The other day as I was sitting in my apartment I was startled by hearing the loud cries of a young girl. I thought it was nothing at first but as it continued I started to get scared for the girl. She was crying and screaming… Then she started to yell out in English, “Stop, stop, stop!” I was paralyzed in fear but then the verse, “ If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” come to mind. That’s when I knew I had to find her. How could I let this young girl, crying out in my own language, be left in a threatening spot. She needed someone to help her! So I looked out the back of my apartment listening as hard as I could but I couldn’t hear or see her. I went out on my patio and tried again but the place I heard the best was inside my house. I thought it might be my neighbors but I wasn’t sure. I walked down to the guard to ask him if he knew anything… but he didn’t. I then went looking for a guy to walk the streets with me but there was no one.
I couldn’t find her. She stopped yelling and crying. What happened to that girl? Where is she now? Is she hurting or even living? Was she taken? All these questions I will probably never know the answers too…. I’m haunted by the thought that I never found her, that this young girl is suffering somewhere because I couldn’t get to her…. But then again, who am I? Can I r eally save her life? This whole situation brought me to tears in my helplessness but mostly for this young girls desperate cries with no one around to save her. I wonder how many times we are just sitting on our couches and miss out on helping those who are crying out in desperation. I walk by people begging on the streets all the time and can’t bring myself to look into their eyes because their pain is so great and I feel like I can never help enough. Will I ever be able to help enough? No, but I can do all I can now. I am challenged to search for the cries of people all around me. I know I need to listen and go, not simply listen, and not simply go, but listen and go.
Each day I have the opportunity to listen and to go. I have had to reach out to a child who hits because he saw his father hit his mother. I have had to pray with a child seeking peace because of the fear he had towards his father’s discipline. I have had to weep silently with parents who are broken for their child’s insecurities. But there are days when I just go into my classroom and teach and forget to listen. There are so many times I am so busy that I miss out on an opportunity to listen to my students and to be their advocates. He must become greater so that I become less and in doing that I can listen to other’s needs and help in any ways I can.
I named the girl I couldn’t find Carlita. I just feel like it’s more special to pray for someone by name, even if it is just a made-up name. I have no idea what happened to her. I still get teary-eyed thinking about her but I have to trust that God is in control. Although I couldn’t find her, I now know about her and am praying for her. There are many Carlita’s all around us. I just hope that when we hear Carlita’s screams we realize that we better run to find her because she needs to see God’s love right here and right now. Don’t miss an opportunity to love those in desperate need!