Friday, July 25, 2008
I Thank You.
Tonight I had one of those conversations that leave you feeling so helpless. It has been wonderful, sad, eye-opening, and humbling to learn more about Gadese everyday. When we first got back from Africa, she was a stranger more or less living in my house. A stranger that I didn't understand and that didn't understand me. We communicated more through charades and facial expressions than through words. Even without language in common, I knew she was honest, sweet and strong. What I didn't know was how beautifully tragic her life really was.
We were talking tonight about Ethiopia, her relationship with her husband and her Olympic career. She started running when she was 13. I looked at Jace and thought how small and young that really is. She was, "bought" to run. They paid her family and off she went to live in the city. She was 13. She didn't see her family for 2 years. As she told this story, I couldn't help but to again think of Jace. I told her (almost out of judgment of her family)"If someone came knocking on my door to, "buy" Jace, I would show them the exit." She looked at me astonished. She said, "I was 13, my parents were going to marry me off, I was fortunate to leave. Look at Faith(7), she would most likely already have been married off. And McKayley(9) definitely." I sat there my heart was pierced. I knew child brides are a reality. You hear of it in a lot of countries. I guess I am completely unaware of how rampant child marriage(rape)really is. Then it occurred to me, I was judging her parents for selling her to run when in fact it saved her from something much worse. Again, I'm left thinking,"What can be done?"
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Lord, I thank you for opening my eyes. I thank you for Gadese. I thank you.