At the Child Development Foundation I work with girls and women who've been abused and exploited in some fashion. And one of the myths about those who are being prostituted is that "they enjoy it or they wouldn't do it". I cannot imagine anyone who would take delight in being used, violated, and demeaned day after day. A woman being sexually exploited may be the one smiling and laughing to court her customers but that doesn't mean that she is not torn up and grieving her situation in life.
Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and rejoicing may end in grief.
The clown in the photo is standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. She seemed to be happy. I sure was happy and absolutely filled with gratitude for each and every moment of our time in Paris. I didn't ask this street performer if she was genuinely happy. But, never again will I assume that a smile and a laugh are sign of a joy-filled life.
May we let go of whatever mask we are wearing...
and may we find wholeness and compassion in Him.
And may those being exploited discover a way of escape
and find safety and comfort in His loving arms.