Today was the first day of our Canada tour that we did 2 shows and a talk back in between. She Has a Name is a hard show to do twice in one day. I am emotionally raw and exhausted. I wasn’t part of the talk back. Andrew Kooman, the playwright, Rachel Hansen, India Field Director for Mission of Mercy Canada and Matt Baden, Calgary Community Engagement Coordinator for ACT Alberta were on the panel and I sat with the patrons and took in the conversation.
A lot of amazing things were shared and asked and each of the people on the panel were incredibly articulate. Andrew talked a lot about the value of each of our human hearts, about how we each have gifts and how we can use those gifts to get involved. At the end of the talk Jamie, the AD of Burnt Thicket Theatre, ask each of the panelists to share a story of HOPE.
The story that Rachel Hansen shared sticks out to me. She works in India building schools and homes and finding the children on the streets before the exploiters do. She talked about a young woman she met at the school one day. Rachel asked the girl to to tell her her story. The girl shared that at the age of 8 she was sold and moved around to more than 4 different cities. In this time the young girl was mistreated so much that she really began to loose her mind. The exploiters didn’t want her any more so they threw her out onto the streets. No one wanted her. Who knows how long she was on the streets before Rachel’s team found her. When she was found her hand and feet bound and she was tied to a tree. Even when she was taken in, no one really knew what to do with her. However, they started to love on her. They started to treat her with love, kindness and openess. They began to pray over her and sing with her and finally this young girl began to heal. Because people accepted her as she was, cared for her she was able to take the next steps into healing, learning and growing. Rachel asked her what it was like to take these steps. She said: “I do not know how to say it in words but I can show you.” The young girl then put on some music and danced for Rachel.
Beautiful story. It brought tears to my eyes. I think I can grasp a little understanding from my life to know what it feels like not to have words for something that I feel deep down; that sometime like a dance, or a sound, or a song, or even just tears will be words enough to say what I am feeling inside. That spoke deeply to me. I can feel her pain and her joy in her action to play music and dance to express herself.