Today, on Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we remember that people are watching and learning from us. We can make small differences for the oppressed through simple actions we take. A member of our Justice Network team who also is a part of Love Links, our strip-club ministry, shared a story with us at our last meeting. We asked if we could share her story on our blog today. We hope it will encourage and inspire you as it has done for us:
Every year around Christmas, I have an ache in my heart because of the increasing commercialism, even within the body of Christ. I can relate to the desire to give to others as a reflection of the amazing gift of the Word made flesh for us. As we all know, Satan has lured many of God’s children into the noisy mayhem of the season, often silencing the still, small voice that beckons us to gaze upon the beauty and wonder of God Incarnate. In fact, the clamor is so loud we often don’t even hear the glorious chorus of the angels. Yes, we say we want to “keep Christ in Christmas”. But, do we? Really? Yes, we say we want to keep it simple, but it usually ends up being far from that. Are there practical ways that we can actually redeem this holy season to honor our Redeemer? How can we buck the tide? How can we take it back from the prince of this world and, once again, make it truly about the Prince of Peace? Well, this year, our family saw that this seemingly daunting question maybe isn’t as complicated as we thought.
One thing we at Justice Network constantly remind ourselves of in the seemingly overwhelming fight against modern day slavery is that, doing SOMETHING, no matter how small, is doing SOMETHING! We have seen our amazing God multiply small efforts to reap more fruit than we could have imagined! And even when we don’t see fruit, we know that God is honored by our faithfulness in every little thing done to spread His love and grace in this needy world!
Back to redeeming Christmas: Daunting? Maybe. Does it have to be? NO! Because doing SOMETHING is doing something! This year, our family decided to draw names and give each other only fair trade/ethically made $20. gifts. So that’s ONE family gift to buy for $20. No lists. Surprise each other. If you can’t make it to a store that sells fair trade, there are ample opportunities online. Simple! Fun! Meaningful!
We saw our God multiply the blessings. This year was the first year that the only time we could all be together was at the home of someone in our extended family. We were planning to break away for an hour and have our own little family gift exchange. As it turned out, some of the extended family had a desire to share this time with us and we went with the flow. We explained what we had done this year and, as each person gave their gift, they explained why they had chosen it, told the story of the artisan(s) and also shared how purchasing this gift made a positive impact in someone’s life. Not only was this incredibly meaningful for our immediate family, but it also really touched the hearts of our extended family and opened their eyes to the ways we can use our purchases to directly help those in need. That was a precious hour which will bear ongoing fruit. Not only was the season simplified, but our hearts were satisfied. No malls. No mayhem. No lists. No debt. Just hearts full of gratitude, love and quiet. Quiet enough not only to hear the angels, but to join their song.