I don’t even know how to start this post.
I just know I need to write it.
For many years, I’ve been part of the abolitionist movement – educating my students about modern day slavery, fighting battles against human trafficking, combating the ignorance of a society that often ignores the realities of evil.
Everyone feels like it’s always somewhere else.
Not this city. Not this town. Not this neighborhood.
I’ve seen the realities of this stuff up close and personal.
I’ve held mamas in my arms as they cried over their runaway girls.
I was friends with a mama who relentlessly tracked down her daughter, found her at a cheap hotel, and rescued her. From the men who were selling her.
I’ve been on my knees with a desperate mama as she prayed for her girl to get caught shoplifting just so she would be safe in jail for one night.
I’ve looked in the eyes of countless hurting girls who slice open their arms, swallow pills, and sleep with anyone who will give them the time of day just to forget, just to feel loved, just to survive.
I’ve walked the streets with adult girls – grown ups who are still little girls – dressed in oversized t-shirts turning tricks for $5. I’ve told them they are loved. I’ve given them roses. I’ve begged them to leave.
I’ve been in strip clubs and brothels, watching those same grown up little girls give away their bodies to strangers, stripping themselves of more than their clothes.
I’ve also stood in school hallways, watching girls with empty eyes and empty hearts, aching for attention. The perfectly coifed fashionistas from model families – the ones no one looks at and thinks, “Oh, she’s lonely.”
The aspiring engineers, astrophysicists, and pediatricians are no different than the runaways and prostitutes. They are merely separated by a thin line of “appearances”, a thin line of privilege, a mask that covers the hurt with achievement, with society’s view of success, with an illusion of safety inside their multi-bedroom houses.
No girl – girls in poverty, middle class girls, upper class girls – no girl is exempt from the battles she fights looking at herself in the mirror. Every girl questions her body, her face, her fat, her worth.
How can we emphasize more the value of these girls? These little girls who need us to protect them, to love them, to provide the tools for discovering their own self worth?
You, sweet girl, are worth millions just sitting there, doing nothing.
You, precious girl, who were born into this world pure, are still seen as pure in the eyes of the Father.
We need to open our eyes and realize this isn’t just happening at the Super Bowl, in Chicago, in New York, in third world countries.
This is happening in our back yard.
And we can’t stand for it.
We need to open our eyes and watch. We need to tighten the security on those phones. Yep, they’ll get mad.
But mad is better than gone.
We need to watch their social media accounts. Yep, they’ll throw a fit.
But fits are better than gone.
We need to talk with them, hear them, be involved with them, know their friends, listen, listen, listen. Yep, they’ll be annoyed.
But annoyed is better than gone.
Many of them are dying to be mad and annoyed. They want to be noticed. They want to be heard. They need to be treasured.
Crista’s story could easily be mine.
So I fight for my little girl, for your little girl, for OUR little girls.
And I don’t plan on losing.
Join the fight by investing in the lives of girls around you. Volunteer at Youth Group, at halfway houses, with the homeless. Google organizations in your own community. Educate yourself – educate others.
Here are some of the organizations I believe in and invest my time promoting:
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries: Anti-trafficking Movement
Snap a pic of your hotel room – save a life!