Rescue: How do I describe it?

Michele Armstrong December 6, 2018 0
Rescue: How do I describe it?

Ever since the morning after the Christmas party, I have been processing–taking in these last 10 days and trying to run them through all the different channels of my heart. And what I realize is this:  I’m beautifully destroyed. And it is a good thing. But to try to make others grasp what I saw, what I feel, what I understand, now will be impossible.

Even when thinking about writing during the last couple of days, I simply couldn’t. It seemed there were millions of thoughts, millions of emotions, millions of pieces of data racing through the highways of my brain, crashing here and flowing there. I was on sensory overload, and the thought of trying to streamline it all into one continuous path of logical information was overwhelming. But when you’re dealing with Jesus and his crazy love for humanity, it’s completely illogical. It’s insanity. And that’s what I’m trying to describe.

How do I make you, the reader, understand the sounds as I walked in “Soi 8”–the blaring music, the calls of the girls, the laughter and boisterous bellows of the men; or the smells of sweet perfume mixed with sewer vapors and street food and dirty streets? How do I make you see the beauty of prostituted outcast girls who are hated by their culture, sold by their mamasans, and groped, raped and abused the men?

How do I make you feel nauseated at the sight of a young girl being fondled by a man though she’s obviously new to the trade and awkward in her role of trying to be sexually suggestive because really, she should be at home playing with dolls? How do I make you feel the hugs and kisses and pure, gentle caresses of girls who in spite of the fact that the only touch they have known has been abusive and sexual, just want to touch you in desperate appreciation for the fact that you want nothing from them? Their hugs envelop you so tightly and their kisses linger so softly on your cheek because they don’t want to ever let go, and they hold your hand as you walk, like a little girl with her mother or sister. And they utter, “I love you” over and over again, though you are a stranger.

How do I describe to you the squeals of laughter as they play limbo and musical chairs at a party–the one moment they can recall what it was like to be little–before they were ravaged and robbed of their innocence? How do I make you hear the room erupt with screams of delight as you pull out a trash bag full of stuffed animals and wallets and makeup kits and they realize they will soon be the recipient of one of those simple gifts?  How do I wreck your heart the way mine was when I saw 40-year-old women react to a stuffed otter or duck or pink pig like it was a live puppy, caressing it, hugging it and proudly snapping selfies with it? It’s as though they are stuck in a time warp, a child’s mind in a woman’s body, stunted in their maturity at the moment the trauma all began.

How do I make your heart gush with love and compassion for a lady-boy as you watch him groom and care for his new stuffed Guinea pig, and you think about what his body and mind and heart have been through, and you know that half of all of those like him will commit suicide? You watch him laugh and play like he is one of the girls, but you and he both know he’s not, but there is no way you would leave him out of this party because he needs it as much as any girl there.

How do I make you marvel at the warrior spirit of a rescued girl as she invades a bar and attempts to rescue her comrades? She was once there, and now she knows how hope feels, and she wants them all to know it also. She relentlessly pursues until whole bars are cleared out because these girls are going to a party. And there may not be enough tables or enough food at that party, but she doesn’t care. This is her chance to show them a way out, and she’s not going to waste that chance. But Jesus knows how to throw a party, and he’s used to multiplying the resources at these sorts of parties anyway.

How do I make you understand the joy you feel when you return to the brothels the day after the party, and in the midst of the chaos and loud clamor you hear someone call your name, and you look around and it’s “your girls,”  and in spite of everything going on around you, you run down the street to their open arms waiting to hug you? They act as if they have known you all their lives, and they are overjoyed at the sight of you. And the feeling is very mutual.

Do you see it now? Do you feel it? Do you understand it? Of course you don’t. I’m not even sure I do, and I saw it first-hand. I struggle to grasp it all. But I wanted to at least attempt to bring you into my mind and paint you a very raw picture. A picture of what Jesus sees. A picture of his children and their hurts. A picture that he wants changed. A picture of His great love for those trapped in this mess.

And that’s what I mean when I say I’ve been beautifully destroyed. I’m in pieces right now. Destroyed by the love I have for these people. Destroyed, knowing there’s so much more to do. Destroyed in trying to reason that somehow I miss them and I’ve only been gone 2 days now. Christmas, and the incredible story of Jesus will be so much sweeter now, I can assure you.

And it’s beautiful because I know only Jesus could do this kind of work in my heart, and make me feel all of this for complete strangers in a city on the other side of the world. And so, continue to destroy me, sweet Jesus. Because it makes me more like you. And that is a beautiful thing.



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