Love Differently

Do you ever feel alone? As in, lonely?

As though no one is truly there for you? Or, maybe they are, but it’s too much. It’s overbearing.

There are some people who don’t want to be bothered by someone else’s issues. 

And then…..well, there are people who make it their life’s mission to know everything, about everybody.  Both types of people can become problematic.  Most of us want to know people care about us, and are invested in our well-being, without being nosy.
It’s a VERY fine line. 

However, society has conditioned us to think “Me, my four, no more” – meaning “I worry about me. You worry about you”.  

Recently I thought about the night a few years ago when I attended the Nashville premiere for a documentary called “In Plain Sight” and my heart was absolutely broken.
I watched as girl after girl, after young girl shared their stories of being sold (some even by their own parents) into a life of sexual slavery. 
There was such similarity in their stories when it came to their feelings. 
Many felt unlovable,  lonely, alone (which are two very different things. You can be lonely when surrounded by people. You can also feel alone even when holding hands with someone) 

and like no one wanted to understand them. 

Thankfully, God sent human angels to different parts of our country – yes, this tragedy is happening everyday right here in America – who had a heart for these victims. There are now safe homes available for those who have been trapped in this life, to become who they were meant to be.

Imagine my utter shock and disbelief when an older lady sitting on my row, stood up at the end of the movie, and told everyone in the theater that she had been a victim of sex trafficking, and until a month ago, no one knew. Not one person. She shared her story, and proceeded to say how much they craved a simple hug, and for such a long time, no one hugged her – they just used, abused her, then left her. 

After everything ended, I wanted to speak to this lady, but we were separated by a sea of people. I thought I’d lost her. As I walked outside the theater, I couldn’t shake her face and words from my mind. Almost everyday, I’m hugged by someone – even if only by a child I am caring for. 

 I turned around and there she was.  
I walked up to this complete stranger and wrapped my arms around her. 

 I told her “I wanted you to be hugged by at least one person, tonight”. 

She began crying right there and told me I would never know how much that simple gesture meant to her. She shared how lonely her life had felt, for such a long time. She felt damaged.

I have news for you…

We all are. 

We are all damaged, in some way. 

Some have addictions, some have issues of infidelity,  lying, stealing, making our jobs our god…

The list could go on and on. 
The point is we all have something.

There are no perfect people. 

Next time you are walking down the street and see a man or woman on the corner, holding a sign, think about what they are going through. I guarantee you they didn’t wake up thinking “I cannot wait to stand on a street corner and beg for handouts”. I promise you no one desires that life. 
Just like these girls (the vast majority) didn’t ask or set out to be taken advantage of by others. They are people
Someone’s daughter.

Someone gave birth to that girl. 

She is someone’s sister, 

So much of the time, society tells us to all look the same. Be tall, be thin, be pretty. Let’s all be twins. 
 Instead, let’s begin to look at people differently.

The next time that annoying friend that you typically send straight to voice mail, calls

 (you know you have a friend like that!)

answer the phone. 

Take time out of your day, and listen.
Listen. Really listen. 

Let them be heard. 
More than anything, don’t allow yourself to ever forget. Don’t forget the person you read about, hear about, or even see personally who is struggling. Stop letting these things NOT affect us. They need to, or there will never be a forever change. 

Everyone is fighting some sort of battle, whether we know about it, or not. 

Let’s stop judging.  

Learn to love, differently.

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