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As she fights against the darkness of human trafficking, she reveals a superpower within the reach of us all.

Lucy

My mom grew up in an orphanage. She was born in Nineteen thirty-five, and I think she went into the orphanage probably around Nineteen thirty-eight or thirty-nine. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that she never really felt sorry for herself or complained, ever, about being an orphan. She had zero sense of victim… to her. She was incredibly grateful, if anything, to the nuns who raised her and her two sisters. Sorry, I didn’t even know this would affect me this way. I don’t think I’ve ever really told the story. In every one of her stories, there was this hope someone will come along and adopt her. Even though she never related as a victim, or sad, or anything else. I heard it, and um, her dreams of a family embracing her only existed to sustain that hope. And most nights she would, while everyone else was sleeping, she would sit on the edge of her bed next to sixty other cots and just stare outside at the city lights dreaming of the couple that would someday come and take her home. Just love her. Just wanna include her in their family. This one sweet little girl. And my mom literally was like an angel. Most likely the families that she saw outside the orphanage gates were thinking, “what can I do? I’m just one person? The problem is so big! (Lucy now with tears) Sorry, I don’t think I’ve ever told that story before. 

Richard

By her tears, I was set free. Descended upon by an influence far above the vision of my own human eyes. In her courage, she trusted me with a very personal memory. And as I listened, I began to see beyond the photographic images she creates, past the countless list of NGOs and Non-Profits that have retained her, into the over 90 countries she has walked. She calls it “boots on the ground.” I call her a humble, caring, and brave person. A fact credited to the works she does in her fight against

human trafficking, forced marriage, slavery, and the ever-morphing list of crimes against humanity. And as the vale drops from my eyes, it’s easy to feel of the spirit that moves her. The whispering voice of a sweet little girl she calls, mother. And it’s through those eyes that she views the world around her.

Lucy

There was an interesting study done where the homeless were asked, what is the hardest part about living on the streets? And overwhelmingly, they check the other box that said, other. And they wrote, you know, they could write in, “not being seen. Being invisible. Feeling like I don’t matter.” Not being seen or heard was worse for them than being cold, or hungry. The greatest thing we can do is make people feel seen. And hear them, and listen to them, and show them that they count. That they’re special. People need to know that they matter, and in that regard, every single one of us has in us the power to make a meaningful positive impact on our struggling world. We all have the potential for greatness when it comes to loving others proactively. That’s something we all have. We might need to work on it. We might need to practice it. But we all have that. We have more of that. Some of us don’t have money. But we all have that.

Richard

She makes you think of the child living within yourself, of the tender mercies we each have equal right to receive, and of a guiding hand always outstretched to those who reach for it. An advocate for the worth of others she is. A perspective learned and lived forward through the healing of her own life experience. Yes, she hides it not. The years of herself being abused behind her: The resulting anxiety, depression,

isolation and anger she bore, now ghosts in the past. Yet, in her countenance can be seen a peace and strength that, driven by her will to heal, projects the grace that she radiates–even a light that might inspire each of us to overcome our darkest of times.

Lucy

It taught me to lean on the one and only thing that I always have, no matter what. Which is my faith… and I did. Knowing that my maker was my only friend. The only one who saw me and cared about me was all I had. You realize that’s all you have, You make the most of it.

Richard

Yes, a compassionate healer and survivor she is. A single mother and beloved daughter who has turned the pains of her past to blessings for the future, and as she nurtures and protects her own children, she is equally engaged to do what she can to better this world we share. She talks of a troubled country.

Lucy

Haiti is a rough place for a visitor. I won’t lie! When I walk down the street Port-au-Prince, I feel like people wanna kill me! There’s a lot of anger. But I think probably for good reason anyway. But regardless, there is a real sense of danger and violence in certain areas. But you get out into the countryside. There are some of the kindest and most generous people you could ever want to meet. And the bottom line is, hate is contagious. It’s very contagious. But so is love. How do we keep our eyes on that? I don’t know? It’s too easy to say it’s a choice. But I think we can be intentional about it, and I do believe that love is an action verb. It’s something we do. Not something we get. And remember hate is contagious. But so is love. 

Richard

I asked a most delicate question. What would you share with someone who feels unloved, or at worse, of no value?

Lucy

When you’re that broken. When you’re that hurting, and that low, and somebody just looks at you. And smiles at you. And does some small favor. That can be a life-saving experience for some people. I know it sounds too easy. But it’s actually the hardest thing in the world. Something really special happens when love and compassion are exchanged between humans. One-on-one. You know? When every statistic has a face and a heart. Ideally, yes. Somebody who’s that broken eventually will get into some awesome rehab program, and they’ll get all the help they need for two years straight until they can slowly be eased back into society after going through the horrible things they’ve endured. But before they could even receive that, if that even existed, even if that was available, they really just need that moment of connection. That moment of love that says, “I see you! You matter! When you’re that broken having one person see you and making you feel like you matter is golden. I have come to the conclusion that love is actually a superpower. We’ve got our capes on and don’t even know we have it. But I think that love is incredibly powerful. Thousands and thousands of times more powerful than we realize it is. It’s millions of times more healing than we realize it is. And when you think of it like that, it’s literally a superpower. I could use love to change somebody. To make them feel like they matter. Think about that. Think about the power and the responsibility in that. So I think love is a superpower that we’ve been given and we take it for granted. And we forget how special it is. We all talk about it. We all want it. We all want to be more loving. But it’s also just sort of like something that just is. I don’t think we ever stop to realize just how incredibly powerful it is. And look at it as a superpower.

Richard

By no intent had I imagined the depth of Lucy’s love for the world around her. And by no means does she desire to shame or push any one of us to a place of pride or discomfort in owning our own gifts and demons. Yet as we take in her council, I have one simple hope. That she has, at least, loosened the burdens that tempt to divide us. She shares her closing wisdom.

Lucy

I’d like to see a world and a future where we embrace our innocence more. Where innocence is something to be held onto and is something to be respected. To me, innocence connotates class. Like a self-respect and openness, if there’s a way to combine those two. Self-respecting openness to protect a pure heart, and a pure mind. At least an attempt to. I believe we can be wise and grown-up and still maintain an err of innocence and openness.

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