Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fly With Me?

Just in case you were wondering, signing up to raise $10,000 for the She's Worth It Campaign in one month is one of the scariest things I have ever done.

I have learned that people in my generation have a thing for causes. This is to our glory and to our detriment. There was something about 9/11 that radically rewired our brains to deeply desire to help others in tangible ways. I read about a study years ago about the turning tide back into the trade industry. It's like terrorists not only took lives and buildings, but also tore down the walls we had built up around our humanity.

There is something about justice and the trendy causes that have always tugged my heart. The kind of justice that stands up courageously against INJUSTICE. I have for many years thought that this tug for setting the broken world right, was something that was an optimistic fable fed to me by the media.

And maybe there is a truth ring to that, but what I'm finding is that this pressing, tugging, momentous urge towards JUSTICE is a mirror reflection of the image of my maker. As I am swept into the over-arching love story of God to us, I see a God who is radical about justice. God is a God of justice.

God is just. And rightfully so. If he wasn't, then I would have a VERY hard time standing in awe before him. Because I want justice. I want persecutors to "get what's coming to them", I want slaves to go free and captors to be punished, I want the lawless to be brought before judge and jury tp pay for their crimes. I need justice in this world. It gives me hope in a way that not much else can.

But God is not only just, he is also merciful, and this too resides in me. Mercy as it pertains to scripture is most often connected to God WITHHOLDING judgement. The bible is brimming with examples of this character trait of God. Jesus preaching the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:43-48 showcases this well:

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (ESV).

Mercy meets Justice in the way God is perfect. And though I will never be perfect, I have been given the gift of redemption, through the most precious moment of God's Justice intertwining with his radical heart of Mercy: Jesus on the Cross, squarely fit both pieces of God's character. Now when I sin against God and he requires Justice, I have standing before me Jesus Christ who mercifully steps in to take my place.

It seems that the most transformational moments of grace are when they are combined with justice. And here is where knowledge becomes something otherworldly. Because I am made in the image of God and carry with me (on all points in this journey of sanctification) the Imago Dei, then the most radical hope I can have, is when I mirror not only justice or grace, but both together.


This is the space where trafficking becomes real for me. For the longest time, I learned of this terrible reality that our broken world actively participates in, I read books, wrote blogs, watched documentaries, wrote papers for school, read blogs, and more. I was a massive sponge for information. I took in as much as I could find. These are not easy realities, with simple solutions. The vastness of this issue, and the enormous hold it has at a world wide level is unfathomable. Taking the time I did to see the multifaceted breadth of Human Trafficking was innately important.

But listening is not enough. At some point you simply become a sieve, information bloats and stagnates, and ultimately you will begin to lose precious information. This happened to me. I became smelly and stale as I continued in my American Consumerist patterns, losing my passion for people as they became overwhelming numbers. Danielle Vermeer wrestles with this reality in her own life and shares:

"You are educated far beyond your level of obedience. Now is the season for being obedient to God's call on my life by sharing my knowledge and experiences on human trafficking with others."

As I have second guessed my partnership with She's Worth It Campaign, these words washed over me in sweet relief. Am I a fundraiser? No way! Am I the best person for this job? Far from it. Will my small voice address the enormity of the issue, or be a perfect representation of justice and mercy? Eh, it will be a mere raindrop in the ocean. But has God called me to this specific battle field? Absolutely.  

Here I am, armed, equipped, prepared and engaged, yet it is all for nought if I never step foot onto the field, and actually fight for what I believe in. I am only another glutton for knowledge feeding on sensationalized media until I burst.

I believe that for me, this means using my voice, my platform and my influence for the glory of God, and to fight human trafficking.

Slavery is not ok. It comes in many forms. The black and white reality of slave labor harvesting cocoa beans on the Ivory Coast for the chocolate industry, and the grey fuzzy lines that surround prostitutes, pimps and the pornography industry. This problem affects children, women, men, and changes how we look at fair-trade, free trade, and what has been termed the sex industry.

This is not going to be an easy battle, nor do I suggest simple solutions. But I do believe in adding my voice to the growing number of people who think it's time somethings changed in the way we live our lives. I am an abolitionist and I will stand for freedom and the sanctity of every human life. I do not have all the answers, or even complete sustainable solutions, but I do have a call on my life, and I cannot keep silent.

I am learning the sacred moment when knowledge sprouts wings and becomes something closer to wisdom. It was about time for this girl to leave the nest. Which just so happens to be terrifying. I'm just learning how to do this, I'm getting stronger, but still finding my voice. Will you fly with me?

The She’s Worth It Campaign is gaining momentum every day! Add your voice to our growing movement! Join my little army here and help us raise $10,000 for Indian Rescue Mission and The Klein Frank Foundation. Be brave, let your wings grow!




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