We believe that if we rescue one girl from human trafficking, we will be opening up a spot for other girls to be victimized. So, slowly, we are developing relationships with brothel owners and offering employment if they shut down their business as usual and reopen their business as a handicraft co-op.
Rather than a pat-myself-on-the-back moment, this was a stoop-lower opportunity. I was acutely aware that feeding Mary or offering someone dignity through a smile or learning their name or advocating for the homeless is really not about charity or me changing the world as much as it is about obedience to the gospel.
After about two-and-a-half months of resenting my neighbors, I felt a gentle nudge: Hey, so remember all that basic, Gospel 101 stuff about loving your neighbor as yourself? Yes, of course I remember. But surely that command didn’t refer to THESE neighbors. They are here illegally. Can’t I just stick to loving the other sweet neighbors across the street, instead? They’re much easier to love.
I just wonder, what will it take for us to see humanity through His eyes?
When will we rush to love the broken, to cherish the needy, to be inspired to serve not because it’s the “now” thing, and not because of guilt or obligation, but because of a soul-level desire to serve God in a tangible, life-altering way.
Our church recently finished reading Judges and what we saw over and over, and what is even said at the end of the book, was that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 NASB). When I read that, it seems eerily familiar. Familiar because that is true of the culture and mindset that we live in today. “Should I sleep with my boyfriend? Well, it seems like the right decision and he might dump me if I don’t, so sure.” “Should I say a crude joke to hang with the homies? I mean, it will make them laugh, and they’ll accept me and of course I want to be accepted, so I think I’ll do it.” “Do I gossip with my girlfriends about Jenny? Pointing out her flaws make me feel better about myself. But I make sure to end it with “bless her heart.” That totally makes it okay.” And the cycle continues. We do what is right in our eyes. We take matters into our own hands and don’t seek our All-Knowing Father for guidance.
While planning this 1 year “birthday celebration” we really wanted to bless you guys with something incredibly valuable, not only to help guide you through your own battles, but also to simply say thank you for blessing us in tremendous ways! In an effort to do so, over the last several months we have spent some serious time and energy preparing a fabulous gift for you. Consider this a labor of love and sincere thanks for your gracious support.
To my friend in Christ who has forgotten who she is, may you find yourself in this:
I’ve been there too. I know what it’s like to wake up feeling like you just don’t know who you are anymore. You’ve lost your sense of life, you’ve lost your sense of self, and you’ve lost all sense of Christ. You feel alone and unworthy. You are confused and battered. You carry scars of past abuse both inflicted by others and also yourself, and you stare at them.