We met at the Torres de Serrano and they told us how it was going to work. The Women would walk in a single-file line, silent and stoic. The men would walk on both sides talking to the people we passed and telling them what it was about. We walked for about an hour. As we walked, I was aware of those around us. The men that I'd met at church, talking to the people on the street. The people that we passed, watching us. The men especially. I noticed the men.
We stopped traffic. We had a police escort. There was plenty of attention on the line of women walking the streets of Valencia. But the attention was not for appearance, for that which women usually get attention. The attention was because there were at least a hundred of us, in all black, in a line. Silent.
As we walked I felt their eyes. I heard their voices.
"What is this?"
"You think a line will change anything?"
"Long live prostitution"
We walked through a neighborhood where prostitution happens every day; they told us before that we would. But I knew we were there because I felt it-- the oppression. I found out later that there had been women there hiding as we passed, and a few men got to talk to them and tell them why we were there. They said "Thank you" They were the reason we were there.
On that street I was even more aware of the men. Two of them walked up to our line saying "Oh look, you've lined the women up for us." I don't want to be afraid. I don't want to feel powerless to protect myself. But at that moment I did. And at that moment I was grateful for the men of God that flanked us. For the man that stood next to those two and kept them from us. What a picture that was to me.
Those men were fallen. They were so far from who God created them to be. They are the men I fear, though I would deny it. They are the men I expect, because they are what the world has made them. And by the world they are applauded. They are the reason for feminism. They are the reason I long to be independent, to stand on my own two feet and be under my own authority.
But the men in black walking alongside us. Those men have chosen a different path. Those men have chosen to love and to cherish. They've chosen to speak out for the women that are not able to. They've chosen to follow a Man who lived a different sort of life; a life to serve, to build up, to fight injustice. They are men I would follow.
We walked today in silence. And as we walked, I thought of all the women and children around the world without the option of speaking up for themselves. Those whose lives consist of abuse and heartache. The belief that "no one is coming." The depression that says I am alone in my nightmare. And my heart breaks. Every one of them is a dearly beloved child of God. Every one of them was bought for a price-- the blood of my savior.
And yet I sit, day in and day out, worried about petty things, rarely giving them a thought. Why am I not in their shoes? Why are they not in mine? Why do I not do more to help them? What can I do?
Today I gave myself to them as a metaphor. I walked in silence. I stood as a picture of those who can't.
Today I gave my prayers to them.
Today I gave my feet, my legs, my back.
Today I gave my heart to them.
Today I give my everything.