A Brighter or Darker Tomorrow
She was tiny. Her red swollen eyes seemed to obscure the rest of her petite face. She sat alone in a cold room with her legs pulled up to her chest, a ball of nerves and emotions. “How are you this evening?” I asked. “Not very well.” came her sullen reply. I told her my name, who I worked for and the help we provide for families in need. She began to tell me about her week, her fiance and his dad being arrested, that she was pregnant and feared the father of her child wouldn’t be around to help her raise him/her to be happy and healthy. She also tearfully relayed to me an experience she had earlier in the day with some government officials who flat out told her; “your baby’s going to grow up just like his daddy, no good, worthless and in jail.” In her greatest moment of pain people who could have helped instead deepened the wound, made the hurt greater.
My heart went out to this nineteen year old, soon to be mom, who now sat in a jail lobby hoping to catch a glimpse of someone she loved, someone who’d made a series of bad choices that could negatively affect multiple lives.
This encounter was a powerful reminder that we never make choices in a vacuum. The words we say, what we do, the paths we decide to travel today, take us and those we love into a brighter or darker tomorrow.