Do you know what I
would like to will tell you today? I would like to will tell you that my heart [literally] burns a [metaphorical] hole right through my chest in reckless response to all the pressing and painful needs scarring our globe (I wish to God I could be a part of relieving every single one). I can’t watch the news because whatever affliction my little eyes see and whatever sorrow my little ears hear always ends up with my little spirit getting ground down to powder, my little arms feeling bereft, my little love going unrequited, my peaceful little home seeming like too great a gift for me to bear and . . . etc. etc.
We saw Les Miserable and I poured like a full-on faucet afterward, closing my shaking-self in our bathroom with “I Dreamed A Dream” on my headphones, desperately sobbing for hours. It isn’t hard for me to go to the shadow spots of any city whenever I close the lids on my soul-windows. Or slip inside the skin of a 10-year-old slave girl and feel at least a fragment of her fractures. But this time I swear to you that the whole oppressed and hurting world was wrapped around my body and crying for help right in the crook of my neck and I just had this burden that wouldn’t let go until my emotional reservoir had totally dried up of all the tears and all the prayers it had to give. The whole torrential episode felt like a Hoover-size dam had broken through and flooded every one of my arteries and atoms – very exhausting and un-civilized. Not to mention the groaning and keening that I worked so hard to keep behind my clenched teeth. I kept thinking that I couldn’t let this barbaric sound out of my throat because Lord knows how thin our old walls are and how close the neighbors live and the last thing I needed was for next-door Jimmy to think I was a premium candidate for the insane asylum. I would do anything sometimes for a piece of land big enough where no one else on the earth could hear what sounds want to come rushing from me. I would go out to that land and yell my lungs out against whatever sky happened to be hung up in the atmosphere that day. Seriously, that’s what my prayers look like sometimes – like someone has lost their freakin’ mind. My kids and my husband are used to it, thank God. Austin tells me it’s one of his favorite things about me, which is another way of saying that I married exactly the right person to compliment who I was made to be.
Please, someone tell me that God also made them this kind of “special”? Anyone else have a heart knit inside them that is just too big for their britches, let alone their bodies?
This passionate nature makes me shiver sometimes, but no matter how hard I try? I can’t stop feeling the way I do. Nor can I hide from it, regardless of the vulnerability that manifests on the inside or the embarrassment that flushes my skin on the outside. When I stop being me, the bad guy eats my soul for an early afternoon snack.
(And now that I’ve exposed myself, just like . . . affirm me or something, okay? )
What I didn’t tell you about the movie was how horrifying it was. Dark. Dirty. Brutal. Maybe if we had discerned from the preview that the depiction of this story was going to be so violently graphic in nature – enough to make me physically ill – we would have opted against it? Either way, let me tell you something:
I’ve been intimately acquainted with the anti-slavery conversation for the past 13 years. One of my closest friends co-founded LOVE146. I am not unaware of the tales of tragedy (and triumph). This movie wasn’t telling me something I hadn’t already heard about in some form or fashion. And yet, I crawled my broken heart into our safe and cozy bed that night like I discovered this atrocity for the first time, again. Weeping all over the IKEA sheets and overwhelmed down to my middle-class toes by the anguish in this world (a world where slavery is illegal in every country, but has more people “owned” then any other period of history), I dropped my forehead to Austin’s shoulder and we prayed together and the tear-filled words that left my heart were simple and fervent: “God, if there is one more thing I can do to help? Show me.”
When a weight comes, I have learned the sustainable power of offering myself to do just “one more thing”. Sometimes “one more thing” is praying until the heaviness lifts. Sometimes “one more thing” is starting a movement. Sometimes “one more thing” is sharing more of the resources we have. Sometimes “one more thing” is:
The very next morning I woke up to a Facebook message from my friend Laura Parker asking me if I would be interested in “blogging for abolition” on behalf of their non-profit, The Exodus Road - an organization that fights modern day slavery.
Let me tell you that I barely thought once before saying “YES”. Because what better way could I spend my free time? I can’t pound the pavement or storm SE Asia at the moment (although, in my imagination I’m always the girl drop-kicking all the bad guys and rescuing all the every-bodies that need freeing). There’s not a lot I can do besides give money, beat the sky with my prayers and use my words. Formerly, I was mostly active with the first two. And now, here I am asking you if you would you take a long, good look at The Exodus Road? Watch their videos and read their blog? Get to know their grassroots-kind-of-hearts? Maybe getting involved in their movement through time, money, prayers (or some other creative way) can be a “one more thing” for you, too? If everybody in the entire free world did just one more thing, I wonder . . .
Also, you can follow them on Facebook HERE.
Photo Source : Annah Kaden