It is a privilege to be featured today at OnFaith. They took the rough draft of my heart’s plea, and through their editing have turned it into a concise call to action.
You can begin reading below – and then click over here to read more:
I didn’t hear the phrase “human trafficking” until well into my 20s. (I’m now in my mid-30s.) Initially, I brushed it off because I could not bear to carry in my mind the reality of such atrocities. But awareness is the most important step to engagement, and it’s this first step where many of us get stuck.
The words of Dr. Diane Langberg, member of Biblical Theological Seminary’s Global Trauma Recovery Institute, are instructive here: “The things we cannot bear to hear about are the atrocities that he/she has had to live through.”
When this sinks in, we have no choice but to repent of our passivity and beg God for the strength to engage in what is close to his heart. Often the next question becomes, where do I begin? Try starting here:
1. Recognize why you’ve been passive.
Ask the question, Why is this hard for me to hear? Maybe you can identify with one of these:
- It’s viscerally uncomfortable to read about these atrocities.
- It brings up issues of your own past of abuse. (If so, skip to #2 below.)
- It challenges your trust in humanity to choose what’s good more often than not.
- Its existence seems to fly in the face of a good God who is over all things.
- You feel scared — for your own safety and that of those you love.
- You feel powerless to help.
I vacillate between most of the above, which has kept me from deeper engagement. But the beauty of realizing our passivity is that it can change in that moment. The fact that you have continued reading says you want to know more and be more engaged.
2. Work through your own trauma first.
As a counselor, I want to say there are very good reasons to be stuck in the place of “not-able-to-hear.” If hearing about this type of sexual abuse and trauma dislodges your own memories of abuse with overwhelming emotional effects, you need to get help for yourself first before engaging in further awareness. [head over to OnFaith to read the rest of the article, 10 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking]