaine and I made vegetable soup and apple bread together. The house smelled great. It reminded me of all the times I would come home from school and smell fresh-baked bread or supper in the oven.
In addition to cooking, I straightened up and also made sure Lucy had enough clean school uniforms for the week--you know, mom stuff. Making sure everyone is taken care of and feels secure and safe and clean and well-fed. I like doing those things--it's my job and also my joy. Pretty much all the other moms I know feel the same way.
On Saturday I read a news story about a missing little girl in North Carolina. She was 5 years old. Her mother had sold her to a pedophile and was now reporting her missing. Additional reports said the mother had committed acts of prostitution with her daughter, sold her into sexual servitude, and was charged with human trafficking. The little girl's father--who was not associated with the mother--was pleading for her safe return. The little girl was last seen being carried into a hotel by a man, who was now arrested for kidnapping.
People all over mobilized to search for the little girl. I stopped what I was doing in the middle of the day and prayed for her. I prayed for her well-being and safety. I prayed that someone would rescue her. I prayed that she would not be alone and that angels would surround her; that the terrible fear and agony she was going through would cease. I prayed that she would get to go home to her father.
Today her body was found 100 feet from a roadway in a wooded area. Police were acting on a tip, in their words, "that a body had been dumped in the woods." Something about the word "dumped" hurts me like nothing else.
Here is this precious little girl...
...who lived through unspeakable horrors and was then thrown like so much garbage on the side of the road. Her mother, the one person who was supposed to take care of her, make her secure and safe, and fiercely protect her, threw her to the ravenous wolves who destroyed her.
It blows my mind.
We don't hear about things like this as often in the U.S., though it's getting more and more common, and when we do, we're horrified of course. But this trafficking of little children is happening all over the world as I type this.
I've written at least three endings to this post, and nothing sounds right. I'm just too broken, thinking about that little girl. I take great comfort from Jesus' words in Matthew 18, "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."
The prayers I prayed on Saturday weren't necessarily answered the way I wanted them to be. But I know I can trust the ultimate judge to do what is right.
And I do know this: This little girl is now well and safe. Someone rescued her. She was not alone, and angels surrounded her. The terrible fear and agony she went through has ceased and can never again touch her. She got to go Home to her Father.