It’s all about Jesus
Reflections on Passion 2012 and human trafficking awareness day…
Gearing up to last week, this verse has continually been running through my mind.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. – 1 cor. 1:26-29
Last week, 45,000 students gathered together for the Passion 2012 conference. They praised God, cried out for freedom, and gave generously to the movement to end modern-day slavery. When I say generously, I mean over $3.3 million in four days.
And I got to play a small part in what happened last week, I got to get up on stage and share a part of my story alongside other abolitionists, about how and why we became involved in fighting human trafficking. It was terrifying and exciting and incredibly honouring.
The truth is when I think of who I was when I was called, I know I am not wise, and I am not influential. I am pretty much as average as you get, and yet God has allowed me to partner with Him in this great journey for freedom. He has given this weak individual the opportunity to stand up to a system of oppression that is built on power, pride, lust, and greed. He has brought shame to the system of darkness by using someone so unformidable (is that even a word?) and so ill-equipped, its almost funny. As Louie Giglio said during his final sermon, “Brokenness is the bow from which God launches the arrows of healing.” I know my brokenness, just like I know my weakness and failures, but this past week I was able to see the redemption of that brokenness, that it does not disqualify me from making a difference, but it is the very résumé that allows me to bring healing for others.
Speaking of brokenness, seriously how amazing is the story of broke college students answering the call to do something, and giving so much money to see people set free that it should put most corporate social responsibility programs to shame… as my friend
@kevinaldjohnson put it – it’s called obedience, and the results of our obedience are often unprecedented.
That’s the kind of God I serve. The One who lifts a broken teenage girl out of the depths, and gives her the chance to talk about it. He is the kind that moves the most unsuspecting people from painfully average to passionate freedom fighters who challenge oppression and injustice with the confidence and favour that can only come from being on the winning side.
When the final giving numbers from those four days were announced, and the multiple programs that would be receive funding were named, I was overwhelmed. When they confirmed that the Not For Sale Crisis Centre in South Africa was going to be funded, I had tears of joy streaming down my face and pictures of individual girls running through my mind. Individual girls whose lives will be changed drastically because of the generosity of those 45,000 students. Students who will probably never see the direct result of their decision to give, and yet in their collective obedience have done something great.
There is a lot of work needing to be done when it comes to combating human trafficking, and there are a lot of ways to do it. I remember a few years ago, when January 11th was announced as HumanTraffickingAwarenessDay in the USA. There were just a few people talking about it on social media. This year, 2012, I woke up and saw that it was trending on twitter worldwide and I was amazed by all that has happened in the movement in just a few short years. It is no longer a handful of people standing up for freedom, but a whole generation of abolitionists who desire to see freedom reign (and trend)! As January 11th draws to a close, I would encourage all who care about ending slavery to not let this just be one day of awareness, but consider making the movement a life-style that brings freedom and hope to other people.
I debated what to call this post, and in the end settled on “It’s all about Jesus”, simply because, when everything is said and done, those of us who follow Jesus can truly look at Him as the great example of abolition. He came to set people free, calling the most unusual people out of their regular lives to lead the way towards freedom. I know that nothing I have done has any value unless I have done it in His name, and I would sincerely urge others looking to dedicate their lives to freedom to look to the One who came to break the chains of injustice and set the captives free as the ultimate example of what it means to be an abolitionist.