A few months ago, I opened a devastating email from the president of War International (Women at Risk). It was about a baby called “Sweetie” from South Asia who is being held captive in the Red Light District, chained to a pole, and withheld from love and affection. She is being raised in this way so as to get her accustomed to the life of prostitution that she will one day enter.
The WAR team was sneaking into the brothel where she was being raised, under the guise of “customers”, but really there to hold bible studies for the women, and have some time to hold and rock the baby, praying for her fervently with each rock.
A innocent baby, being neglected and abused at the hands of sex traffickers. This kind of stuff is happening today. Right now. As you read these words.
Devastation is all around us.
Shortly after that day, with that email still fresh in my mind- I walked into the grocery store and saw a man holding a baby that looked to be his granddaughter. He was so enthralled with her that he was blocking the entry way, so I excused myself, made a kind comment, and squeezed by him. He found me later in one of the aisles because he wanted to apologize for blocking the door, and explain to me that he was holding his baby granddaughter, who he hasn’t seen for 3 weeks.
He went on to share with me that he has been in his home non-stop, caring for his son around the clock- who is dying of a brain tumor. That son also happens to be the father of this little baby girl. This 18 year old son has been through extensive chemo and radiation, and now is home with hospice care, just waiting to die. The man welled up with tears telling me his story.
Broken hearts are all around us.
I asked for his son’s name, and told him I would be praying for his son- and then I reached out my hand and asked him if I could pray, right now? He looked surprised, but quickly accepted my request.
There we stood, in front of the kiwis and mangoes, with all the world passing us by. The passer-bys were there to get their groceries, but we were there calling on the God who had more on his mind than fruits and vegetables…this was a God moment, to be sure. In the middle of a grocery store.
When we finished praying, he said to me “I am overwhelmed…I want you to know that I will never forget this moment as long as I live”.
“This moment”. The moment a random stay-at-home mom, in yoga pants and a sweatshirt took time out of her “busy life” to look at the devastation and broken hearts around her, and do something about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am no superhero- far from it. In fact, I don’t think I could have found anything EASIER to do than pray. I didn’t offer money, I didn’t provide my counseling services, and I didn’t heal his dying son.
But we connected. Two broken people connected before an Almighty God. A God who heals, a God who comforts, a God who cares.
Sometimes you read those articles about sex trafficking, and suffering. Or you see those emails about poor little babies in South Asia and the incredible people who are taking the time to risk their lives to visit this baby and disciple these broken women of the Red Light District.
You read these things and you look at the devastation that surrounds and you think, wow, I have got nothing to offer.
But you are so terribly wrong.
Not only do you have something to offer, you have EVERYTHING. There is comfort that has been poured out to you on behalf of an Almighty God…so that you, can comfort others.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4
The problem is not whether or not we have something to offer, it’s whether or not we allow ourselves to take the TIME. The time to step out of our selfish, superficial worlds, and look around.
Today is the perfect day to begin. Whether through something as subtle as looking around on a trip to the grocery store, or as bold as joining the EndItMovement and drawing a red X on your hand and spreading awareness about the realities of modern day slavery- take a moment to step outside of yourself today and bring God’s love to a world that is desperately in need. No matter who you are, you are capable of bringing love to this world.
Because that is exactly what you were created to do. You are a city on a hill. So, shine your light.