So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. (2 Corinthians 4:16 (Msg)
Isn't the most beautiful, most glorious aspect of His grace often found in the way it unfolds?
Like a tulip.
See them there, among my mess? Unfolding in splendor and glory, unfurling, unwrapping, unwinding for days now while I scatter books and notes and scribbles in my Bread-Book and my notebooks, while I serve meals and wipe up spills and scold belches, while I debate exegesis with my Guy and we browse songs from Les Miserables and I say for the millionth time "It's too loud!" Do you see this lovely unfolding of grace? It's here - "on the inside, where God is making new life."
I'm absolutely and utterly astonished at the vast scope of our God. Because I see Him here among the soft uncurling petals of my tulips and my heart, and then ... then ... I see Him here:
photo Credit: India Rescue Mission
Look again. It says children.
I still don't really understand how He can be here among the tulips and also there as Weeping Witness of putrid violation of little girls; but I trust, I believe, I know that He is.
Oh, how His grace unfolds!
In January I made a vow to God that I would blog every Tuesday about justice for the victims of Human Trafficking. My compassion for them started long before that, but this path jutted off there. I also sent my husband and two of my best friends to India on mission to a place where daughters are bred to be sold to brothels. No - I'm not lying. These three precious ones to my heart looked into the eyes of little girls whose petals were sold nightly to filthy "customers" for a few rupees. They came home to me and cried fountains of tears because what they had allowed God to show them had burst those springs wide and unstoppable. Sometimes what goes into your eyes causes only tears to come out. But tears are powerful prayers.
In February, the organization for whom I volunteer blog, The Exodus Road, announced a no-gimmicks program to rescue victims of the sex-trade [I hate calling it that - sex is NOT a commodity to be sold ... and yet it is] in India. I gave a little, invited others to do the same, and prayed a lot.
In March, I read the story of one victim and began to intercede for her too. She taught me to crucify my veil that this injustice happens only over there. And in seeing the reality of what happens here, I began to pray for a new thing. And He told me, the developmentalist, never to despise the development of a work He calls His own. Stay tuned for more on that.
In April I kept praying for the 7 and the 40 and the 1 victim and the 27 million slaves and the 13 million children and the 1 brother in the village with sisters, and I kept writing and fasting on Tuesdays. You might think that would get too complicated for my mathematically-challenged mind, but God said in his calculator that all of our prayers together added up to 89. Do you see them?
These 89 girls include 32 minors (under 18), and these are the faces, the eyes, the bodies, the hearts, the dreams, the minds, the precious flowers I was praying for - they were rescued from a single brothel in Mumbai in ONE NIGHT because we fought and they fought with them and the Holy Spirit fought, and now they can choose freedom. I'm not so naive as to think their journey is over. Restoration is a long road. A lifetime journey of being a survivor and a thriver.
And now in May - we can't NOT celebrate this, and then keep praying for them. When I saw the news article I straight out clapped all by myself in my kitchen because He deserves every applause I can give. This is the unfolding of grace, Dear Ones. I want to shout it to you and high-five you and hug your neck and jump up and down with you. This is huge. This is answered prayer. The kind of exodus that only comes by fasting - it's here!
And no, we're not done, but yes, this is GOOD - and how can we not smile for the victory through all these unfurling tears? I am so exceedingly thankful.
Keep praying, keep giving, keep fighting, dear soldiers - because Freedom Rocks!!