While at the LA Dream Center I had an encounter with a homeless man and his daughter that has stuck with me. It’s been over a month since we served there and I still think of Brandon and his five year old daughter Louisa.
While we were serving food to the homeless men and women who live in LA’s “Skidrow” neighborhood one of the Dream Center volunteers approached me and said, “That man, across the street is looking for a pastor.”
I’ll be honest my first thought was, “Darn, he looks mean.”
But as I walked across the street to meet him I noticed he had something he was towing behind him. It happened to be his five year old daughter Louisa. A precious little girl with pretty pink shoes on (just like my three year old would wear.)
He introduced himself as Brandon and went on to describe while placing his hands over his daughter’s ears how just recently his little girl was sexually molested. He asked for prayer for himself, because he wanted to kill the man who had done this to his baby girl. He also asked for prayer that she wouldn’t have nightmares and need years of counseling because of this traumatic event.
As I stood there dumb founded I realized that he had finished talking and was now waiting for me to respond. I quickly stooped down and asked for the hand of Louisa so I could pray with her. She smiled broadly and the three of us called on God to do the miraculous. I used general words as I prayed as I wasn’t sure how aware this five year old was to what happened to her. I held back tears and with everything in me asked God to do the impossible.
After our impromptu prayer time we said our goodbyes and they walked down the sidewalk together hand in hand.
This whole event is still vivid and alive in my memory and I’m left asking questions:
Why would God allow such a horrible thing to happen to an innocent little girl?
Why is Brandon walking/living in Skidrow with a five year old?
How will God judge the man who molested this little girl?
The truth is I don’t fully understand or have the best answer for these questions, however my faith in God remains strong because I believe our God is a God who does care. I know that I serve a compassionate God and that He’s the source of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). I know that God cares (Matthew 6:30), and I know that He is a God who heals (Exodus 15:26, Matthew 4:26).
As I think of little Louisa and her dad Brandon I continually pray for both of them and I think of the countless others who have been abused. I am thankful today, not simply because my girls haven’t experienced this kind of abuse, but because I serve an active God who cares, comforts, and heals.
Will join me in praying for Louisa and other kids in her situation?