Recently I’ve seen this quote going around, with no context to accompany it:
“Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”
It sounds really good, doesn’t? We want to trust God with the life we have. I understand this; I agree with the sentiment depending on who it is directed towards. But I have to tell you that when I first read that quote I was in SE Asia seeing girls in brothels and learning about 10 year olds being held as sex slaves. And so I felt angry. I thought, “What a privileged thing to say. I would never show that quote to these girls who are trapped in slavery. I would never encourage them to embrace their life.” In fact, that is what their captors would want them to do, just embrace their fate, their lot. See in their culture there’s this idea that you are where you are in life because of your past life, so if you’re a girl, you’ve already done something wrong, but if you’re a girl who was trafficked, this is your fate. You deserve it. So be resigned to it.
I would show them this quote instead (hat tip to Dawntoya Thomason for sharing it with me):
“I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. “I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth.” Job 29:16-17
Yes, that is what God does. He uses ordinary people to go into the dark places and snatch the prey from the teeth of the wicked.
So no, we will not tell these girls to wash their faces and embrace their lives. We will go forward to creating a better life for those who are in the teeth of the wicked. We will advocate for the prey, the vulnerable, the snatched.
We will not give up.
And that is the life I will embrace, the one that keeps on in this:
Learn to do good;
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.
God’s heart is of hope and a better way, a new way, new life. I’m so grateful that the God I love is for the weak and is for justice and is for using us ordinary people to do His good work.
That is a privilege I can get on board with.
If you feel that way too, you can help snatch the prey from the teeth of the wicked by linking arms with The Exodus Road, an organization that does just that. They advocate for the weak and vulnerable and they go into the dark places and they gather evidence and they work with nationals and local police to do the snatching. They are being the hands of God.
Here’s how you can tangibly help fund investigations and raids that bring actual freedom to real girls: Go HERE and sign up to donate $35/month to help get young girls out of brothels (we’re looking for 50 monthly donors). This is specific to India, and 100% of your donation goes to funding investigations that lead to the freedom of these minors. I know it’s hard to read these stories and feel so helpless, but you *can* help. You may not be able to go onto the front lines and kick down brothel doors, but you can hire those who can and who are.
To join the 50 who are willing to not look away, to carry the burden that is a gift, head HERE.
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