There are some things that are just really hard for me to write about. This one, this is one of them. I find myself tearing up at the very mention of it. My eyes get misty as we talk around the breakfast table about it. And yet, talk we do because I will not shy away from the things that are hard. I will not be quiet in front of my kids about the atrocities in this world. I want them to know. I want them to know we can do something.
There are so many moments in history that we can reflect upon. When it comes to abortion we cite Roe v Wade. I wasn’t even alive when this ruling went down so I had no way to be a part of it. Racial segregation ended much before my time too. I wasn’t around to rally with King. I wasn’t able to march with those fighting against slavery. I couldn’t show my support when crucial decisions and events were happening around major world changing decisions.
But I’m alive now. I’m here now. And I assure you I will not let the things of our time pass before me while I sit on the sidelines and watch how they shake down. I won’t busy myself so I don’t have to see, I won’t stay uneducated on topics so that I can live in ignorant bliss and let the world go by while I watch netflix and eat popcorn.
There are things happening right now. Big things. There are bills being negotiated right now that would ensure the protection of businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbians. Religious freedom is being cited. Jesus name being used. It makes me want to vomit. Andy Stanley said the following about this,
“serving people we don’t see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity. Jesus died for a world with which he didn’t see eye to eye. If a bakery doesn’t want to sell its products to a gay couple, it’s their business. Literally. But leave Jesus out of it.”
To this I scream, “Yes!”
But that’s not what I’m here to write about today. Those were just a few things to show you that there are big things going on right now. Big. Things. And while we may not have been able to march with King there are things we can do right now, in our time.
I’ve written much about slavery before. How it exists today. How its both across the world and right on our doorsteps. How what we’re eating is a contributor to it. How children are being taken and girls mistreated and silenced. How we can do something about it even when we’re not sure what or how.
I’m not here to recap all of what I’ve written before. I’m here to simply say that I will not let this stuff happen and sit idly by. I won’t bury my head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. I won’t let people suffer while I go for lunch and shop. I won’t.
Because it’s happening whether we like it or not. It’s continuing to happen right now and I want to look back 40 years from now and know that we did something. I want to look back and know with certainty that I fought for it. I educated myself on it. I gave money to organizations who are stopping it. I prayed for those in the trenches. I lent my hands to the ones right in my community. I gave them my time. I gave them the dignity of looking them in the eye and letting them know that this is not okay with me one bit and I will do everything in my power to not let it happen. Not on my watch. Not during my time here. I won’t sit back and do nothing and leave it to someone else. Because it’s happening and we can help to make a difference.
Not sure how? Here are just a few places to start.
Read about it. Educate yourself on what’s going on in the world. In your country. In your city. I bet it’s even going on in your small town. Cause it is in mine. We need to know what’s going on if we’re going to be of any help. We need to see the harsh realities. Read the statistics. Know the truth. Not shy away from it. This is where I started and it helped grow my knowledge and passion. I assure you, ignorance is not bliss. Knowledge is bliss and from knowledge we can help to make a change.
A few of the books I read were The Road of Lost Innocence, Not for Sale, and Sold. There are many more. So many more. It’s not easy reading. It’s not fun. But you can’t read this stuff and not be changed.
2) Find organizations who are doing something about it.
It’s not like we need to reinvent the wheel on this one or chart our own path or start a grassroots organization. There are already people and groups doing a lot of really big and really good things. What they need is help. Can you go to them? Can you send them money so that they can continue doing what they do? Will you pray for them? Many of them have stores that you can buy product from as a way of support. Many of them have monthly plans. Many of them will email you updates about what’s really going on so you can know and pray. But we need to know if we’re going to help.
A few of the organizations I’ve researched and been a part of are Love 146, Not for Sale, Tiny Hands International and International Justice Mission. There are many more. Look at these ones. Do your own research. Each one is fighting for human lives and they need help. You can help.
3) Find places in your own community that are doing something about it
It could be a crisis center or an advocacy group or a clinic or a hundred other things but I can almost guarantee that there are people in your community working to fight this right now. Whether it’s as an ambassador for one of the above groups, spreading the word, raising awareness and funds and getting the word out about slavery or whether its a center seeking to help young girls in the sex trade. There are a million ways to help. It could be with time, with money, with resources and experience you have or just by baking muffins. The opportunities are endless and it just takes some research to find a place that you can help. It’s worth the investment, I assure you.
I only put this last on the list because it’s the one I want you to remember most. I believe in a God that listens and a God who is in the process of redeeming the world. He hears our cries and our pleas. He answers. It’s nothing short of a miracle but we need to pray. For those caught in slavery and trafficking, for those working in the dangerous places to fight it. For those trapped and for those rescuing. We can petition God to help. To save. To free. It’s the most important thing we can do and there’s just no excuse not to. Every day. For people living a different life than you and I. For the mothers and the daughters and the sons and the fathers. For the ones who are running the business of it and for those caught in their web. For those who have been silenced and have no voice of their own, we can use ours. Are we? Will we?
I will. Because I won’t do nothing. I want to be the one who fights it. Who challenges it. Who pushes back the darkness of it. In big ways and in small.
What can you do today? It’s easy. Put a red X on your hand and tell everyone who asks that slavery still exists and you aren’t going to be silent until it doesn’t anymore.