It’s interesting how sometimes words or phrases get caught in our minds, repeating and turning over and over in our memories. And isn’t it funny how most of the time we don’t know why something is still bothering us, and it can sometimes take weeks for it to just click?
Years ago I heard a quote, wrote it down on some innocent scrap piece of paper and pinned it to my wall near my window that points east, only to forget about it hidden behind where the curtain falls. While I was painting recently I found it.
Still hanging there, years and months and moments later, waiting for it to be read and rolled over and over in my mind again.
My pastor mentioned something similar in an analogy he used to describe meditating in the love of God.
Meditate to marinate.
Soaking, absorbing, through and through – not a light dip but a drenching.
Once again, this quote pinched my heart. Taking the words one by one, the world around me for a moment was forgotten as the rain hit heavy and the wind blew hard. I was lost. And so was my heart.
It was the fault of William Wilberforce over 100 years ago that has sparked this fire in my heart.
Now, I don’t know about you, but those words for me are a pierce in the spirit, a slap on the heart.
In the 1800s, Wilberforce led a campaign in parliament to abolish the trading of slaves into the British Colonies. He dedicated his entire life – both at work and out of work, quoting, ‘If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.’
And abolish it he did.
A man of faith, he saw the strength in raising awareness to protect the children of God.
Yet there’s one horrid statistic that pulls this all into context:
There are more slaves in the world today.
And modern day slavery effects children, especially young girls, being forced to take part in acts that abuse, distort and disturb their view of an all powerful, ever seeing, loving God.
One of the most confronting books I have read in my young twenty years is called “Forgotten Girls,’ written by Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett. Filled with stories from across the globe, the pages are filled with the confrontational image of what the rest of the western world recognises as statistics.Looking a statistic mould into a person, mould into a sister – one who was crying out for justice – is piercing to the heart, and tearing to the soul.
Quoted straight from the book about a young Nepali girl abandoned vulnerable and tricked into prostitution, ‘yet she is wary in her boldness – always watchful. And in the end, it is he eyes that betray her. Twenty years old, just on the threshold of womanhood, yet (her) eyes are old and weary from having seen far too much.’
Where is the justice for these people? How is it possible that there is so much violence and evil still prevailing?
Slavery is illegal in every country.
Yet there are more people in bondage that ever seen in history.
21 – 30 MILLION in fact.
And it generates $32 Billion for traffickers. Every. Year.
This lent period, leading up to Easter, my church family has been praying about issues such as these. Addiction. Bondage. Restoration.
Because the voiceless need our voice.
Maybe Wilberforce was onto something.
Now you know.