Last night a friend and I went to Madrid to see Les Miserables in Madrid. It didn't show in English until 10 PM so I had been waiting for a girl's night out. Our plan was to drive to the edge of Madrid and park at a metro station, take the metro into the middle of Madrid, see the movie, and repeat plan towards home.
We had the address of the Metro station and a trusty GPS. We decided to go to Madrid early so we could have time to walk around and not stress over a late train or something. Thank goodness we made that decision!
We got to where the GPS said the Villaverde Metro Station was located, but it was just a big open field. We could tell where the train tracks were, but not the station. Deciding to try again we made a left turn. And immediately both of our worlds were rocked!
Right in front of us was a prostitute. Oh yeah, I've seen one before, but this was different. We saw her being picked up. We drove down a little further and realized we were must be in "their area." There were ladies on every corner and every few hundred feet.
We finally found the train station, made it to Madrid with time for ice cream and to share a burrito before the movie, and watched a fabulous movie! Then we took the train back to our car.
It was now 1:30 AM and we both wondered how life in that area would have changed by that hour. So we drove back by. (Don't worry mom, we were safe!) Our hearts broke. Our worlds were rocked. We were almost speechless.
Our hearts broke for these ladies. What drives a woman to this point of desperation? I read the news and understand about human trafficking, so we assumed that was a possible explanation. Although I cannot literally imagine it, I can also perhaps understand being so desperate for money for food or housing that they see this choice as their only option.
The other question we asked is how many of these women think so little of themselves that they think this life style is all they are worthy of? What causes a woman to see herself in such a way that she thinks she deserves this? The only answer we came to was they were never taught how God sees them.
My heart broke for these ladies. I left thanking God for the father I had that showed me how God saw me. I thanked God for a husband who showed our daughter the true love of a father. I repeatedly kept saying "there but by the grace of God."
I also left wondering what might God have me do with these images?
Prostitution is legal in Spain. It doesn't happen only in dark alleys. It happens on public, major streets. Where does these women go when morning comes? Do they have homes or families or do they sleep in a park? Are there children somewhere?
The experience was nothing like what you see on TV or in the movies. There was nothing glitzy or exciting. It was dark and depressing. It was incredibly sad.
I won't too quickly forget what I saw and I just pray that each of those women we passed last night might one day see their value as a woman, created in the image of God, who sees who they were created to be, and said "and it was good."