A survivor was signing books about some of her experiences; I couldn’t introduce myself to her. I was already crying uncontrollably. The museum is designed so that the main hall into which one enters looks like a railroad station. It is steel and glass and cement and provocative in its simplicity.
Etched into a black granite wall is a verse from the book of Isaiah: YOU ARE MY WITNESSES.
It is haunting. It is taunting.
We are witnesses to the kindness of the world. We are witnesses to the unkindness of the world.
And is being a witness enough or are we called to do more? To speak more? To ask for more of ourselves and of others?
I am working with some amazing people to end human trafficking.
Our work is basically the same work as that of the resistance in World War II: we are working to release prisoners who are in bondage due to their gender or socioeconomic status.
We will not accept or tolerate the genocide of vulnerable women and of children.
We are gathering people to talk about the issue, to pray for those who are being used and killed and manipulated and abused and harmed, to sponsor children so they can receive an education and be free to be a child,and to sponsor positions in a safe house so women can be taken out of the sex trafficking slavery and given hope and rest and food and medical treatment.
As I sat on the steps under this taunting verse, in the presence of a survivor, I felt like the living link between the slaughter of the Jews and the slaughter of women and girls.
Later I opened my email and here are the quotations of encouragement that offered me hope:
At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.
The most compassionate and helpful thing we can do is to make room for our own hurt
so that we do not have to look away when we see it in the eyes of another.
Today, I pray for courage to persist. If there has to be pain,
let me accept it now, get on with it, and through with it.
~Days of Healing, Days of Joy
be bold. be brave. be hope.