Our encounter started tonight when I said, "Hey, I have a gift for you." Such a simple phrase yet so profound because, you see, this gift is not simply a gift. There is so much that goes on behind those bags full of lipgloss, candy, nail polish, encouraging notes, and everything else we choose to put inside. There is a whole world of care that is put into that gift. You see, this gift was put together with intentional planning in faith that it would spark courage, value, and a bit of hope for something more outside of the horrors that have encapsulated your life. Every step of the process, we pray that you would receive the word you need to hear that night, that the nail polish you get would be your favorite color, that the candy inside would be the exact one you are craving. We pray along the way as we drive the streets at night looking for you. We pray for your protection and fight for your human rights. This gift may be small but it means so much more.
Each night, again and again, your humanity is taken at such an unfair price. You are bought, sold, traded, and tossed out. The beauty that you were created with has been pushed beneath layers of pain, trauma, and sorrow. There is so much that needs to be given back to you. What if redemption started with a gift? The act of giving brings back your humanity for a moment, for a night. This is something just for you to enjoy as a girl - that is all. There are no strings attached and I don’t need anything from you. This is a moment for you to receive, to put a pause in the constant cycle of taking that goes on in your life. There is so much I want you to know. The sacrifice of sleep, a steady paying job, and my comfort is an honor. I choose to fight against the darkness of the world and I willingly lay down my rights to give you back yours (even if it's only a piece). I have been given the gift of freedom and I dare not spend it on selfish gain. People have taken freely from you since before you can remember - taking of your body, your dignity, and whatever else they felt the right to take. Before your voice was formed it was silenced. You did not choose the streets but yet this is where you find yourself. The laws, culture, and circumstances fight against any hope you still posses for life and life to the full. But, darling girl, there is so much more.
Once upon a time, there was a father. More than anything in the world, He loved His children. He delighted in their smiling face. Their laughs brought more warmth to His heart than the sun on His skin. He was a courageous father who loved deeper than the sea. With His words, He spun together such marvelous perfection that even He had to agree that it was good. In this perfection, He brought in human life to enjoy the beauty He’d created. Everything He did was for their enjoyment, blessing, and protection. But love is not true unless there is a choice, a way out. Instead of believing that all their father did was good, His children bought into fear and ran away. Since that day, the father has been on a wild pursuit to get His children back. He set into motion plans to redeem all that was stolen through fear. His plan involved the most heart-wrenching sacrifice that anyone could imagine - He gave His son. He gave him to the world to guide them back to the father. But for this plan to work, not only for the people in this time but for everyone who existed after, His son needed to pay the ultimate price. He freely gave His son, perfect and blameless, to be beaten and to die for the wrongdoings of all mankind. Since that moment, it was all finished. The enemy of light was defeated; now we are all free to walk into God’s presence, no longer bound to slavery. Who is this courageous father that would sacrifice everything for a people who have rejected Him again and again? He is our God and He is not just crazy in love with me, but He is crazy in love with you and pursuing your freedom every day!
You see, darling girl, you have a father, a perfect father, and He has a plan for your life. He sees the pain; He knows how deep the wounds of your heart go. The gift I give you in the night is merely a placeholder for what is to come. He is bringing the real gift and revealing it to you every moment someone pursues your freedom. Your life matters and there are incredible plans and dreams for you. Take a step closer, receive, and allow His grace to submerge you in love, healing, and redemption.
You are worth it.