(Disclaimer: the following is a true story but contains mature subject matter and may be disturbing to some readers)
Our eyes met and in a brief, half second glance, I knew she was in trouble. Car still in motion, without any thought of my own safety, I opened the door and beckoned her to come to safety. She jumped in, only to be attacked seconds later by a previously rescued girl in the seat next to her. Throwing the car into park, I leapt from my seat to separate them as they were now duking it out on the pavement. Suddenly my forehead came into contact with God only knows what. Stars floated before my eyes and I could feel a lump expanding along my hair line.
Gathering my wits, I stood and looked up and down the road. In a split second, the terrified girl was gone. I searched for hours but the opportunity to rescue her from the street was lost. It happened so quickly, I was merely a bystander in the girl on girl drama. I cried out. People stared but I did not care. She clearly communicated she wanted to be rescued, and I let her down. I was devastated.
I had been reading on Fox News just that morning about sex traffic victims that had been rescued in New Orleans. They had been brought into town to meet the higher demand that so often occurs at events like the Super Bowl. Encouraged to hear that people were making a difference, I posted a few educational posts on Facebook and determined to do whatever I could to help as well.
Truth be told, my story took place in my own suburban hometown, not New Orleans. And, the damsel in distress was not a sex traffic victim, but rather a lost, scared puppy. The dark antagonist . . . my territorial terrier.
The whole ordeal got to me though. The look in the lost dog’s eyes would not leave me. They haunted me as I tried to get my Saturday chores done, sending me out again and again, leash in hand, to walk up and down the road searching for her. I imagined her huddled beneath a bush, cold and scared . . . or worse, a victim of the busy street.
Finally letting go and allowing myself a much needed shower, I cringed when my hand brushed up against my forehead. The bump was in full form now and too tender to even approach with shampoo. I allowed myself a few tears for the mangy mutt that stole my heart.
“God, why? Why would you allow me to grab her, only to have her run? Where IS she? Please let me know she is safe. ” As I often do when I pray in the shower, I leaned forward to press my forehead against the tile, only to have the tiny, tender lump send me recoiling back. “Ouch! God, seriously? Why?”
And then, as only can happen when you’re truly broken before the Lord, He answered, “The girls in New Orleans."
If I was upset before, I was now crushed beyond what I could bare. The eyes of that sad, scared pooch and my irrational, instant decision to risk all to reach out to her. The pain I was feeling for one small hit when sex trafficked girls get viciously beaten regularly. God took this whole puppy interlude to show me His love for these girls. To remind me how desperate and scared they are. How he wants us to care. To take action. To reach out. To pray!
Before my brief dog encounter, I had planned to be involved in spiritual warfare all weekend. In typical ‘busy Lori’ fashion, got distracted by a messy basement and was only half-heartedly praying for the 2013 Super Bowl city and all the darkness surrounding it.
But, He used the heart-wrenching eyes of a stray to compel me to truly intercede in prayer.
Please join me! Pray for the victims, those who are out trying to rescue them, and lastly, pray for the men who drive the demand. Jesus died for them too.
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