Thursday, January 12, 2012

Freedom for me and you and them.

Yesterday was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  I didn't realize it until one in the afternoon and didn't respond well to the news.  You see, this is a cause I feel God has placed on my heart.  You might remember my words about it a few months ago in my blog on LOVE146.  However, since August I haven't put my efforts into this cause beyond prayer.  I did look up information about local chapters, but by the time I found the appropriate website I had already missed the monthly meeting for August.  I forgot about it for a couple of months...September had a lot happening and two family birthdays.  I remembered again in October, but couldn't find up-to-date info on the website about the next meeting.  Then I forgot again because of the holidays.

If this all sounds like a bunch of excuses, that's my point.  I have lots of reasons why I still haven't invested my efforts in such a vital cause, but if it was truly important to me I would have found a way to get involved.  Made time, sent an email, found a phone number...something. Anything.

So what did I do yesterday?  I ignored it.  I thought to myself, "Oh good. What an important thing."  Then I didn't post a single word about it.  I felt shame burning down to my toenails...I should have known about this day, I should BE A PART. 

But where does shame like that get us?  It usually causes us to ignore with more focused intent.  I am dumping the shame that would keep me away.

Truth: Those things we do in life which will have the most impact- personally, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, socially- will always be hard fought.  We know this, and yet we still want the magic microwave pill.  We have come to expect instant results and gratification.  But anything GOOD takes time, hard work, focus, sacrifice.  Can I sacrifice a little of my time and effort to see children around the world become free from slavery? 

I don't know the causes on your heart.  Or if you have discovered any yet.  I was talking to a friend over the weekend about how we feel called to help in different areas...I feel called to help the people of other nations while my friend feels called to help those here in the U.S.  We all have different things on our hearts- perhaps this ensures that the needs are met everywhere.  But here is the biggest realization I've had since yesterday-

I need to help.  Stop just talking and writing blogs about it and DO. Give my time, effort, talent and finances.  Period.  We will only know true freedom in our hearts from materialism, greed, selfishness...all those unimportant things we cling to so tightly thinking they will bring us joy when all they do is leave us longing for more...when we set others free.  That freedom may come through giving food and blankets to a homeless person, legislating for changes in our laws, rescuing a girl from slavery, building a Habitat for Humanity house...the list of ways we can help is endless, yes? 

A huge thank you to those working on the front lines for change, here in America and across the world.  You inspire me.  I am coming.

Ponder your "place" today, won't you?  What is important to you?  What injustices do you see around you that make you angry?  Start there. Sure, we can ignore the great needs around us, like I have been doing for most of my life, but it is to our detriment as much as those in need.  With all our stuff, we need freedom too. 


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