For years, a couple of my closest friends have had especially heavy hearts for the women and children enslaved by the human trafficking trade. They have not turned their faces away from the ugliness of this world-wide and hushed up horror, but have spent time learning and praying, allowing their hearts to be broken as they open their eyes to the truths of this evil.
And on more than one occasion, I've heard my friends wish to do more than pray or write letters or give financially (all really good things!). They are admirably strong and feisty women, who really want to be part of rescuing the people who have been manipulated and kidnapped and sold into the sex trade--to be instruments of the kind of unselfish love these victims may have forgotten even exists.
Recently, one of my friends finally got her opportunity--she now volunteers for an organization that works to help women get out of the human trafficking industry and then cares for them afterward, helping them to slowly adjust to a new life of freedom outside of the brothel. And when I say they work to help women get out, I mean that they literally go into the brothels, seeking to rescue the ones who are being held against their will and providing prayer and friendship for the ones who are there willingly.
I don't have nearly the right words to advocate joining the war against human trafficking. I cannot even comprehend this evil, and I'm not sure that I'm ready to.
But I do know that I am so honored to call these beautiful women my friends--the ones who refuse to look away from the horror, the ones who pray for their hearts to be broken for the victims of the unspeakable ways in which humans are mistreating other humans, the ones who have caused me to stop gawking and to start praying when I see the young prostitute who lives on my street. I am so thankful for the ones who are fighting-mad and ready to get in there to battle the ugly with their own two hands, knowing all the while that their hearts and their minds will never be the same, that they might never know the same peace on this side of Heaven . . . and knowing that after all that they've witnessed, their biggest battle will be the one to forgive.
And so I paint. Because sometimes words just aren't enough. Though I know I am so small, and my painting so childlike as I sit here in my safe and sunny apartment, where my blissfully innocent little girls and I can come and go as we please with never a fear of being used or mistreated . . . it is still my prayer that Love flows through my brush and in some way, encourages both the rescuers and the ones who need rescuing. (See this painting as a work-in-progress here or purchase a print from the shop.)
Because really, isn't that all of us at one point or another in this crazy world?
Interested in learning more about the movement against Human Trafficking? Check out these links:
World Vision's Advocate Network
Also joining Imperfect Prose, Studio Sneak Peek, and Paint Party.