The fans whir and the sounds of the city drift through the window. Two little heads are bent close over brand new sticker books.
“I’ll trade you my blue butterfly sticker for a yellow butterfly,” the older one says. “After, do you want to colour?”
They are so sweet, so innocent. They chat quietly as they close their books and pull out crayons and paper. Soon, they are immersed in a world of colourful, abstract drawings.
I sit on the couch listening to their soft voices as I read the news. Far away, on the other side of the world, little girls are being sold for $172 USD. And women and young girls are being handed out as prizes for memorizing the Koran. My stomach twists sick and I push back the anger that demands a voice. This evil—I can’t fathom.
My daughters have packed up their crayons now. One is dancing while the other plays the harmonica.
This is what childhood should look like.
I feel guilty, sitting here watching my children play happily while so many other mothers and little girls face unimaginable horrors every day.
I don’t feel guilty for being safe. I feel guilty for being helpless. What can I do?
So I pray.
Fervent, passionate thought-prayers. God, save them—the women, the girls, the men that are selling them. Save them. Save this world from the evil that threatens to overwhelm. You’re bigger. Save them.
There are those who fight on the front lines. There are those who come behind them bringing aid. And there are those who stay home and fall to their knees.
The girls are working on a puzzle now—a wooden one with jungle animals.
And I am on my knees.