Tuesday morning I went to an informational workshop about human trafficking at the Salvation Army Columbus headquarters. There were three of us who attended: a recent college grad who works for AmeriCorp and was looking for credit hours, an older women who was representing her church group and looking for an organization to volunteer with, and then me, who was just looking. Three women at three very different stages in life united by our desire to see all women treated with the love and respect they deserve. My pen scrawled the staggering statistics across my journal pages as the presentation continued. I was overwhelmed by the gravity of the issue. Sex trafficking is the second largest grossing criminal industry, in recent years surpassing illegal weapon distribution. (Apparently more profit can be made from selling people than selling automatic weapons and bombs.) It's hard to gather accurate numbers when dealing with human trafficking because obviously traffickers would like to keep their victims a secret–but the conservative number of people being trafficked in Ohio right now is 1,900.
Driving through downtown Columbus on my way home from the meeting I couldn't shake those numbers–1,900 people are in slavery in my state. I found myself praying to God "Lord, can I even help? This world is so broken–what is the point? I want to be done here and just be with You." Immediately after praying those words a scene from Gladiator popped into my head. It's the scene where Maximus and his fellow gladiator are talking about their families–Maximus's wife and son were brutally murdered, and Juba acknowledges that he will never see his family again on earth. Maximus, broken down by all of the pain in his past and the future suffering to come, expresses his deep desire to be with his wife and son in the afterlife. Juba looks at Maximus with profound understanding and says "You will see them again. But not yet. Not yet."
I'm in that 'not yet.' It is a sweet and severe waiting. What I do with my 'not yet' has eternal consequences. To reference Gladiator again: What we do in this life echos in eternity. I may have 50+ years left on this earth and how I live those years is up to me. From 1992-the day I leave this earth I have a responsibility to love; and one of the best ways I can do that is to advocate for justice. The prospect of a just and loving world is ahead–but not yet. Not yet.
PS: Here's the outfit for day 2! I know socks with sandals is frowned upon...but I have always enjoyed it!