It was a normal week. I felt as if progress was being made inside my heart a bit. No major problems in my classes. Things progressing smoothly enough. It's payday. I had bread from the bread shop today.
Last class of the week. 3 students.
We learned about the difference between -ing adjectives and -ed adjectives (this is a very confusing issue in this country. I can't even count how many times I've had people declare "I was really interesting." when they really wanted to say "I was really interested.")
We had chapel time. We sang "God is so good." and read Psalm 100. Talking about being thankful and how that can change your heart.
Then it was tea time and free talking.
And that's when everything suddenly changes. One minute you are smiling and joking around, and the next answer you hear to the standard question "How was your month?" (we hadn't seen this student in a month...) is
"It was a nightmare."
And as best she could, in the English she had, she told us about her nightmare. She was just married last year. And now she was the victim of domestic violence. She told us how her husband attacked her. She told us how she ran away. She showed us the bruises left on her arm. She told us about meeting with lawyers and police officers.
She remembered to correct herself when she used the -ing adjectives instead of -ed ones.
She has to borrow her sisters clothes right now because she's afraid to go back to her house. But she remembered to bring her English textbook with her when she fled.
So quickly the atmosphere in the room changed. Laughter and joking were subdued. The speech one student was eagerly waiting to give was forgotten.
Only stunned silence was left as we listened to her speak.
The shock echoed deep inside me.
What do you do when you listen to things like this? How are you supposed to react?
She was supposed to be a happy newlywed. Now she is bruised and wondering if her husband will become a stalker. He was supposed to be the man who loved her. Now he is the man who frightens her.
How deep of a betrayal!
I can't even imagine.
I don't want to imagine.
What was she thinking as we were singing "God is so good"? How did she feel when I was talking about my silly struggles of negative thinking etc? How much was she hurting, and we didn't know at all?
But God is good. This girl has been a student at this school for years and years. She was the student of the girl I came to Japan with almost 8 years ago. And God brought her to this place. She felt safe enough to come a week after she had been beaten. She felt safe enough to share a story that most would hide. She felt attached enough that as she is fleeing her home, she grabs her English textbook.
I'm glad she could do that. I'm thankful for all the years she has been learning and hearing about God. I'm thankful for all the missionaries that have been placed in her life.
But her situation is still so unbelievably sad. On the way home, I literally felt sick. I was wondering if I was going to throw up at one point. And she's not the only one.
All my petty complaints are nothing. I grew up in a home where I knew I was loved. Sure we fought, but I was never abused. I was aware of a close friend that she might be verbally and physically abused by family members, but I was too young or too callous to really empathize. I had never allowed it to impact me. Violence on tv or in books was removed and unreal. I knew in my head these things exist, but it never impacted me emotionally.
But this is real. This is in your face. This is sick-to-your-somach kind of real.
This is consequences of a broken world.
It's so unbelievably sad.
When Jesus wept for Jerusalem, didn't he also weep for her? Wouldn't the pain of knowing every persons hurt and unfairness and sorrow be infinitely worse than a mere death by torture? Isn't this what Jesus gave his life to overcome?
Jesus, please send your healing. Please rescue her and hold her close to you, so she never doubts your love and goodness.
Jesus, thank you for allowing your heart to break when we break.
God is so good,God is so goodGod is so good,He's so good to me.He answers prayerHe answers prayerHe answers prayer,He's so good to me.I love him soI love him soI love him soHe's so good to me.