Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Third World Woman

She is 19. She lives in Africa.

One year younger than my oldest daughter. Both are smart and beautiful but that would be all that they have in common. They're world's apart and the gap is wide.

Her hand touches mine. She wants to talk. My immediate thought is she wants to tell me about her little boy, like any other doting mother. I was wrong.

Her question for me was heavy and cut me to the core. It was not said for reaction or for drama. She just wanted help for a world wide problem...

Can you tell me how to help girls in my country not get raped by their fathers, brothers, uncles and nephews?

I'm no stranger to questions from young mothers but they usually are more simple in nature...

Can you help me with my baby? Can you tell what to do about this diaper rash? Can you tell me when I should start potty training my daughter?

Those are the questions from my world. But I had left suburbia. I was now sitting in a mud shelter in the third world. Where the questions are not simple and the answers seem impossible to find. I awkwardly searched my mind for something to say but my mind immediately went to the size of the problem and the size of the continent that I was sitting on. I knew that she was not the first woman to ask this question, but she was the first woman that asked me.

I had to tell her that I didn't have the answer, but He does and that He loved her so much. We prayed, we cried and we embraced. And now my heart holds her suffering.

She's just a typical woman that wants an answer for her suffering. Don't we all want to know why God allows the tough stuff to happen. Why babies die, why cancer strikes the good people and why children are abused?

When I left this young girl, Satan wanted me to feel discouraged and hopeless...as I have felt before while in Africa. I did not. My immediate thought was I can't change the world, but I can help one woman. One woman who wasn't asking to help herself. She wanted to know how to help other girls. She knows the Lord, she reads her Bible and she prays.

She is now my friend, and she's a third world woman...