We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song. ~ St. Augustine of Hippo
These words can seem so simple, but a second glance begs us to dig a little deeper into the paradox that Easter can represent. Before I met the girls of My Refuge House, I worked with a mom in Chicago who taught me much about the relationship between joy and pain, the art of being a therapist, and the power of actively witnessing a life. On a particularly reflective day, she said,
“If someone told me on the day I was born everything I would have to endure in my life, I would’ve said, “No Thanks!” …I would never wish upon myself or anyone else all that I’ve had to go through…that said, I would never have known my strength had I not endured all of that. I would’ve never known all that I have to give. I now know I can rise above anything that comes my way.”
She was a mom who had learned to loudly sing her own Alleluia, and she had a contagious energy that welcomed others to journey with her. She had become patient with the twists and turns, and she had become confident that she would stand up after every stumble and pothole. I found that my Alleluia grew louder and more confident simply from journeying with her.
This is how I experience you all….everyone who supports the girls of My Refuge House.
From our staff…to our donors…to our volunteers…to those who let us know you’re learning about trafficking and what’s needed on the journey of restoration. You walk our journey with us. You bear an active witness to the lives of our girls. In doing this, you send the message that Death, Grief, and Fear do NOT have the last word. You send the message that LOVE and JOY (the real kind) has the last word. You send the message that EASTER exists. You sing ALLELUIA! As evidenced by the incredible display of love and support at this last week’s benefit in Costa Mesa, you amplify our ALLELUIA.
We hope you also experience your own Alleluia as louder and more confident after journeying with us.
In closing, I would like to share the Easter benediction offered by Pastor Andy Schwiebert this morning,
“May you go out, present to the fear and hatred and death around you, but trusting that that is NOT the end. May you go out EXPECTING THE RESURRECTION!!