We are part of a generation that is clued up about human trafficking; more so than our parents, much more so than our grandparents. We’re in the middle of a movement to end slavery for good and that is exciting. Advocates have gone before us, lobbying, campaigning and researching, and now it’s our turn. The eradication of human trafficking is something that I want to see, and it’s so exciting that I can be part of that. And yet I am continually frustrated by my own apathy.
I’m confident that trafficking, particularly sex-trafficking, is something that God has put on my heart. I go to events, I listen to panellists, I read articles, I learn some stats, I get fired up that I can be the change, I commit to pray, to give, to volunteer, to campaign and then…well, forget? Not exactly. I just, don’t. I don’t think this is a generational thing, particularly. I know so many of my peers who have a passion and have gone for it, and I am so inspired by their tenacity, but I don’t think I’m entirely alone in my passivity.
Part of my problem is the age-old question, ‘What can I do?’ I’m not running the country, making decisions, I don’t have money, influence… But just this weekend I’ve been teaching that we have influence to lead from within a congregation, that we have even more power than the person at the front. Do we really believe that? If we want to start taking a stand, making a statement from where we sit, in our twenties, we have to.
Buoyed up and ready to change the world at the beginning of last year, I sat down at my laptop in turmoil. What did I search? ‘Brothels in Hammersmith’? (In case you’re wondering, I did, and I can now give you details on many escort services in my local area…) After less than half an hour at my computer, I gave up. Opportunities to volunteer with sex-trafficked women, apparently, don’t just fall into your lap.
But my complaints of ‘it’s too difficult’ and ‘what difference can I make?’ are just a cover-up for my laziness. God has not called us to a life of apathy and making excuses. Jesus was hard-working, tenacious, perseverant. He didn’t rest on the fact that he was God, he didn’t just exist, he did stuff! How many times have I been at church and prayed, ‘God take away my chains of apathy’ and then gone home to watch Gogglebox and forgotten all about whatever it was that had convicted me?
We have God’s power in us; the same that inhabited Jesus. We are influential, useful, and so so able. For me, I need to translate that knowledge into action. So, it’s baby steps. It has to start with prayer, we need to show God that we’re serious, so I’m starting by praying for those oppressed by sex-trafficking with some friends. Because when we commit to praying together, we actually do it!
I want this to be an encouragement, not a guilt-trip. If there’s an injustice that has been lying dormant in you for months, even years, don’t ignore it. Take hold of the promise that you are influential where you are, shake that apathy, and, with Christ in you and with you, do something about it!
(Photo: Ryan McGuire | Flickr)