I try to ignore things that hurt me. Not things that hurt my flesh, mind you, like slivers, or headaches, or sunburn. Oh no, I take care of those things right away. I have never claimed to have a high pain tolerance. Instead, I try to ignore things that hurt my heart. That feeling I get where my heart is swelling up into my throat in agony. Yeah, I try to avoid that.
I don’t do this on purpose to be calloused. I really don’t. Its just too hard to look. Its too hard to think about. It hurts too much. And I don’t know what I can do to help. I don’t know how to make it stop. I feel so helpless. So I push it away.
Several things can do this to me, like poverty, starving children, child abuse, and the issue of human trafficking.
On Sunday, my husband and I were sitting in the living room with our youth group kids enjoying the Super Bowl game. (Well, they were enjoying it. I was enduring it. Not a big fan of football here.) When he leans over to me and whispers, “Did you know there will be thousands of girls used for sex trafficking just for this game?”
My heart lurched.
Thousands of girls. Right now. Being stolen from their families. Being raped, abused, held hostage.
Thousands of girls being used for someone’s entertainment.
Thousands of girls whose lives would forever be changed. Who would be struck by unimaginable pain. Who would forever be scarred by the events of this day. Thousands of girls with a story just like this one.
And in a parallel universe, the rest of us are sitting in front of our TV with a plate of pizza just waiting for the next commercial to entertain us.
Totally unaware that they exist. Totally unaware that they matter.
Again, my heart lurched. The raw, painful reality of this sinful world was staring me in the face. How meaningless this football game now felt. I felt so silly that I had even gone to the trouble of having a get-together in order to watch it knowing there were girl, women, and even boys suffering. Even now as I write, my heart is in my throat threatening to choke me and bring me to a place of undoing.
This issue has been long chasing me. I can’t seem to get away from it. It just keeps rearing it’s ugly head and piercing my heart. And so I have come to the conclusion that perhaps God gives me this pain-in-the-heart-so-strong-that-I-can’t-hardly-bear-it feeling because He is trying to move me to do something.
Injustice has the power to stir up righteous anger. And righteous anger should stir up action.
I decided right then that I will no longer run from this pain. I will do something, anything, in order to help.
After all, they matter.
God, break my heart for what breaks Yours.
Does this pierce your heart as well?
Exodus Road is working to end human trafficking of all kinds – both forced labor and sex trafficking. Visit their website to learn more about them and to find ways to help.