When I was little, I remember I was at a packed bus stop one day, waiting to get home. A stranger, much older than I, came up to me and started talking to me. He told me I’m beautiful and I, as any kid would, thought of it as a compliment. I smiled at him and said, “thank you”. He said he really liked me and as I looked at him, I began to feel a little uncomfortable. Before I could respond, he began to touch me. I sat there in silence; confused and afraid. I tried moving away but somehow, the fear didn’t let me. Time seemed to slow down as I waited desperately for someone to look and help me out. As he slid his hands in my shorts, I begged for the bus to come; but it didn’t…
Thankfully, his did. He invited me to get in and come home with him and luckily, I had the sense to refuse. I pushed him away and ran through the crowd.
But that wasn’t the only time something like that has happened to me. Unfortunately, most of us know that incidences like these are not too rare. The only reason we don’t know about it is because most people are afraid to talk about it.
I remember another man in particular – the bus conductor, who repeatedly told me that he thought my scouts’ shorts were very ‘wah’. He’d touch me inappropriately all the time. This went on for at least 3 months until I decided not to catch the bus anymore.
Years have passed. I’m not sure how all this has affected me; I’m not sure if the choices I make now, the way I think or the people I trust have anything to do with what happened back then. But I do know this….
When I decided to stop catching the bus; when I got back home and when I went to my room, still confused and afraid, hoping to forget that it had all happened, hoping I’d never have to talk about it, there was another Man who came up to me. He sat with me, smiled at me and told me I’m beautiful. He told me that everything was going to be alright. And as He held me with His nail pierced hands, He washed my fear away. He too, told me He loves me, and it was the most comforted I’ve ever felt.
I was touched again, but in a completely different way…
“No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”