The prophet Amos once loudly shouted, “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” Amos 4: 24 When you begin to follow God’s heart into the conversation about justice it can be really overwhelming. One of the ways I decided to try to speak out about the injustice of human trafficking was to walk silently down Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz on Saturday. I joined about 70 other locals, who joined with people around the world, marching in their cities to shine a light on the evils of human trafficking. We said nothing. We walked quietly and we held our signs out for people to read, signs like; “12 is the average age for girls who are trafficked.” As we walked the streets of my city there were two comments I overheard that really hit me.
“You don’t have to read the signs.” A middle-aged woman said this to her elderly mom. Her mother had reads some of the signs, was struck by the reality of it, and told her daughter, “I’m too old for this!” Her daughter just told her she didn’t need to look at the signs and read the information. She was right. When you see the evils of this world, you really can choose to look away and look at other things. Sadly this is the decision far too many of Christians take regarding the injustices of this world
“You should be screaming” As I walked by Streetlight records, one of the homeless dudes quietly read out signs. You could tell he was processing the information, and then he said, “You guys should be screaming!” The info is so bad, so vile, so wrong that we should be jumping up and down and screaming at everyone in anger. I get what he meant. The reality of human trafficking is so vast and so evil, it makes you want to scream. This is something else Christians fall into so easily. We hear about a wrong. We scream. We’re moved for about 24 hours and we send a check, or Venmo some cash. Then we feel better.
Here’s the thing, both of these responses make sense, but they aren’t sustainable or helpful. It’s not sustainable to always be screaming. It’s not helpful to look away from that which we know is wrong. So we’re called by God to do something (whatever that may be) to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, and help those how cannot help themselves. There are hundreds of ways to do this, but we must be willing to do something.