This is a title I would proudy wear. No, I am not speaking of the kind of traffic that screeches to a halt when a beautiful woman sashays across the street. Those days have long since passed in my youthful heyday, and I don’t miss that kind of attention at all. (at least most of the time.) I am referring to something much darker than Los Angeles traffic, a horrifying plague, which has become the second largest source of illegal income, running a close second to the sale of illegal drugs. The trafficking of human beings is the largest growing international crime. Both males and females are bought and sold, but 80 percent of the victims are female, and 50 percent are minors.
The word slavery may conjure up images of Africans forcibly wrenched from their homes and forced into brutal servitude or the plight of Jewish slaves worked to death in Egypt. The fact ist there are currently more slaves on the earth than at any other time in human history, and no country is exempt. However, the most dismal and brutal conditions exist in countries where a large portion of the population exist in extreme poverty, causing them to be vulnerable to the promise of a better life. Children are sold to traffickers to be used in forced labor, sacrifice or prostitution. Little innocent girls, in particular are a hot commodity. Have you ever heard the statement “You cannot be too thin or too rich?” For some perpetrators, you cannot be too young.
The horror of this reality boggles the mind, and if we are not mindful of it, cause us to shut down emotionally and allow ourselves to be taken over by numbness. The scope of it seems too large, too ominous, too much to bear. Our efforts may seem to be an exercise in futility. This problem seems to be so far away where corrupt governments block any feeble attempts we might attempt. It seems preferable to just shut our eyes tight and turn our minds elsewhere for our own self preservation. If you are a parent or someone who cares about children at all, the thought of it can send you into utter madness.
I think of being a little girl who was afraid of the dark. The shadows on my wall could easily morph into the boogeyman if I was not watchful. It is a painful reality to realize that for some little girls, the boogeyman is all too real even if he masquarades as a clean cut man offering a grin and a chocolate bar, and it is not a nightmare or an isolated event, and as much as I’ve tried to block it out, I am beginning to hear the aungished cries of little girls. There is no doubt that I am not the only one being shaken awake by the children’s voices. I have heard of this situation for a long time, but it suddenly appears as if grass roots organizations are springing up all over the place…modern day warriors in the army of God. We can no longer remain comfortable sitting in church pews, organizing potlucks, and attending endless bible studies that are training us to do what we never seem to get around to doing.
It seems that I can’t go many days without being reminded of human trafficking whether it’s on TV, in a book, or God’s whisper to my soul. I am totally ill equipped, and I have no idea what to do. Like Moses, I say to God “Send someone else into this battle, because I am a big scaredy cat, not a bold warrior,” and he doesn’t try to change this opinion. Just like with Moses, he reminds me it’s not about me. It’s about Him, just as it always has been. Some of us are just a little slow about getting it.
So, what am I to do during these retirement years with no excuses about lack of time or kids to raise? I bake, I write, I try to form healthy relationships, especially with God, and I am working towards the day when I can respond “I stop traffic.”