There was this one day a few years ago. This one random day. My husband and I went to a restaurant (loosely defined), late in the afternoon, that's been around for decades which was a place we went on our first date. We'd been married for 10 years or so. We sat in a booth with torn pleather and the requisite linoleum-that-looks-like-dark-wood table. A few booths away we noticed a... group. Not a family. It was too obvious.
There was a woman and man who looked like they were together, maybe married but maybe not. There was a young girl with them - 13? 14 at the most? and a friend of hers, neither of whom looked anything like the adults. We both got the sense that something was terribly wrong, especially given the slightly racy attire of the girls and comparatively slovenly dress of the adults who were more interested in their food than the children.
The girls went to the restroom, and suddenly I felt desperate. I wanted to rescue them. Was I right? Was the Holy Spirit trying to prompt me? I did nothing. I sat in my booth and drank my water. I think we had food, but I can't tell you what it was.
I got up to use the restroom and it was occupied. I waited. The door opened and the two girls emerged, looking slightly more polished than before and ready for adventure. My heart leaped out of my chest - should I have said something? I did nothing. I stood there with my mouth open and eyes fixed as they passed me, oblivious.
I never forgot that moment, those girls, or that place. I have prayed since then, and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as I petitioned for their lives. It's not so unlike many prayers in which I may never know how or when God honors them.
And yet, a black sticky film forms in my stomach when I hear about the fact that sex trafficking is still going on in America. And yes, here - in Denver. It's disgusting and highly profitable and must. Be. Stopped. Our mothers and sisters and daughters deserve redemption and the knowledge that the life they are in is not what God promises for them, nor is it all that is possible for them.
A recent article in the Denver Post on Sex trafficking in Denver highlights its prevalence, and I'm glad to know someone is paying attention to this.
I may never know the fate of those two girls or why I felt compelled to pray for them. But then, it's really not about me.