I will start this post by saying that today was a very good day. I picked up my friend who has survived a great deal of trauma Continue reading
She used to be a sturdy branch, proud and blossom-bearing.
Now she is a piece of firewood, split with an ax and used to warm a man for a moment.
She stares from the backseat down a crowded freeway and ponders the irony of that word.
Cut from her life-source, now unable to bear the weight of fear, it gets so heavy that it crushes young bones.
It leaves her whiskey-scented, terribly fragmented.
At the Border
She recalls the shaky voice of her Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Ray, “all things work together for good” and asks herself if this journey could be included in the glorious idea of “all things”.
Good, at one point surrounded her; it is now a speck on a mountainside with no road leading to – or from – it.
Her one piece of ID is taken. Soon after, another piece is stolen, never to be returned. This one, much more sacred – a blend of body, mind and potential.
Her eyes watch the signs blur by and the pavement turn to gravel to dirt
An unsuspecting field her suite, flowing curtains made of wheat
A client tries, her eyes to meet as she lets them close, recalling a song her Mamma lulled, “turn your eyes upon Jesus”.
She waits for things of earth to grow strangely dim.
Split with an ax by one more of hundreds.
Wholeness is a far-fetched dream of which she cannot afford to let go. There would be but one option left.
Stories of rescue, of raids and redemption resound with hope just palatable enough to grasp in her small hand.
She opens her eyes and discovers what was clenched in her hand: the corner of a stained sheet. Could have sworn she was in a field.
Knuckles turn white from this plight. If her spirit weakens any more, her hope will be reduced to a thread, spinning and taut.
She hears a wrinkled woman humming a hymn & the words come back to her.
Its truth thickens the thread.
She recalls when that freeway used to be a free way, summons the courage to imagine a listening, loving God and wonders if anyone is praying to him on her behalf.
And just in case they are not, she whispers, “I still believe in you. You are all I have. Free me. Please.”
Last fall, I learned more and more about the industry of child prostitution and trafficking, world-wide and in the US. The more I learned, the more I felt compelled. I signed up for the Austin Walk, was able to raise about $350., and had a blast supporting this cause which fights to set children free of slavery & abuse. I remember lookin’ on Stop Child Trafficking Now’s website to see if Portland, OR had a walk. Continue reading
The words of this song were written through the eyes of a (fictional) 16 yr old girl from Russia. A nameless girl who was tricked into travelling to America, “the land of the free and the brave”, for a better job & life, yet fell victim to the 2nd fastest growing industry in the world, human trafficking. These are the thoughts I imagined her to think after nearly 3 yrs, held & forced into a life of survival sex, by one man and his organized ring of traffickers, pimps and buyers of children.
It’s in 3/4 time (a waltz). The verses’ tune is soft, w/a heavier evanescence-feel on the chorus & tag.
Chains of Shame
if God can forget all the chiefest of sins, surely He has forgotten my kind
i think it’s been 33 months since my innocence, but i’ve lost all sense of time
dreams, aspirations, love, education, plans for a future and hope
like my body, they’re stripped of their meaning; beaten, now bleeding, almost a joke
how.. could.. i be… so stupid?!
i cant believe who i’ve become since i believed him
theres.. no… way out now!!
out of this darkness, out of these chains…of shame
chains of shame
to free the (underground) oppressed, cover this nakedness, and offer poor wanderers rest
нарушите эти цепи позора (pronounced: “lou-doo-shut-slites-itz. shay-pee-pah-zorah” meaning, “break these chains of shame” – in Russian)
Is.1:17-18 Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
“Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Matt. 25:37-40 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
OK, I have some great news – well, for me, anyway – Head over to my personal fund raising page for Stop Child Trafficking Now and see! Last week my goal was to raise $100, and now, my goal is $300…and people just keep on givin’! I am so excited about how people have been supportive – I feel so honored…but I’ve got to keep the goal higher, so if anyone reading this would like to contribute, don’t fight the urge. Girls all over the world, even here in the Austin area, will see freedom again, in time, as a result.
I have ONE more week til I lace my tennies for the Austin Walk on the 26th. If you’d like to help my lil efforts get bigger & bigger…even pass my newest goal, $300 (to be used to assemble & deploy special operative teams made of highly-trained military veterans with a new, driving purpose), head on over to my page:
& jump on board…or register to lace up your own shoes along with me, as I WALK to Stop Child Trafficking Now. Thank you soooo much!!!
In the last month or two, I’ve been moved and stirred up and curious about the issue of child trafficking. It started after Ricky & I watched Taken, then we saw a video about the reality of the crime in the US, while we attending a concert in downtown Austin. Then I read a blog post about it entitled “God of Justice…Or Is He?“, by Brad Ruggles.
FINALLY, I was invited to a Tea Party where the founder of Stop Child Trafficking Now, Lynette Lewis, along with an Austin PD specialist in this field & 2 other activists spoke out against this crime & with ways to help stop it.
I’ve learned so much…like how children are lured & taken & held against their will, for years. I learned how this industry is growing fast in the US and that 25-30% of all US cases are in Texas. All I’ve learned & more can be found at SCTNow.org.
Why should I care?
I care because I love children. Many people say that their innocence & childhood is being taken from them, but I believe they’re still innocent – they are not suddenly guilty. And they’re still experiencing childhood, only filled with fear, abuse and manipulation. They’ve been tricked & not cannot escape. I care because God cares. He has unbelievable, impacting potential for every single person, and if a person’s life – her dreams, self-esteem, purpose, body image, emotional & physical health, etc. – can be sabotaged at youth, that amazing potential is never reached!! The way these children now see themselves, the world and their Creator is perverted. That intended potential will never be reached. This grieves me deeply.
I want to do something, even if it seems small to others, to help children remain safe from anyone who aims to sexually abuse & exploit them for profit. I want to…and I will.