Skip to main content

Prayer, blessings, tears: talk about human trafficking

My monograph on human trafficking is almost done. I know it's a small book, but it's a big deal to me and my family.

I gave a talk last night at my parish church - it meant so much to me to be able to have my first talk on my book take place in the warm, prayerful confines of that holy, simple place.

I spent time in prayer before I spoke. Meditating on the crucifix, it struck me that Christ on the cross is the perfect haven for trafficking victims. His body and spirit are broken, he is abandoned, frightened. The few loved one who remain cannot do a thing to help.

Yet, the Cross is our hope. It is our salvation. It is truth and life.

One of the women that came to the talk last night was clearly shaken by what I shared. She was in tears at the end, and said, "How can we be hopeful? This is all so sad and scary."

It is. It horrible and sinful and ugly and evil.

But there is hope. And that hope is Christ.

I'm not sure I was able to convey to her how important prayer is - sometimes it feels as if prayer is doing "nothing." You don't always see the fruit of prayer.

I'm also not sure I was able to convey to her that there is hope. There is salvation and redemption - for both survivors and traffickers.

I did encourage those who attended to not be among those who move from ignorance to willful apathy (a phrase I borrowed from Andy Soper). Now that you know, you MUST do something.

I've read the Bible and I know who wins this war. The only real question is, "Which side will you be on?" There are no spectators; choosing to do nothing is still a choice.

Which side will you be on?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Be Transfigured

From today's readings: 

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the and his clothes became white as light.

...we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration. For whatever reason, Jesus brought three of His disciples to Mount Tabor to witness this miracle. They weren't sure what they were seeing, but they knew enough to throw themselves to the ground in the presence of Almighty God. St. Peter (who never did anything halfway) excitedly declares that he will erect tents on the mountain as a way of memorializing the event. But Jesus tells him and the others that they are not to tell people what they witnessed - at least not yet.

In the second reading, the requirement to be quiet has bee…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …