Meet Anita

29 Jul

Her beauty stood out above the rest. I loved the way her mouth curled up at the ends, weakly attempting to conceal her piqued interest. “Who is this white girl with a camera?” she must have thought. Her eyes darted in my direction, her curiosity getting the better of her. She adjusted her powder-blue shawl, busying herself to mask her intentions, but her feigned disinterest didn’t fool me. She was crying out for someone to notice her from the very depths of her being. “Photo?” I asked. She smiled brightly, communicating her approval. I snapped a shot or two and looked at the display to see the results. “Beautiful!” I exclaimed. “You should be a supermodel.” Again, I lifted my camera, but this time was different. She posed for me, confidently lifting her chin, sassing me with her eyes. Her lungs inflated, filled with new air. She pulled her shoulders back and played with her chocolate brown fingers. I showed her her photos and her pride surged. “You’re gorgeous.” I told her, hugging her and shaking her hand, filling her with my approval. She had already exhausted her English vocabulary, so she nodded her head and looked off at the children playing. I walked away, eager to show someone these incredible photos. I found Malega, the director of the orphanage we were at, and proudly displayed my masterpiece to her. “Isn’t she beautiful?” I asked. “That’s Anita.” she whispered. “She has AIDS.” Malega covered her mouth and poured Anita’s story into my ear. A former prostitute, Anita had contracted the deadly disease by one of her many nameless lovers. My heart shattered. I wondered how she came to be a prostitute. Was she forced? Did she feel she had no other options? I thought of her impending death. I thought of the physical pain and mental anguish that has probably defined her as a victim of this life-robbing illness. I dreamed of a day that Anita would know perfect peace, health, and love – a day only possible in Heaven. I prayed that Anita would come to know the redemption and restoration of the Lover of her soul, the Creator of her beauty.

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7 Responses to “Meet Anita”

  1. Mike Bennett July 29, 2010 at 4:00 am #

    Erika, thanks for introducing us to Anita. She is in my prayers. I pray “Your kingdom come” and for the healing of hearts and minds and bodies that only our Lord and Savior can give.

    • erikaearl August 2, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks Mike. The prayers of the saints are powerful and effective. His kingdom will come! Be blessed!

      • Mike Bennett August 3, 2010 at 3:38 am #

        Thanks, Erika, for taking time to respond! You are amazing! (No need to respond to this of course…)

  2. La Vonne Earl July 29, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    So wonderful that you had the opportunity to make Anita feel beautiful and innocent once again. You have the gift of words and encouragement!

  3. Steve July 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Erika, I’ve been following your blog since you got to India and thought it was time I commented. You were recommended to me by my children and your friends, Zach and Laura. Zach told me you were a gifted writer and I have to agree. I also enjoy seeing through your lens. But more than all that, I appreciate your heart for the people you meet – like Anita. I’ll join in your prayer for her ultimate healing. God bless you and team India!

    • erikaearl August 2, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

      Steve,
      Wow, thanks so much for the comment and your encouraging words! Your son Zach is such an awesome man of God. I’m sure he got it from you. I absolutely love him and Laura. They are such great friends and really passionate about the Lord. Thanks for your prayers. We feel them all the way over here in India. Let us know how we can be praying for you as well.

      In Him,
      Erika

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