I didn’t get that backwards. I really want to know… are you seeing individual trees or is your gaze fixed solely on the forest?
Not in a general sense either, but in a very specific situation…
Atlanta has come up in studies as one of the locations with the highest incidence of child trafficking in the country. Studies show that 400 girls, under the age of 18, are exploited each month in this city alone. Although there are no similar studies of boys yet, many people believe the number of boys each month is almost as high. 1 in 3 runaway children will have some type of brush with prostitution. It’s not just a problem for someone else or another family, it starts at home and comes back to home… my home… your home.
Today Ron and I went to a meeting at 12Stone Church to hear a presentation about Street Grace, an organization committed to fighting sex trafficking in Atlanta. They are organizing events and uniting churches of multiple denominations from all over the metro ATL area. We went to find out what we can do.
I don’t know how it is for you, but when I hear about a problem like this, it’s easier to look at it as this big, untouchable problem…. something for the activists to handle. It’s out there and even though I know it exists, it’s easier to feel detached from it. It’s uncomfortable and painful to think about and most people don’t want to get up close and personal. I know. I’ve been one of them.
But turning a blind eye or hoping that someone else will take charge isn’t working. 400 girls every month are taken into a world of shame and darkness that will impact them for the rest of their lives. What will work is people like me being willing to see just one individual girl affected by this… a single tree among the forest of a problem. To know that girl by name. To see her face and look into her eyes. To hear her story.
That’s when change will happen. That’s when real people like you and me can’t help but be moved to action. That’s when regular people will start getting involved at the street level.
So I ask you: Are you seeing the trees… or the forest? Are you willing to change your view?
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