|Photo credit to Adam Croh, "Walking on the Snow"|
I didn't see that she was crying.
It was the ripped fishnet stockings that grabbed my attention. The stumbling young girl in a black mini skirt navigated the slippery snowy sidewalk in heels. A large grapefruit-sized hole bared her right thigh to the freezing morning air.
It was odd to see anyone out this early on quiet city streets, much less beside two sprawling college campuses at seven am on Saturday.
She pulled her thin black sweater tight around her, swiping at her eyes. Then I saw the tears, the red face, and the tall messy bed-hair in back. Wearing no winter jacket and slipping on the icy sidewalk in her heels, she moaned a bit, and then wiped angrily at her face again.
A young girl with signs of possible violence and distress on a freezing winter morning? Something wasn't right.
I hurriedly pulled my car into a side alley, and approached her cautiously, gingerly, not wishing to scare her.
"Hey, are you okay? Do you need help?" I asked gently, speaking from several yards away in an effort to give her space.
"No, I'm fine," she muttered angrily.
"You don't look okay," I stated softly, respectfully. "Do you need help? Want a ride anywhere? Do you need to talk to the police?"
"No, I'm fine. It's not far. I'm just going over there," she pointed across a sports field to some buildings and walked on, clearly avoiding conversation.
Worried for her, I stood there helplessly as she strode across the street, and down the sidewalk out of sight. The cold air bit into me until I pulled out my keys and headed back to the car.
My heart and body shaking, I drove away, praying and aching for this mysterious young woman in ripped fishnet stockings.
Not every woman in distress is as obvious. Some of them mask it behind dull eyes, heavy make up, and tight t-shirts. Anti-human trafficking organizations report that more than 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, and that American rest areas, gas stations, and truck stops bristle with the forced prostitution.
You and me? We can help in surprisingly easy ways.
This week, as you pack up your families and pies, please take a minute to click print, will you? With your printer and some black ink, you can help fight human trafficking.
Over the river, and through the woods? Print out some posters with the helpful anonymous tip-line and stop in a few road-side rest areas and gas stations, will you? Slipping into the bathroom stalls, tape up posters on as many bathroom doors as you can.
Fishnet stockings, Thanksgiving green bean casseroles, and these chances to be a hero and save some underage teens (like this man did!). Rescue them? Give them a reason to be thankful too.
Want to read more about this? Check out: (or just click print with me?)
- "Calls in the Dark"
- "Cookies, Milkshakes and Hero Truck Drivers"
- "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
- "Turkey Travelers: Heroes in Disguise"
- "How to Save a Girl Over Breakfast"
- "Of Brothels and Cameras"
Thank you, friends. I am so thankful for you, for these chances to get to know you through your blogs or comments, or to have you peek into my heart, and for us to get to chase after God together. Happy Thanksgiving from me to you.