It is one of the paradoxical aspects of Victorian society that in this era when the family was almost deified, prostitution was practiced blatantly. For some of the women it was perhaps their preferred form of trade; but for many young girls, stranded in the city without skills or means of employment, it was a tragic recourse. Whether they were victims of folly or circumstance, Lilias's heart was moved with compassion for these "lost sheep" so profoundly in need of a loving shepherd. At a time when it was unacceptable for a young woman to be out alone in the city, Lilias fearlessly traversed the streets to rescue these streetwalkers, many of whom haunted the neighborhood of Victoria Station. She brought them back to the hostel for a good night's sleep and for training in an employable skill, and she introduced them to the Good Shepherd.
Friends remember the lengths to which she went to help these girls, planning and providing for them, but often simply listening and offering a word of counsel. On one occasion, a friend recalls her staying up all night with a "half-crazed girl" to save her from taking her own life.
Friday, March 12, 2010
From A Passion for the Impossible by Miriam Huffman Rockness (page 91):