A common prayer I've heard in church asks God to break our hearts for what breaks His. The prayer asks that we see what's really happening to the people around us, and that we feel compassion to act on their behalf. Here's the flip side- when you ask God to break your heart for the ones forgotten, your heart will break. Are you ready for that?
The past three weeks' blog posts have been easy to write. It's not that I haven't read or heard horrible things, but something has changed in the past week and a half. This is hard work. Reading affidavit after affidavit of abuse and trafficking is hard. When I'm in church and they ask who we want to lift up in prayer, I think of all the women and men who come through our office- who can't sleep, are dealing with depression and anxiety, some of whom don't yet feel safe driving to our office or fear they'll encounter their abuser. Earlier this week, I sat in on a credible fear interview for someone seeking asylum. This man's mother, father, and uncle were all killed by gangs, and he was kidnapped for ransom. Today I translated the affidavit of a young woman who was abused by her husband for years, but the police never did anything because she doesn't speak English.
We had a training this week for attorneys at Kilpatrick Townsend. GAIN partners with firms across the city to pair volunteer attorneys with pro bono cases. This model allows us to involve the legal community and help as many people as possible. In the coming weeks and months, GAIN will pair these attorneys with cases of their own.
I hope our attorneys' hearts are broken by their cases. When their hearts are broken, they can talk to friends, rally to help individuals, and change policies. I hope that police officers' hearts are broken. When their hearts are broken, it will cause them to take a second look at a woman who doesn't speak English. I hope that pastors', priests', ministers', rabbis', and imams' hearts are broken. When their hearts are broken, they can lead their congregations to support these individuals and their families, and create more support for them in the community.
Yes, my heart was broken this week, but it doesn't make me stop my work. This woman's abuser said that no one would help her because she only speaks Spanish. It's time to prove him wrong.