Writing about the Underground Railroad last week on my Odyssey through Nebraska blog was much easier than the topic at hand. After all that type of slavery officially ended during the Civil War time period. Enough years have passed that, for the most part, people universally recognize that that was a dark period in our nation’s history.
While plantations may no longer employ slaves, this practice of forcing others to act against their will is still a monumental issue. According to the Global Slavery Index, 29.8 million people are slaves around the world. This number includes those who are forced into child marriage and trafficking. While the first may not be as much of an issue in the United States, the second definitely is.
As a mom, I would desperately like to pretend that slavery no longer exists anywhere. For one thing, I want my four children to grow up in a world that is safe. For another, those said children, also keep me busy enough that pondering the modern day implications of the slavery issue makes my tired head ache.
After I completed my Underground Railroad blogs, I was feeling compelled to write about this issue of slavery that has never really gone away. Feelings can change, right? Until the verses I read this morning remind me that I do really do not want to pretend that nothing is going on. While that may make me feel “safer,” that is not reality.
Isaiah 5:9 “Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your clothes, put sackcloth around your waists.”
Now before any true theologians correct me, I am well aware that I am taking this verse out of context. I know that this directly has to do with the nation of Judah who was ignoring the sin that what was running rampant in their community. Yet, since I truly believe that God’s whole Word is relevant for my life, I think the fact that the above verse pricks at my heart, even though it was not originally intended for me, is a good thing.
While my own children may be upstairs sleeping safely in their beds (at least at this moment that I am typing this post), I know that some mamas across the world cannot say the same. Possibly some know exactly the life that their children are trapped into being a part of for their life. Many more just know that their children are gone, having run away into a life that could result in indescribable evil.
So what can this busy mama of four do? I can pray. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. Pray for those who can to escape from that lifestyle. Pray that those who want to run away will stay and reconcile. Pray that those who perpetuate evil will stop, either of their own conviction or by being captured by law enforcement. I can pray for those organizations who are on the front lines working to end this modern day injustice.
Most of all, I can force myself to be aware that this is happening. I can stay informed. Not so much that I have nightmares, but enough that I am aware of those around me. As stories have made the headlines speaking of atrocities that have gone on in suburban areas, the neighbors are often shocked. I want to be aware of what is going on in my community and be a voice, albeit a small one, for justice.
As I am finishing writing down my thoughts, I do feel anxious. I do not know that steps that may be required of me. I also feel that I may be talking big. That these are just words on a screen. As I really do not want to be a complacent woman, I pray that God will strengthen me and guide me to be one who does not let this issue of slavery slide by.
P.S. On my Odyssey Through Nebraska blog a little later on this morning, I will be highlighting organizations that are on the front lines against this modern line of slavery and trafficking!