Friday, June 13, 2008

------------Heaven and Hell on Earth------------


I'm housesitting for my daughter, and enjoying trips to a nearby state park. I work for awhile, sitting on a picnic table with my computer and enjoying the breeze off a sparkling lake. Then I put my computer away, hike across the long dam to the far side of the lake.

No one seems to go here, though it's a lovely spot. Shaded by trees, plenty of large rocks for sitting, sun glistening off the water, dappling the leaves so everything seems to be sun-kissed. Like heaven, I think. God bending to this perfect afternoon and breathing a little touch of heaven.

Except...

...I'm reading a book named NOT FOR SALE by David Bastone. I've been reading it in conjunction with Gary Haugen's book TERRIFY NO MORE, to learn about human trafficking. I'm stunned to learn that, what I ignorantly thought were isolated instances, have become the norm in many countries. I thought sex trafficking was about bringing prositutes to other countries. It's not. It's about kidnapping teens AND children--and we're taking little girls--and forcing them to be raped by ten men a day. And it's pervasive. In terms of human slavery, I almost vomited when I read about children as young as four being forced into a day's labor. Growing up as slaves, never understanding they live in a so-called "free" society.

My grandson is four. My nieces are six and eight and ten. It's horrifying. I won't go into more details because I can't do this trafficking thing justice. Bastone's or Haugen's books cover the problem well.

Gary Haugen runs a very-well respected Christian agency--the International Justice Mission--which operates to rescue people, give them long-term aftercare, see that the criminals are prosecuted, and change the attitudes and laws of not only foreign governments but our own United States government. You can read about their work at http://www.ijm.org/.

Bastone's book describes many other fine organizations dealing with this terrible evil.

But what about me?

I'm sitting on a rock on a beautiful day, thinking "heaven on earth."

I'm sitting on a rock while millions of people--too many young children--are forced into slavery and the sex trade. "Hell on earth" can't begin to describ the evil that is inflicted on God's children.

I'm sitting on a rock named Jesus.

I need to stand up, let the rock move.

I need to pray the rock will move me. If He cannot, I deserve to be crushed.

4 comments:

Kay said...

I will add those books to my list. It is so much easier to ignore it. But it's real and we are the ones who need to listen and care and act. At least Pray!

I recently saw a book called "Say You're One of Them" by Uwem Akpam. It is a collection of stories about Africa and addresses the slavery, genocide, etc. I want to read that, too.

But as you said, this slavery problem isn't just an Africa problem. Very, very sad.

Accidental Poet said...

Eloquently stated, Kathryn.

May we all be obedient to the passions He raises us to.

Elsi Dodge said...

I can't read those books, as they'll throw me into a PTSD flashback state. And my experiences were nothing compared to what you're describing! Yes, speak out ... step out ... trust the Rock.

Pam Halter said...

We were just talking in Sunday school about how confusing it is that God allows such suffering to happen. Does this mean He is not good or powerless? Not at all! God is sovereign and He doesn't necessarily let us in on the whys of His actions or inactions.

We must pray and trust Him!