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Whisper in the Night

She came to our home after dark. She didn’t know where else to go and so she timidly applauded at the door. I answered the door and I saw a thin frame behind the night's shadows. Her weak voice made me instantly aware there was a problem. “Simone?”

“Si,” she whispered, almost embarrassed.

I asked her to come in and tell me what was going on. She was shaking as she told me that her husband and beat her because she had bought a small bottle of coke to drink with her daughter. She asked if she could stay the night, because he was surely still raging. It was the fourth time this year that he’d laid his hands on her delicate body. She was filthy and it tooked like she hadn’t showered in a week. She has no tooth in front; she’s been toothless ever since we met three years ago. Now, her protruding feature wasn’t her missing tooth, it was her black eye.

Her husband and mine work out together and are on the same adventure racing team. She thought of us because we’ve showed them kindness in the past. She hadn't eaten since lunch, so we gave her some food and clean clothes for a shower. We listened to her, prayed with her and told her we’d help. Our house is very small and we don’t have a guest room, however we pulled out our old futon and she crashed instantly to sleep. Suddenly my house size didn’t matter. What mattered is that she was in a safe place.

My heart breaks for the many abused women who suffer in silent shame. A newcomer to our church was killed four years ago by her brutally violent husband. She confided in a few other women that she believed he would kill her, but no one did anything. She came to seek help and we failed her. I vowed I’d never let that happen again.

In Paraguay these women have no place to go. They are whispering in the night and no one is listening. I plan to change that. I don’t know where or when, but I believe God will guide and provide a safe haven for women with no hope. Lord willing, I can be a link to help fill that need for the thousands of Simone’s out there.

“Jesus, give us compassion to reach out to women who are broken, beaten and downcast. Show us how we can serve those without a voice...the street children, the poor, orphans, and women. Wipe away their tears and wrap your loving arms around them. Fill them with courage to speak out and help the Church to stand up to end the injustices against the oppressed. Your word tells us that, ‘the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,’ and I thank you for that promise. Please draw Simone unto yourself, Father. May she cling to you and may she always feel safe in your grip. Please break the violent cycle that her husband, who saw his father abusing his mother, is passing on to his two sons. Help us to hear the whisper in the night.” Amen.


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