I’ve always loved this picture. Hard as it is. For me it conjures up the longing for comfort amidst fear, for a gentle love through the rough edges of real life. The way we desire a hiding place when we are wounded, a safe place to land when we are scared. Of resilience in the harshest of life's circumstances.
It makes me think of the beauty of young littles curling up in the safety of their mama’s snuggles. The warmth of a lonely soul finding refuge in the comfort of a true friend, who holds their sadness with them for a spell. It brings to the forefront the reality that often the world is cold and hardened, scary and very un-beautiful. And yet, amidst life's hardest circumstances, people fight. They cope. They seek safety. They come together. And they survive, however humanly possible.
And this messy-beautiful world keeps on spinning. Full of joy and triumph and goodness. And also full of cruelty and depravity and stomach turning atrocities. Full of smiles and random acts of kindness. Yet also a place where people, even children, are whisked away into underworlds where they, humans, are bought and sold. Used. Threatened. Treated as property. Where many women are still stuck, without rights, without the chance to earn their way safely to support their children . . . with no way out of their dire situations. Trapped by cycles of injustice and poverty. In need of a way out and safe place to land.
This morning as I thought about this picture, I thought about my 8 year old son. Some nights (more often than I typically enjoy!) he comes bursting into our room in the wee hours of the morning because he feels terrified and alone. Running from the darkness of his lonely room for comfort, he crashes in seeking safety in the arms of his mama. Today as I stumbled upon this simple photograph again, and as I studied that chalk mama & curled child, I thought of HOW INFINITELY MORE AMAZING it must feel to curl up in a place of true safety when the nightmare you’re running from is your real life. When you’ve been offered a secure and safe place to land after enduring the unthinkable. After you’ve been owned, mistreated, used, purchased, beaten down, forgotten, unseen. . . utterly alone.
I thought of how this simple photograph now also represents to me the formerly trafficked woman whose hand-sewn tunic I am wearing this very day. My sisters who are SAFE now. These dear fellow mamas and daughters and sisters who are healing now. FREE now. Who have a safe place to land now. And all because people, regular people like you, care enough to choose FAIR over fast, ETHICAL over price point, GOOD for all over convenient for me. How wonderful is that?! Freedom. Safety. Dignity. Fulfillment. Love. Joy. And the spark of HOPE again. YOU, my dear Do Good Shop supporters and friends, are helping create a very safe place for survivors to land. And they thank you. And so do I.