Whether you are a churchgoing Jesus believer or not, I am confident that we can all agree on this. Our world is full of wrongs. As I have written about in previous posts, it was at a young age that I realized this. My parents didn’t sit me in front of the TV and make me watch the stories of evil that were on the news. They did not shelter me and act as if everything was wonderful at all times either. It seems as if our culture is one of “ignorance is bliss”…I, on the other hand, am pretty sensitive. Things I have seen are cemented into my brain and the next thought is, “What can I possibly do?”
If you are a friend of mine, you know that there are issues on my heart that have been there for years. You know of my love for children and the part of my heart that breaks for the ones with no one to speak up for them. As a follower of Jesus, one can’t ignore the value He places on children and being childlike. Children are my calling. Especially those who have been abandoned, marginalized, prostituted and trafficked.
About three years ago I started having dreams at night. They were nightmarish because of the content, but there was more to them. In one dream, I can hear children calling for help and I am running trying to find them. In another dream I was running in and out of buildings grabbing kids from behind glass windows and escaping to safety with them. Then I had one where I was witnessing a transaction between two men negotiating the sale of an infant. I felt this stirring in my heart on the issue of orphans and trafficking.
First there is the heartbreak that you feel when you realize that it is happening, and it’s happening much closer to home than you would like to acknowledge. Then there is the fear, “Holy shit. This is HUGE and how will I ever make a dent in it?” Followed by the realization that I am not the only one wanting to serve and put a stop to this.
When Tristan and I went to Romania in November of 2011, we were there for 2 weeks but there was one moment that stuck with me. We were walking down the street in Bucharest with our host, Sarah, and this girl came running up to us. Sarah said, “Where have you been!?” She proceeded to step aside and speak with this girl for a few moments. She had been missing and no one knew where she went. She was a Roma girl, a gypsy. Everyone hates the gypsies, so the police didn’t care much that she was missing. She said a man had taken her to Spain to be a prostitute but that she was able to escape. I don’t even know her name, but she made it real. Shortly after returning from that trip I started having the dreams.
I went to a meeting tonight to talk about teaming up with others in Denver to form a Love146 Task Force. Rob Morris, President and Co-Founder of Love146 was in town and came to speak to us. One thing he said spoke so much encouragement to me. He was talking about how in the midst of all of the dark things they deal with as an organization that one of the surprising feelings that he has felt is hope. He said the people who are committing these acts of violence and exploitation are such a small percentage of the population that when we all decide to do something about it in our city, there really is hope for change and redemption. This video was released tonight just a few hours ago…please take a minute to watch. It talks about Rob’s experience and how it prompted him to do something.
I know that my life is meant to be more than just working, hanging out with friends and my cool dog. Most of us wonder about our purpose in life. What injustice makes you angry? My pastor has called it a “holy discontent.” This is mine. As I read books and articles about people who have been enslaved and sold for sex eight times a day, or a girl in Bucharest that is mentally impaired and her pimp agrees to sell her in exchange for a car that doesn’t even run. I am full of anger, sadness, grief and a longing to act all at once. I know I will encounter this when we go to Romania. For now, while we wait for that, I can serve here and I am very excited to help on this task force that is forming in Denver.
Sure, it’s much easier to bury my head in the sand and pretend none of this is happening. It’s easier to go about my day with concern only for myself. There is no life in that. When I get to the end of my life, I want it to have been for something more than a purse or a fancy job. It’ll be hard. There will be moments when I wonder why on earth I agreed to any of it, but I know that God has placed this in my heart. Lily Tomlin said,”I said,’Someone should do something about that.’ Then I realized, I am someone.”