when evil is too close to home.

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I’m laying in my bed tonight, surrounded by my three sons, cozy in their pajamas after bath time. My oldest is reading his one millionth book of the month and the other two are giggling uncontrollably at a joke I’m sure I wouldn’t understand but their laughter is a healing balm for this weary heart.

I know most of us saw the news today. Questions about a website with grossly overpriced items being sold, named after young girls who have been reported missing and then if you use the product skus and do a different search photos of the girls in questions would show up. Pure coincidence right? (The details are numerous and disturbing. I won’t go into them here but you can do your own research.) Many began to ask questions about the possibility of human trafficking. Had an enormous trafficking ring just been exposed to the world?

Of course the website was swift to deny the claims. FB had fact checkers marking posts as false within hours. Based solely on the word of the company saying it wasn’t true. Every main stream media article is using the words “conspiracy theory” to assure the public that there is nothing to see here. Which leaves me wondering…

If something so suspicious and disturbing came to light on the internet, not just in the dark corners where those “conspiracy theorists” hang out but right out in the open by your every day instagram users, people asking questions, doing their own digging and finding the same disturbing results, wouldn’t a TRUE journalist go looking for the truth? Wouldn’t somebody in authority declare an investigation would be underway immediately? Wouldn’t someone out there with power acknowledge that cabinets named after little girls don’t cost 10, 20 or 50 thousand dollars and demand action? Wouldn’t that be what you would want if your daughter was missing and a 50 thousand dollar cabinet with her name on it, that led to a photo of her when you searched the sku was discovered on the internet?

Friends, I don’t know how this particular story pans out. I pray that someone does the right thing and thoroughly investigates the THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of reports from people today. I don’t know if this is all just some insane coincidence and maybe the cabinets  are made from unicorn tears so they’re wildly expensive. I pray that we find out the truth.

BUT.

What concerns me most is that as a society we are SO QUICK to dismiss things because we can’t even fathom that type of evil lives in our society. We don’t want it to be true. It can’t be. So we slap a label on it and call people crazy. But we all know human trafficking exists. People are selling children. It happens everyday. Children are kidnapped and never see their families again. Where do we think they go? It’s easier to pretend it cannot be true. Maybe we donate a few dollars to a trafficking organization to feel better about ourselves and then assure our anxious hearts that this only happens in places far far away. Not here. Not close to home. This is America after all.

Well friends, it happens here. And maybe not on the website in question today, but also MAYBE IT DOES.

Can I challenge you to not explain this away? I know the media isn’t going to cover this and put it in front of your face every day. Trafficking isn’t talked about nearly as much as it should be. These children literally have no voice. If we let that silence prevail, who will save the children? If we are too scared to admit that this is happening in our cities and towns and neighborhoods, how will those babies find their way home? If we pretend thousands of children going missing each year, and never being found, is normal, then it will just happen to countless more.

Whatever the truth of the allegations today, human trafficking is happening around us. All of us. And I hope and pray that this situation that seems so impossible to believe is a wake up call to so many of us who have found it easier to just pretend there isn’t a child somewhere being abused and tortured and crying themselves to sleep, sobbing for their mama. Because truth be told, if one of my babies was missing I would trample over every single person telling me I was crazy and I would fight until I found my boy. I know you would do the same for your babies. So why aren’t we doing that for the over 200,000 children a year who are trafficked inside the United States and the 700-800,000 people trafficked internationally each year? The trafficking industry is a 9.5 billion dollar a year operation. Friends. Let those numbers sink in. This is real. 

I have been educating myself for quite a while but I am guilty of not taking action. Of not letting the reality sink in. Of not doing more. I don’t know exactly where to start but I’m done keeping my mouth shut and I’m done sitting still. I will find ways to give and support and save those babies and I refuse to believe that anything is too evil for the people involved in trafficking. My prayer tonight is that today there are traffickers living in terror because the internet just discovered one of the ways they traffic children. I pray that the events of this week drag trafficking front and center and we save children who are clinging to hope while living through hell on earth. Jesus show me how to move. I will not sit still. I will not stay silent.

Tonight we chased the sunset at our lake and this image stopped me in my tracks. The line through the sunset, separating the darkness from the light. May we all remember that the darkness HATES the light. Let us walk in light, in the constant search for truth and justice, may we believe evil exists but that Jesus rescues. May we carry that light with us and never be so afraid of what someone else thinks that we don’t shine that light on the evil and injustices that the world largely ignores. Jesus, break my heart for what breaks yours and show me how to fight evil with your truth. In prayer yes, but also with my hands, my feet, and my voice. #savethechildren

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