It is on my mind like the impending labour pains for a mother to be. Sleep does not soothe, movement does not relieve; one never really gets away from the reality that something significant is happening just beyond our reach. We are in labour today for freedom on this glorious Sunday, 09 March, 2014. I wonder if we should cheer or weep?
Our family has been celebrating freedom all weekend. At least we have been living in the warmth of its embrace. With a gaggle of girls packed into a van, we drove to Bratislava, Slovakia yesterday so that they could play their hearts out in a basketball tournament. Never mind the positive aspects of sports, there were adults all over that Communist-era school making sure that light bulbs worked, that bathrooms had toilet paper, that games ran according to schedule. The house was filled with adults watching over, providing for, protecting girls and nobody had to think about guarding our babies against pimps who would steal their soul and devour their bodies like a McDonald’s drive-thru.
I am not saying that there were not girls there who are not at risk. I am saying that yesterday, there were adults making sure that nobody was vulnerable. And, that is cause for rejoicing.
Freedom Sunday on this glorious 9th of March, 2014 is cause for celebration because awareness is being birthed. The bride of Christ is in labour pains today for souls that are so vulnerably, hideously exposed to the seedy side of passion. Celebrate!
My fear is, that once today passes into yesterday, the blogs fade, the Facebook posts move on, the Sunday sermon is filed, and we forget that Freedom Sunday is about awareness but Monday is about life. Not your life. Not my life. The life of a vulnerable girl who has nobody to fight for her freedom. Celebrating a Sunday is absolutely pointless unless you are willing to fight on Monday.
Rise up, Church.
By 2005, I was writing about the issue of prostitution because it was a constant part of our landscape. Girls on the Ring Road in Sofia staying warm with tire fires at night and flagging cars by day. Who does not see? Who does not know? Sometimes labour lasts through a long, painful night but, morning eventually comes. Morning is here. Put on your Sunday celebration this glorious 09 March, 2014. We need that. But, add this blog to your feed, share this blog with friends, pass by here again tonight. When the dishes are done and the evening beckons you to relax, check in and let’s talk about the dirty, thankless, tireless, back-breaking, confusing work that comes with the Monday after Freedom Sunday.
I leave you now with an excerpt from 2005. The rest of the story will be printed tonight, after Freedom Sunday begins to fade. If you want to talk about life after labour, I will be here on Monday, waiting…
In the Footsteps of a Prostituted Girl. Her screams tore through the night pulling us from the peace of our dreams and like dominoes down a corridor, blurry eyes peered around doors to encounter a woman deposited in the middle of the hotel’s corridor, like someone’s bag of trash. She glared back at us from a defiantly misplaced heap.
“What is wrong?” I muttered sleepily.
“They took my shoe.” came the reply.
Sleep cloaked my brain in a thick fog as I strained to put pieces of a puzzle together. I looked down the corridor at several sheet tussled but familiar heads belonging to a team of Americans who had come to Bulgaria to lay the foundation of a church. There was a doctor, a retired editor of a popular magazine, a plumber, and a builder.
Instinctively, I knew that if I closed the door and returned to the warmth of my bed, if I left her sitting there in a shoe-less heap in the corridor, one of them would attempt to help her.
I glanced down at my grey, flannel long johns. For a woman who loves fashion, this was not my apex. My feet protested against the cold hotel floor. There in the doorway of my room, staring at a prostitute in a heap on the floor, the warmth of my bed beckoned my return and I found myself wavering.
Glancing down the hallway again confirmed that the heads were still waiting. The prostitute evidently intended to stay put. I was the only head who spoke Bulgarian and somebody had to do something to right the situation.
Moments later, I had managed to locate a sweatshirt and socks, and I was feebly attempting to kick my sluggish mental faculties into gear in order to explain our situation to the desk clerk. What Bulgarian words could I string together to say,
“Excuse me but there is a shoeless prostitute sitting in the middle of our corridor”? Could you help her please?”
~ by Teanna Sunberg / Montana, Bulgaria 2005
I will see you here tonight for the next part of the story …