The last time she was so stricken had a similar feel: the Austrian man who imprisoned his daughter for 24 years.
Wait! Does she detect a theme here? When was the last time a WOMAN snatched a boy to keep as a sexual slave for the rest of his life?! Yes, each man had his female accomplice, helping evil along. But the main player? The Matron is betting her money that it was the man, both cases.
But she digresses (and could not help herself).
Today, the Matron grew weary of being sucked into the vortex of the great evil that humans render to one another. She recently read Elie Wiesel's Night. Her current purse book is Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Everyday, children are brutalized at the hands of those who claim to love them. Night, indeed. Humanity is capable of incredible darkness. Jaycee Dugard, a victim to the night.
But after carrying horror all week, the Matron experienced a breakthrough. Every time fear or the memory of evil crept toward her--especially in the form of reading about evil's latest incarnation, Phillip Garrido -- the Matron imagined herself holding out a hand: stop!
She will not entertain evil any more. She understands and appreciates the magnitude of its existence. But she is choosing not to invite evil into her psyche, to allow it take up space so she can peer and mutter, admire evil's success and its current prominence.
Indeed, that very magnitude requires her to fight evil by taking another stance -- creates a moral imperative to replace evil with grace. This battle begins in one's own mind. To read more about this broken child feels not only voyeuristic, but an opportunity lost to place one's focus on nurturing love's great light.
Love's great light. Love's great light.
Just saying those words gives her a sweet dizzying chill. This is the direction she is walking.
Instead of the horror, here is hope. Love's great light can be found in Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews, the story of a group of Albanian Muslims called by their religious leaders to fight for and love each Jewish child as their own. Listen here for love's great light. See it here.
Love's great light -- the Matron read about new parents out for a walk with their ten day old baby only to witness a car crash, as the driver fell victim to a heart attack. The new parents? Both nurses, they shoved their infant into a complete stranger's hands- leaps of faith!--and worked on that man until he was breathing again. Only when the paramedics took over did their heads raise once: where is my child? Sound asleep, in some old guy's arms.
Love's great light propels us to give blood and body parts to other people -- sometimes complete strangers -- to see the authenticity and need in a child and respond in a way that is genuine and selfless. We build houses, donate food and time, give away clothes, make meals, give directions to strangers and let the bent old lady sit use the only open stall in the restroom, first (even though that last one caused the Matron considerable discomfort a couple of hours earlier!).
Love's great light is so vast that the Matron cannot think of a single moment in her day so far, in which there was no room for grace -- and more grace.
Put down the newspaper. Pet the dog's belly and listen. Hear that need around you? The children, the dog, the husband, the girlfriend, the houseplants, the kitten, the grass. Respond--give-- willingly and just like that, the world is better.
Love's great light.