What I saw was real. I wish it wasn’t.
But there is no escaping the truth now; I’ve seen it and it is forever imprinted on my heart.
It’s been four weeks since I returned from India. The travel fog has lifted, and my work life has returned to its typical rhythm.
Life is normal once again—but it’s not really the same sort of normal. Because what I saw now goes with me in my working and my chatting and my errand-running. I’m no longer me; I am me plus everything I experienced in India.
I saw the places—the very rooms—where women and girls are enslaved for nightly brutalization. I met some of these young-but-old women who exist in these conditions—at least until disease and horrific treatment will take them to an early death.
If I close my eyes, I see dank walls . . . I see dungeon-like alcoves only large enough for a cot . . . I see children playing in the alleyways, just years away from being sold into the madness.
This is why my old normal doesn’t work any more.
I saw what I saw and I can’t forget it
I heard what I heard and I can’t go back
I know what I know and I can’t deny it
something on the road, cut me to the soul
your pain has changed me, your dream inspires
your face a memory, your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
and what I know of love
—“I Saw What I Saw,” Sara Groves
My new normal doesn’t feel comfortable, really. I feel awkward, bumbling.
And so I keep going back to Jesus, asking Him to help me embrace the discomfort rather than shrug it off. There are little girls in India just days, weeks, and months away from permanent enslavement. What is my discomfort compared to that?
So if I haven’t seemed like myself lately, that’s because I’m not.