Saturday, September 22, 2012

Let's Listen

One of the hardest parts of the life of an exploited victim is never being able to speak up for yourself and be heard. The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness of being totally silenced is a terrible aspect of stripping away someone's humanity.
For survivors of this terrible atrocity, there remains the terrible feeling of no one wanting to hear your story. I know just a little bit of this feeling from my loss of my son Bryce. There is an overwhelming feeling when you meet people to let them in to this part of your life that marks you so deeply and makes you who you are. And then there is a shame for having that need. No one wants hear your ugly, painful reality. You make people feel awkward. It is taboo in our society to be that real, to tell that much truth. So you sit instead with a lump in your throat and pain searing your soul while you smile and chatter idly.
For survivors of trafficking, it is necessary to share their stories when they have recovered enough to do so. In order to re-enter society, they need to be able to trust people in general again. They will never do that if no one ever listens to them, if no one is ever able to go there with them, to the hard and hurting and painful places.
It is easy to read the facts about human trafficking. It is harder to listen to the real horror stories. I want to shut it off myself. To say, "I get it, I don't need to hear any more." But the truth is, if I am going to choose justice and mercy for these women and children, it is not about what I need to hear. It is about listening. It is about the fact that they need to be heard. To help them heal, we need to listen.
So today, I invite you to follow these links and read, listen to the stories. As it pains you, as it makes you want to turn away, let the Lord break your heart for them. Pray for them. And pray for the valiant people every day who are working in the recovery effort, listening daily to this pain, trying to sop up the emotional and physical and spiritual wounds of this atrocity.
Let's not turn away from the ugly and the pain and the real. Let's show mercy and take action by being willing to listen.

  • Survivor stories at the Polaris Project
  • Facing the real and the ugly of these stories at the blog Jammed True Stories
  • This Is Our Story can be borrowed for free on Kindle
  • Here is a list of videos that come up when you search Human Trafficking Survivor Stories on You Tube
  • When your heart is breaking over these stories, maybe you could pen a note of encouragement to Maria at Salvando Corazones and thank her for being willing to give up her life, her business, her home, move her family to Costa Rica and daily live with this pain, daily try to instill hope. You can post your note here, e-mail it to me, or Facebook message me. Or you can post it on the Salvando Corazones Facebook page. 
Let's listen to the hard stories because we know we must. And then let's thank the people who are listening every single day. This is living mercy. This is living justice. And you can do it. Now. Today. Please do.

And don't forget to keep praying our prayer. And sharing these posts and the prayer with others. Don't be discouraged if no one responds. Do the right thing anyway. God will work with what you give.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing about this and being practical. Yes, if you want to listen with an open heart, it's gonna hurt, real deep. If you want to listen in a way that brings healing to a survivor, it is gonna break your heart. BUT, it doesn;t remain broken, that is the beauty in it.