Oftentimes love is so poorly packaged that when we have sold everything to buy it, we cry in finding all our substance gone and nothing in the tinsel and the ribbon.
-Calvin MillerIn his article "Bodies Found in New Mexico, but Mystery Lingers for Kin of Missing Women", Dan Frosch tells the stomach turning story of recently discovered bodies in the West Mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This story, appearing in the headlines of the Times, quickly caught my attention since Albuquerque is my home town.
On February 2nd, a woman walking her dog discovered the remains of a woman who was later identified as Michelle Valdez, a local prostitute who went missing in 2004 at the age of 22. Since this first discovery another 11 bodies have been found by a team of forensic experts and archaeologist. This team believes these bodies match descriptions of missing prostitutes that have gone missing from 2001-2006.
Frosch points out how at first no one really noticed that Ms. Valdez had even disappeared since she lived in the backdrops of society. Some of the other bodies have recently been identified as prostitutes who worked the Albuquerque streets in a part of the town called "the war zone." Most of these women began their work in the streets because of sequences of terrible events in their lives that led to use of and eventual addiction to heroin. These woman turned to prostitution as the only way to secure their next fix on the drug. One father from Fort Worth told of his daughter who first used heroin after having been raped by a school mate. His daughter then moved to Albuquerque for a fresh start on life --but went missing only three weeks later.
I am deeply saddened while the reading of these events. The stories of these woman remind me of a woman that Jesus met while stopping for a rest in the region of Samaria. The woman in Samaria had also been victimized like these woman found in the desert of Albuquerque. The woman of Samaria was a social outcast, she was marginalized and forgotten. She took to the habit of going out of her way to avoid people and the judgments that were sure to come from others. And she too had been sold a dangerous counterfeit love that called itself an original.
There are many things that one could become angry over in this story: injustice, corruption, complacency, abuse, and the pure horror that someone had such a disregard for life that they could carelessly kill so many. The list could go on and on. And many questions could be raised just as well. But what resonates most with me, and what I take away from reading this article is the lives of the victims themselves. Because victimized is what they were. And from what it sounds like they were victimized long before their physical deaths. They are victims of the World Hater's sin that always, always leads to death. I see these woman as being under the cruel and painful grip of Satin. He love to bring about pain after pain in people's lives. He loves to deceive his victims by persuading them give their lives over to a false since of reality, priorities and happiness. He does this while telling them that the same lie is all of love that there is in the world.
Hearing about these victims also makes me think of how such people were naturally drawn to Jesus. Because Jesus was always willing and wanting to show them what Love truly is. Reading this story makes me realize how important it is that I live an incarnational life here in this world. Because this world is full of marginalized victims of the World Hater who have been sold a counterfeit love and are starving for the Original.