There was an impetuous beauty about her movements and a coarse undertone in her voice. She dressed and acted like a sixteen year old rather than the ten year old I knew she was. She sat on my couch, one hand tugging at her blouse trying to get the too little material to cover her unformed chest. Her long thin legs crossed and uncrossed at the ankles as she voiced her frustrations with life. She cried as she talked about the man who had raped her two years before. I rubbed her back, at a loss of what else to do. Amazingly, in the midst of this I felt a ray of light seep into the otherwise dark and burdensome atmosphere. In fact, a real light was drifting through the open blind and almost seemed to reflect of the child’s blond hair causing the once lifeless strands to shimmer in the sun’s rays. It was then, as I watched something drab and unattractive transformed into something beautiful that I realized what I was holding. The lost and hurting child in my arms was in actuality a wealth of tarnished silver. Worth much to the God I serve, although in her present state she appeared to be more work than profit.
How did I end up with a fortune in tarnished silver sitting on my couch? It was a long hard journey and I was not always the best at following directions. However, the lost treasure in my soul had once caught my God’s attention and he had sought me out. Now, I was finally in the place to help him polish another jewel for his kingdom.
When I was sixteen I decided I wanted to go on the mission field. It wasn’t my original plan. All my life I had planned on two definite things: get married and have lots of kids. Now, suddenly, through some unexpected directions I was realizing a desire for something different. I wanted to tell children who had never heard that Jesus loved them… that he did, so very much.I attacked this new dream much the way I did everything else: with all I had.
Her name was “Becky” and that gap-toothed smile stole my heart the moment I saw her. The pink jacket that was carelessly slung on her shoulders was dirty and useless against he brisk winter wind. I opened the door wider to allow her and her friend into my warm living room but they didn’t come in. “We just wanted to know if we could borrow your shovel.” She asked, nodding toward the orange plastic snow shovel leaning against the porch railing. I nodded my approval and after promising to bring it back the two disappeared around the side of the house.
A year after my house had been given away I started working fulltime at Community Bank, N.A. Each day after work I would go for a walk. Oft times I would find myself wandering down the same street. It was known as the worst street in town. The “ghetto” of our tiny village. Every time I walked down that street I was amazed at the amount of children that were playing outside. The adults would sit on the porches and the kids would play on the side of the road. I smiled and waved whenever I went by and the kids always smiled back.
Helen, the ten year old girl who had been raped at eight, touched the keys on my piano and she walked by it. “Do you play?” She asked.“Yes, I do and my roommate Delite does.” I told her, waiting for a response. She didn’t disappoint me.“Will you play something?”I smiled and sat down, playing a random worship song from the stack of music.“I love that. The music makes me happy.” She said.
I was late for a birthday party. I was struggling into my tennis shoes when my dad called me. Biting back a groan I hurriedly finished and rushed down from my room on the third floor. “Yes?” I asked as I walked into the kitchen. My parents were sitting at the table.
Helen and Becky both were laying on the living room floor with me. Candy Land was in the center and they both were laughing hard because I had drawn the peppermint stick and had to go back to the beginning.Delite came through and sat down at the piano. She glanced through the music and started playing This is Life by Laura Woodley. I started singing with her. Eyes can’t see the way you hold me or how I’m hidden in your heart. Minds don’t know all that you’ve told me or how I ache for where you are…Helen jumped up from her spot on the floor and leaned over Litey’s shoulder as she continued. I come in empty and I leave filled. Bring my sickness and I leave healed. Broken hearted you mend every piece. I come in captive and I leave free…When she finished Helen sighed. “That song makes me cry.”
“Your mother and I will give you the down-payment money.” My father explained to me as we sat looking at the contract that had been drawn up. “You should be able to get the loan in just your name, especially since you work at the bank.” He laughed a little.Before I knew it I was signing papers and pestering my boss to get my loan application filed so a closing date could be set.