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The Flame

It's easy to drive past something and not see it, even if you drive by every day. It's easy to pretend it doesn't exist simply because you don't know it exists or don't want to know it exists. But, when you see it, when you spend the time learning the signs, it becomes impossible to not see, and later to stand by without action.

But it takes energy to keep something at the forefront of one's mind, a regular reminding.

When the flame in my mind was lit to the realities of sex trafficking, prostitution, and addiction, they continued to simmer in my mind. I had to know more. I learned, I read, I viewed, I talked with experts. When the simmer became a rolling boil I was sparked to action, and began wearing a dress for a year. Driving in my town or walking in a store, I recognized what I'd been researching and now daily fighting to repair by supporting Peoria Home.

It started with a spark. Before, I had been able to brush off empathy for those oppressed by trafficking, excusing it as "they chose it" or "they're sinning." Something dumb. But when I began to see it more clearly as something usually someone chooses only when it's the last choice, or their "sin" is the only thing they know, it's harder to push deeper and ignore.

It's happened with other issues for me: rules around food and my body image, how I view parenting and working, the reality of Jesus' grace, the reality that His word is true and I can't turn away.

Over the last few months in which various stories of racial violence hit the news, it was different. In the past I've been able to immediately excuse it away. "He was a criminal" or "it's a misunderstanding." This time, I just couldn't. Whether the person affected had a clean or dirty past, the violence was unnecessary. I started listening. Trying to understand instead of trying to pretend it wasn't happening.

I can see ways in which I've benefited from pretending the issue is not really an issue. I'm also not going to apologize that I was born who I am, the color I am. But it's not really helping anyone to deny.

It's messy. I don't know what to do next, I don't know where I fit in this issue. I don't know how to do anything with five kids in tow and many other responsibilities. But there is a spark and I know He will keep the flame and turn it into a rolling boil in His time and in His way.

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