Sex, Money and Ordinary People
If it had been a Hollywood film, this is where the attractive actors would look meaningfully into the distance and the soundtrack would intensify. Then with a series of brilliant shots and carefully selected music your emotions would explode with the power of the moment. The moment when everything changes.
But this is real life. And it came as a text while I was doing dishes this afternoon.
The message said the young woman our team at UnBound had been advocating for was going to be heading to a safe house. Even as I type this out she must be settling into the idea of a new home. A place where her life will not be threatened, where her birthday will be remembered when it rolls around each year and no one - no one will own her body.
I can't tell you her name or the details of the story, but I can tell you that she is a survivor now. No longer a victim of human trafficking - she is free. After years of being forced to have sex for money, she is free.
Our team who worked on this case alongside local law enforcement are phenomenal people. I wish I could name them and recount their efforts one-by-one. But they are very ordinary. Stay at home moms, lawyers, pastors, teachers...normal people. As much as I love them, they are not superheros. Just dreamers who aren't scared of a fight.
People who believe this world is not too far gone. Not too far gone to keep trying.
Average people who decided to show up to life and make a difference. They put their game face on and look evil in the eye. 'Cause they serve a God who is bigger and a cause that is worthy.
When I got the text this afternoon, I found myself thinking that this isn't the way things like this are supposed to go down. If Martin Scorsese was directing, news wouldn't break with a simple text in the middle of cleaning my house. That's how stuff like this works though. Between emails and sips of coffee. Squeezed into pockets of time between the busyness of work and family.
Yea, there are days in my life that sound pretty legit. A few weeks ago I was in a meeting with FBI agents, a congressman and his staff. While it may seem impressive, it was just people around a table. People trying to figure out how we can solve a problem. I wasn't Erin Brockovich and I didn't have solutions tied up with pretty bows. Just there to say, "Hey, I'm here and I want to help."
'Cause that's really all any of us can do. Just show up with what we have and help where we can. There are no blue ribbons for the best answers or dress codes monitoring who looks the part. You. You fit the part friend. You who only have a few hours a month to serve at a soup kitchen. You in the middle of your depression offering a smile to a stranger. You who can write checks for thousands of dollars. All of us. Together, giving what we've got.
If you come here often you hear me talk about Something Bigger. That internal voice or impression that you are made for more than you are living right now. A desire to make an impact and shift things around. I believe we are all destined for something bigger.
The text I got today at 4:16 pm confirmed it. I was so proud of my friends and teammates who are working one case at a time to see modern-day slavery put to an end. The are showing up - day in, day out. Volunteering the skills and time they can humbly offer. They are the ones who chisel new messages in the pages of history. Reminders that giving up isn't an option.
I don't know what is in your heart to do, but I know it matters that you do it. The world is breaking down all around us and it's time we show up. For the lonely commuter next to us every morning to the victim of sex trafficking on the internet.
I'm calling on all you destined for Something Bigger who are wondering if showing up will really matter or not with all this chaos. Know what? It matters. You are a mover & a shaker. An ordinary person with an extraordinary God. See you tomorrow everyone, armed with hope and big dreams. Let's take the world by storm.
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