[ f r e e d o m ] \adj\: enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: verb (used with object), freed, freeing. To make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.
The absence of freedom in our world today is staggering. We were not created to be bought and sold as commodities, for our lives and souls cannot be ascribed a dollar value. We cannot look at a fellow human being and place a price on their life, yet this happens with devastating frequency, and the utter devaluation of life occurs at a steady rate. The Exodus Road (an organization devoted to fighting against sex slavery) announced last month that their teams found and freed an 11-year-old girl in India. This child was being sold to engage in forced sexual acts for $1.65. This precious girl’s value was set at a price less than what we would pay for a dozen eggs. Unfortunately, the reality is that this atrocity doesn’t occur in only poverty stricken areas, war-torn countries, or extremist communities. The horror of little girls being sold is happening all across the United States, where the average age of girls entering the sex trade is between 12 and 14 years old. Slavery is not just a reality for others, it’s a reality in our own nation. We can do something. We need to do something.
Jesus steps in and promises rescue because he understands to the depth of his soul the injustice of being sold. He knows the pain of being exchanged for money, with greed and self-gratification motivating the sale of his life. He knows this darkness, and has experienced this captivity. And because of this, he offers rescue for all those who are enslaved.
“He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” Isaiah 61:1
There is hope in this darkness, but it requires us to move beyond slavery being a hazy concept we simply consider, and recognize it as a reality we are equipped to stand up against. Jesus chose us in this fight for freedom. He chooses what is weak to confound the strong, chooses the small to highlight his might…He chose you, and he chose me. We are called to join this fight, because we are here and we are able, because we stand for the voiceless and champion the powerless. We do this for him, because he did it for us.
“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:6
So how do we respond? We pray! We pray for victims, for pimps, and for johns. We pray for wisdom, because while not everyone has the same role in this fight, rest assured that we all have a role. No one is exempt when precious lives hang in the balance, and liberty and innocence remain threatened. We act! We extend mercy, but continue to be relentless in pursuing justice. We hold hands with victims, and enter their hurt. We welcome battle scarred victims and champion their healing. We give time, resources, and money in whatever ways we are uniquely suited for. We do something!
Rescue is coming. It starts here, it starts now, and it starts with us.