Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Silence

I just finished reading an article that appeared in W*rld Magazine on May 5, 2012 entitled, "Give Them Shelter" that features the plight of women caught in the world of human trafficking and the struggle to help these women find long-term housing.

I have become friends with a woman who left a horrible home-life with an abusive boyfriend, who not struggles to find long-term housing.

I am working with a woman in prison who is longing for stable help upon her release, especially regarding long-term housing.

A co-worker has a pregnant teen sleeping on couch to couch. 

And we bang our head against the wall because we are virtually HELPLESS to help these women.

Modern day widows.  These are women who are all moms (or soon to be moms) who have NO man in their lives.  No one to protect them, provide for them, be there to support them.  Men have left them and left the children.  Unfortunately, that is just the way our culture is these days. 

And what is the thought that runs quickly through your minds?  If you are like me, and my conservative, Republican mind...my first thought is, "They made their bed...they need to lie in it." 

Sadly, I have yet to crucify those thoughts.  Thankfully, I can capture them and throw them out as soon as they come in. 

Because that mom in jail...well..she was horribly abused by her biological parents who lost their parental rights when she was 6 and then put up for adoption.  So...is it her fault that she has struggled to find stability?

That mom who left the domestic violence situation...well...she grew up in a home where marriage was disposable and witnessed her friend being beaten by her mother.  So...is it her fault that she was drawn to the chaos of abuse again?

And those women being rescued from human trafficking were wooed when they were 13 by the local pimp with compliments and gifts until he told her "she owed him" and had to repay through sex acts.  So...is it her fault that she has no where to turn and finds it easier to just numb her mind with drugs and have that pimp being like a Daddy to her?

Yes..that is the reality for so many women.

So many women are BROKEN HEARTED.  No one has loved them.

And then, they get desperate, they reach the point where they finally say, "NO MORE!"

Silence.

We can't help you.  There is a 2 year waiting list for housing in Greenville County that would put these women and their children into a safe neighborhood in a clean apartment on a sliding scale.  2 years.  So..what is she to do in the meantime?

My friend struggles between needing a car so she can get a job so she can work so she can pay for the car and the rent so she can work to put her son in daycare so she can work another job to try to save some more money to get into a better neighborhood.  But..she has $500 to her name.  Get the picture? 

Or the mom expecting to get out of prison in several months who KNOWS how hard it will be to find a place to live!  Who now has 2 prison records and has lost 3 children to her behavior but who just now got her GED and a welder's license so she can find a job to keep her fourth child and raise her in a home where she can grow up with her momma.  But, who's gonna rent an apartment to her?  Who is going to give her a job?

I am OVERWHELMED. 

Because here in Greenville, there is a church on every corner.  Why aren't these churches HELPING these women?  I have been asking around...is there a ministry that helps women after they are released from jail?  This mom is begging for Christians to help her when she gets out.

Silence.

I have been asking about the women escaping domestic violence.  There is a shelter.  Really?  Is she supposed to raise her baby in a shelter?  What about long-term housing?

Silence.

Why did we draw the line so far back?  Why have we said, "You messed up one too many times?  Good luck."  Do you realize the result of that attitude? 

The cycle continues!

The children of these moms grow up in unstable environments, possibly abused and neglected.  And they turn to drugs, sex, and bad relationships...just like their mommas.  And then they have kids...and it goes on and on and on.

Unless...we...THE CHURCH...step in. 

Thank you, Lord, that YOU do not give up on me!  Because I mess up every day!  I lie every day.  I judge people every day.  I am tempted every day - and many days I fall to those temptations.  Thank you, Lord, that YOU have never and will never say, "You're out!".  Is MY sin of lying and having idols in my life BETTER than the sin of adultery or drug addiction or premarital sex? 

RELIGION has made the decision that MY little sins are not nearly as bad as those UGLY sins. 

Really?

What does God's word say? 

Proverbs says there are six things the Lord detests.  Do you know what is at the top of the list?

1.  Pride
2.  Lies

The list goes on...but I always have to stop there, and plant my face on the floor in shame and repentance. 

Of course, God does not like the sins of these women..but I am sure He hates my sin just as much!

i started this last week, but then broke my finger...thought about editing....or wrapping this up with a nice, neat ending....but instead we will just end on this broken note

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