Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What Happens When Humanity Turns

It's Tuesday, and I need to write about human trafficking, and we'll get there - but not before a short(ish) detour through my random musings this week.

It's a quest to crucify self and pick up daily, even momently crosses when the objective is follow. 

Life and death take on new meanings. I'm living dead, letting His life invade my deadly places and murdering the parts of me that don't line up with Him. He's so very patient and gentle as He asks me again to die. To selfishness, impatience, rage, judgment, coveting, contempt. How can He handle this mess and still call it beautiful? I'm so in love with this King who kills me just to bring me back to abundant life. The life that gives and doesn't take and likes it that way. Life that looks like His mirror and reflects His heart. Cares for those He cares about. Because his invitation to follow was followed by a promise.

"I will make you fishers of men."

And those fisher guys? Yeah, they were radically changed. Their greatest focus went from slimy fish and dirty money to grimy men and filthy women. Messy children and fussy babies. But Jesus loves each human life and His followers do too. And when our focus matches His - following will be easy. Well, in a compelling kind of way, at least.

So, if He had tunnel vision it would have been on these:

"He does what is fair for those who have been wronged.
    He gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free.
 The Lord gives sight to the blind.
The Lord lifts up people who are in trouble.
    The Lord loves those who do right.
 The Lord protects the foreigners.
    He defends the orphans and widows,
    but he blocks the way of the wicked."
-Psalm 146:7-9 (NCV)

(See also Deuteronomy 10:17-18 and Zechariah 7:10-11 and Job 31:16-19, among many others)

Because this is what He requires of those who receive Him:

"He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?"
-Micah 6:8 (ESV)

And if we were to do justice today, it would be on behalf of these. The less-than-fortunate who are treated like throw-aways - these are the ones Jesus says we're fishing for. They're the sick ready for a doctor, the broken ready for His restoration, the dead seed ready to become new life, and His heart breaks for them. Get out your net, because I'm about ready to show you how, Friend. Not because I'm some better-than, but because I want to be one of those close at His heels, doing the following and becoming the follower. And why would I leave you out of that?

"If God's character includes a zeal for justice that leads him to have the tenderest love and closest involvement with the socially weak, then what should God's people be like? They must be people who are likewise passionately concerned for the weak and vulnerable" - Timothy Keller in Generous Justice: How God's Grace makes us Just

So, yeah - now we get to talk about the fight against human trafficking, and I don't have to explain again how this is the same thing as fighting for justice. One life enslaved by another is never just. A life willfully surrendered to The Loving Master is an entirely different matter. So, what will it take to get from this to that? 

1. Pray. Intercede on behalf of the millions of enslaved children and adults on this dying planet and ask God to break your heart for them until you ...

2. Do. Something. Make a change in your life, die to yourself so that another life may live for Him. Not to be sold. Give to an anti-trafficking organization. If you need some direction, try these guys. I have. 

The Exodus Road
F.R.E.E. International
TraffickJam International
Generate Hope Shelter
W.A.R. International
Destiny Rescue

Volunteer at a shelter or safe house. Do a fundraiser in your church or community. Rally behind someone who is at risk for trafficking. Visit a Juvenile Detention Center or Youth Shelter. Foster-adopt a teenager at risk. Go on a mission to a place (you might not have to travel very far) where trafficking is common.

3. Thank God. When He does something huge through you on behalf of the slave, give all of the glory to Him. Die to pride and self and fame. Give it all to Him. He's worthy and you're not. He gets the thanks. Every. Single. Time. 

So what happens when humanity turns from death to life, and then from life to death for Him? 

Love happens. 

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