This is a favorite syllable for most people under the age of ten. It sure was for me anyway.
Children aren’t afraid to ask for a reason, an explanation. Somewhere down the line, the answer to “why” get’s more complex and we stop looking for answers. The questions are more comfortable unanswered.
When devastation happens, when we hear the stories of natural disasters or the story of a 13 year old girl who has suffered at the hands of men…what do we do with our “Why?” questions?
What’s worse than not getting a reason? Never asking the question.
Lately, there are days when human trafficking is normal to me; conversations about rape, violence slavery and kidnapping seem to roll around me without a passing thought. Men humiliating and hurting these girls who I know by name is another day at work and its not a question of whether or not she has experienced violence, but how many times. There are days when evil is the norm and things that should break me don’t phase me.
I rarely stop to process what I hear, because one day ends and the next one starts and it feels like what is happening here is hardly a drop in the ocean of this global pandemic. I spend more time figuring out how to express the complexities, the grey-areas, the choice vs force, the “How do I get involved?” conversation, than actually acknowledging the things I have seen, the stories I have heard, the faces I’ve met.
Today, I sat with the Lord and talked about it. And you know what?…. This is NOT normal.
These are the news stories people see in their living rooms on the 10 o’clock news.
This is the stuff people might just read about and avoid talking about or acknowledging because it’s too much.
People should be warned about human trafficking before they get involved because it will mess with your head. It isn’t something you can really back away from. Once the knowledge is there, it shapes you. It in your thoughts and your emotions, it affects your being, from your faith to your sexuality to your friendships.
And yet, in sitting down and talking to God about it…
(really feeling it with Him as I work to experience emotion with God and not apart from Him)
It’s there, in that space, He alone was able to reach in deep and show me….I’m still there.
No cause, no tragedy, no knowledge, no amount of outpouring will ever deplete the core of who I am.
It’s HIM…I AM.
There are stories that haunt me and yet I know they can be tucked away in a safe place between me and God. But I still won’t think, really think and ask the “WHY?” about what I see. Not most days. Not on a working day. It’s a bad idea. Eventually, I have to come to terms with it. Today, I’m reminded that questions like “Why?” validate my working experience while it may not be as traumatic as what the girls I meet have gone through, these experiences still shape me.
While I’m doing some confessing…
He has shown me it is not weak to hurt.
It isn’t wrong to be sad, or angry, or to be bone-deep tired.
Weariness of the soul doesn’t mean we don’t have faith, or hope, or love or that we need to having a bigger faith in God or in His freedom. Yes, Jesus is the answer, but Jesus cried too.
No, these thoughts and the processing of them serve as a much needed reminder that this world of exploitation and abolition is not normal and that I’m glad to hurt. It means I’m human.
So, for a reason?
I have. NO. Idea.
I don’t know why bad things happen (“bad” being a huge understatement here).
Yes, the fall. Yes, sin and the need for salvation. But those platitudes do little to bring healing.
I don’t know why things happen, but I know “He is good and gracious in all that He does” and that we are NOT alone. Not EVER.
Friends, if you’re reading this, we all have our “hard places” and we all need each other.
Please lift up those fighting in the hard place of sexual trafficking. And let me know what hard place you’re in so I can lift you up right back.