Unfortunately there’s often a deep, wide abyss between good intentions and concrete action. (from The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen)
I wonder about the deep, wide abyss between good intentions and concrete action, and how many of them leapt across it. (from The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen)
You see families on the news devastated by tornadoes, and maybe you jot down the address for where to send collections to help. But do you send anything? You read an article about children living in garbage heaps in Central America and you cry for them, your heart breaks. But do you decide to take the leap and sponsor one of them? You know a friend is going through a tough time and you plan to give her a call when you have a minute. Does that minute ever come?
It’s hard. You have great intentions, but leaping that abyss is so hard. To sponsor a child or send aid to disaster victims costs money that may not be in your family’s budget. To call a friend or send a card or email takes time out of a busy life. Everything costs you something. Nothing that helps just happens.
I am the world’s worst. My biggest abyss is the post office. I am so lazy when it comes to the post office. I don’t want to go there. I’ve never yet found the magical time when the lines aren’t outrageously long. I don’t want to drag my son in. I don’t have quarters for the parking meter. I am uncomfortable with the whole process–are you supposed to have everything packaged and ready at home or do you use the boxes they have there? If I send a favorite cereal box to a friend living in a country that doesn’t have that kind, will there be some sort of restriction I’m not aware of? My excuses about going to the post office could go on and on. This is why family members get Christmas gifts late even though I am typically finished buying/making stuff at least a month before Christmas. This is why I eventually used a baby gift I had intended to send to a cousin for my own child after two years. Two years! I mean, after a while, it just seemed silly to send it so it went in the closet until I had a baby of my own. I don’t attempt to send baby gifts anymore unless they ship directly from Amazon.com or are gift cards.
But today I am going to attempt to leap the abyss and send a card. I saw a request on facebook via Traffick911, a Texas based group devoted to rescuing women and children from sex trafficking. They have a young girl they have been helping after her rescue from domestic minor sex trafficking. This was their facebook post today:
Our girl who was admitted to the psych hospital called over the weekend. She is doing better and has little memory of what happened leading up to the hospital. She said she is being tortured by the flashbacks. She also said she can’t believe we all still love her and want to help. Let’s show her how much we believe in her. Send your note of encouragement or small gift to:
P.O. Box 11821
Fort Worth, TX 76110
Please share this post, so others will know to encourage her. A gift might include a small stuffed animal, an inspirational book or CD, a plaque with an encouraging saying, or something along those lines.
I love the work of groups like Traffick911. I still can hardly believe that modern day slavery exists and is tolerated on the scale that it is. Do you know that there are more slaves in the world now than at any other time in history? Isn’t that disgusting? I try to buy products that are slave-free, but sometimes you don’t know. I try to get the word out, to spread awareness of the problem of the sex trade in the United States, but sometimes people don’t listen. I try to buy Christmas gifts from organizations that sell items handmade by rescued girls in India and Nepal, but I can’t afford to buy all of them. But this is something I can do. I can write a card to a girl who is tortured by flashbacks. I can say, “I believe in you. You will get through this. It wasn’t your fault. I don’t know you but I know there is hope for you.” I can do that. I just have to go to the post office. And if she can take the long journey from the enslaved life to the life set free, if she can start from scratch and find a way to live and try to forget, surely I can put a couple of quarters in the parking meter, take my toddler by the hand, and walk my privileged pregnant self into the post office to deliver a few lines of hope and love.
If you feel for girls like this, could you do the same? Maybe, if you’re an actual adult (unlike me) who has stamps in the house already, you could send a note without even leaving your house.