Piercing through the laughter of a field full of Haitian children was the heart wrenching cry of a ten year old girl being beaten with a leather strap by a family member.
Make no mistake, this story is about the courage of two young girls, that until that moment, had never met but whose stories are now incomplete without each other.
What started with screaming, ended in nails that now match the hue of her dress. Nails painted as a result of moving past fear to make a difference in the life of another.
I was recently in Haiti with an amazing group of innovated internet business leaders exploring the needs of the country and what they can do to use their talents to make a difference. While filming a video in an open field with 75 Haitian Children, our work was interrupted by the screams of a little girl in a pink dress and the violent sound of the leather strap penetrating her skin.
Without thinking, I dropped my camera and ran to one of the CPR-3 Missionaries working in the country, they stood frozen, as we all were. The girl in the pink dress was about one hundred yards away from me and was violently trying to free herself from the strong hand of her captor and escaping the lashes being applied by a leather strap. My mind ran in a hundred directions. I know this needed to be stopped, but questions of cultural sensitivity, and the possible ramifications on us and the girl if I intervened all the while hearing her scream and move to avoid more injuries. I knew I need to act. Heart pounding, but resolve secure, I began to walk quickly and then run to the scene of this injustice.
Someone needed to step up, and I know God was asking me to act. About 30 yards from the man, I began screaming, “stop, stop, you must stop.” Without flinching, the attacker continued his seemingly uncontrolled torture of the girl in the pink dress. I increased my speed and the volume of my cries, but still nothing. Now as I stood right beside the man, I reached out and placed my hand on his strong shoulders, and with that touch, he dropped the strap and let go of his captor.
As the girl ran away, I tried to reason with the man through words that were not understood due to his inability to understand English but were comprehended through the tone of my voice and the fire in my eyes.
Not seeing exactly where the girl in the pink dress ran, I stood with the man until he began walking away in a different direction than the girl.
I went back to locate my camera and get back to work on the video shoot. After about 10 minutes, my eyes located the girl in the pink dress in the same corner of the field where she had been violated. As a part of the team, was a 9 year old girl from Las Vegas that had accompanied her father on this trip. Walking over to her, I asked if she had seen what had happened to the girl in the pink dress, to which she softly replied, “yes”. I then asked if she wanted to go and meet the girl, there was no hesitation in her reply, she looked me straight in the eyes and said “yes”. After grabbing a bottle of pink fingernail polish, we started to walk. What happened next brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart.
We walked in silence the one hundred yards to the girl in the pink dress, as soon as we approached, Maile (the girl from Las Vegas) looked the girl in the pink dress straight in the eye and said, “I saw what happened to you, I am sorry, would it be okay if I painted your fingernails to match your dress?”. I was blown away, none of those comments were prompted by me, they just arose in the heart of one little girl to another, from one human being who saw injustice and said, “I need to do something!”.
What started as a simple act of obedience from me, stepping in and stopping an injustice, fueled the courage of a little American girl to do what she could to help a friend she saw that was hurting. What is God calling you to do in obedience to Him… it too might fuel someone’s courage to do what they know is right.
After painting the girl in the pink dresses nails, she walked with Maile and I over to the rest of the kids who were playing in the field. The courage of Maile was now translated to the girl in the pink dress. She was now able to see the love of Christ exhibited the actions of the rest of our team.
I will never forget the day that injustice wore pink and Christ’s love was exhibited through pink fingernail polish.