Fast For Freedom Day 15 – The Great Ache #IWFF
This season of lent, follow along with the Fast For Freedom. Participate by sharing, praying, fasting, or giving to raise awareness about global slavery. Download the 40 day devotional for free here. Share your own thoughts and prayers in the comments, and be challenged to take action in the movement for Freedom.
I sit today with my fingers poised over the keys, waiting in anticipation for something wonderful to flow out from my fingers and onto my blank screen. Something that will offer another step of courage, but instead I find myself staring out the window into the dark of the night. Today I feel like it is a fraud to write another post on God’s justice and righteousness, not because I don’t believe He is both of those things, but because what I believe and what I see in the world sometimes stand in such stark contrast.
And then you read a Psalm like today’s (Psalm 72), in particular verses 12 – 14
“For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.”
For precious is their blood in His sight.
I am a lover of dictionaries, and so I looked up the word precious.
pre·cious… of high price or great value; very valuable
or costly; dear; beloved
Life can be so messy sometimes. Exploitation so depressing. Seeing women reduced to a price tag, knowing the products we buy are often tainted by slave labour, looking at evil and abuse and seeing the toll that it takes. It is messy.
This evening my housemates and I watched a movie about a woman who lost her child. Her pain was so raw, you ached for her, feeling her emptiness as she desperately tried to hold onto her memories, losing her grip on reality because her loss was almost too much to bare. The blood of her child was of great value to her, so great, she could hardly continue life without him. He was precious.
While watching this movie I thought about one of the pre-teen girls who was being sold for sex on the streets of Cape Town. I had heard of her, I had seen pictures of her, read reports about her, knew the block of flats where she was working from, knew that she was in deep trouble with an older boyfriend, knew that she was enduring horrible abuse, and yet we never found her. We searched, we reported it, we did everything we could, but she was moved before the police could get her out. I ached. I remember asking my boyfriend at the time to drive me to the Mcdonalds near where she was last seen at crazy hours of the night so I could cry out to God and ask Him to rescue her. I wanted so badly for her story to be a miracle. I thought of her daily, couldn’t get her out of my head. I painted pictures and wrote letters to her, believing I would see her free.
But one day I had to accept that she was gone. Maybe she was dead, maybe she was in another city. I will probably never know. Watching this mother in the movie ache for the son she lost, I wondered if any mother ached for this teenage girl. It was always the mother’s who broke my heart in Cape Town, when they would come in looking for their daughters, when the police would bring a mother to see her daughter who had been found on the street. There is something fierce and almost frightening in the love of a mother for her child. Their torment is terrifying when they cannot protect their child from danger. It rips into your heart. I rarely cry at work, but every time I had to stand with a mother desperate and crazy with love for her child, every time I had to listen to the despair, it would shake me to the core and I would be left blinking back tears.
I think of this pre-teen girl and I don’t know if she had a mother who looked for her, but I am reminded today, through watching that movie and reading this psalm, that this girl, whether anyone ever knew she was gone or not, she was precious. Few will ever know her story, I only know a little and what I did know almost drove me crazy. But she is precious. Her blood is precious. She is valued and loved. God hears her cries and the cries of all those who are broken, and even the most ferocious love that a mother will ever display pales in comparison with God’s great and all consuming love for those who suffer.
Funny, I sat here thinking I could not write another post about God’s justice and righteousness, and yet, as the words have poured out, I realise that God’s justice and righteousness are the very things that allow me to do what I do and not lose hope all together.
Grace and Peace