Sometimes, I just have to do something. I'm faced with the brokenness around me, and I ache to make it beautiful, instead. Maybe not to erase the scars, because they hold memories and lessons in themselves, but at least to ease the pain.
I watched October Baby last night, and came away with an overwhelming sense of social injustice. I am definitely prolife, but whether you're prolife or prochoice, you have to admit that sometimes the girl herself isn't given a choice. She is pushed and pressured by parents, teachers, mentors, the father, the father's parents, her friends (directly, or through the fear of what they'll think and say)... She is told that her education/career/life will be ruined. That she's not responsible enough to be a mother. That she is Less Than. That her pregnancy is a consequence, a form of penance, or just an unfortunate chemical reaction that needs to be stopped. Judged on all sides, secular and religious, it is undeniable that the choice is, at times, made for her by someone else.
Mercy House in Kenya seeks to heal that injustice. It's a haven for girls who are victims of the sex trade (either completely involuntarily, or because of extreme poverty, or through a single violent action), pregnant as a result, kicked out of school and possibly home because of their pregnancy... and hopelessly trapped in a vicious cycle, in a country where the available abortion options are illegal and unregulated, and will likely end in two deaths instead of one.
But Mercy House takes care of them and their child - makes sure that they are medically attended to and physically looked after - provides counseling, to help them through the emotional and spiritual trauma that they've undergone - completes their education - and teaches them a trade, so that they can escape the downward spiral.
Shifting gears (this is relevant, I promise!) - when I was about 9, I decided that the second Tuesday of October was Butterfly Day. It was a day on which you took off school, had a picnic and went on a hike to see how many butterflies you could spot before they all left for the winter. Because I was home educated and my Mum is awesome, it became an official family holiday and has been celebrated every year since (including this year, today).
And all of that together inspired Chysalis - a tribute to tiny heads and new beginnings. I wanted to speak of redemption - of the sovereign Giver of Life, who never makes mistakes or lets things happen by chance - of love, and Love, and Light, and hope - of the beauty that so unexpectedly springs forth from the ashes --- and so I designed a hat, intended to do all of that, while also raising awareness about (in)courage's "(in)mercy" fundraiser, endeavoring to provide Mercy House with a new van [funded!], an expanded classroom [funded in just two days!], a generator, a computer lab, and an additional home so that they can continue to meet the needs of girls in Nairobi.
That was bit of a soap box - but I'm not sorry. I hope you read to the end, and that you clicked on the links, and that your heart and soul were stirred as much as mine are. There's so much despair and darkness in the world - it's about time those of us with Hope and Light got up and did something about it.