I had a vision coming down the mountain last night after our service at Rainbow. I saw it vividly in my mind as we were sitting quietly in the car. I saw a dark plume of smoke, blackish and widespread covering an entire city. Under it were tentacles of grey dangling down. (No, I didn’t just watch War of the Worlds). Above it a very thin lemon-yellow layer cloud cover. “What does this mean?” I wondered as I shared it with Joel and Marilyn.
The dark layer of fog settling low over a city blocking the sunlight from shining through. . . Who is going to influence change and chase it away? How powerful are our prayers? Via media portals shocking stories of children being trafficked for sex we are riveted with fear. Stuck in the fog not knowing what we can do. The dark smoke mocks silently as we attempt to penetrate through it for we know the power behind it is stronger than we, yet the fight remains in our hands. This gnaws at our conscious. The plume of smoke layer is many ailments we humans are here to overcome. One that we are closely connected to in prison ministry for women is sex trafficking. Here are some organizations that are attempting to make an impact:
Night Light: www.nightlightinternational.com
International Justice Mission: http//www.ijm.org/
Not for Sale Campaign: www.dalitnetwork.org
We encounter a resistance as we attempt to help women see they have been sold a bill of goods. The bait of making fast money lures in a prospect of fine people — yet with poor backgrounds, hence the dark cloud is two fold. It works on the minds of people who are willing to believe the lies, and it covers up the truth from people who don’t want to see what’s going on. Do we really understand what we are up against? How do we intelligently and powerfully break through the trickery that hijacks so many from true life-giving freedom? We see a simple solution from week to week. Almost too simple. But prayer is a powerful weapon to help stubborn minds make a change, to bring a power needed beyond ourselves.
The stories become more real when you hear them told by the women in Rainbow Prison and understand what they have survived. How privileged are we to meet them, listen to them and discover together a loving God who breaks through the fog, the smoke, the cloud cover of shame and brokenness. Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Life-giver who delivers from the grip of apathy, moves us towards the biggest needs that lie beneath the blackish plume of sexual exploitation, Spirit of God. We love you, we need you, we receive you … we love you, we need you, we receive you into our hearts to be moved towards what moves you in this world. With Your help we can make a difference, a change, and interrupt the work of evil among us.
Judith MacNutt of Christian Healing Ministries says she believes Jesus will ask us a question when we arrive in heaven: “How much did you love?” Sobering to think of when an enemy comes to mind. Sobering to think of when all else that takes up so much energy won’t even exist. An unsung hero showed us the power of humility by washing his follower’s feet? By being nailed to a cross? By appearing to the lowest denominator first? By raising from death and conquering evil for all time?
CS Lewis says, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
Its costs to love… to see where love is needed most. What we release from our hands, our own addictions and fears and need to control, frees us to then place (our hands) on others releasing the healing of the Holy Spirit. What a glorious exchange. What a privilege and honor. We need to break through the fog layer of our denial and be led by His Spirit to be agents of change, “world-changers!”