With the first beat of a heart life begins. Small, callow, and growing – alive.
It all starts there. In that one instant when the Creator reaches down into the created and ignites a spark.
In the beginning the spinning and weaving is done clandestinely.
In the quiet places that are known only to the Author and Artist Himself, a wild wind is breathing life.
A soul has already begun to live before the flesh has even manifested.
And when it emerges it bursts forth with a ferocity and power and purpose all its own; crying out to be heard and nurtured and fed.
This is the way that stories are born.
When we open ourselves to His work…it is that exact moment when our story’s heart beats for the first time.
It evolves there quietly, mostly while we are still unaware of its existence. It is a time of pruning, and shaping, and inner workings, because He knows what we will need to walk this path.
So for a time we are still and silent, while our bodies, our souls, are being equipped from the inside to take this journey.
And then one day it happens; the quiet work is done, and the narrative is ready to be born. We have found that we are ready to bring it forth. Ready to go into the dark places. We are ready to begin writing the story.
These stories do not come without risk. Risk to our comfort, risk to our ignorance – even risk to the life of the story itself.
He places it in us; this small spark; He gifts it – and lets us choose.
Will you see this through? Will you carry this burden of love? Will you break yourself in so that life might flow out?
And we can choose to say no. We can choose not to heed. Not to listen. Not to allow this thing to grow or to live. We can blot out the flame, and stop the beating heart.
We can choose ourselves
and lose the miracle.
And it’s scary and hard and, oh, it can hurt – but we are the brave ones, and we know that the hard path is the one to life. The story tellers know that to tell their stories will require giving away a part of themselves that they will never get back. That their words may fall on deaf ears. That they may never see the fruits of their labor.
But we know that He makes all of these things beautiful in their time. So we say yes.
I have said yes.
A little over a year ago the heart of this story began to beat for the first time; it happened when I read about little girls in India who were being thrown away, left on the side of the street, or sold into slavery – if they were given the chance to live at all.
I knew at that moment that I was opening my heart to them, but at the time I didn’t really know what that looked like, or what it meant, or where it would go. But God knew, and I had said yes, and that was all that He required to begin laying the foundation for a new story.
Little by little I felt the cry of these girls weighing on my heart. With every statistic and news article the little spark was fanned and grew.
I wanted to go on a missions trip to India to see them, to love on them, and to help in whatever way I could, but that door just hadn’t opened for me, and I didn’t know what else I could do.
And then I saw this video.
and I wanted to learn more about this group The Exodus Road, and how they really worked.
As luck God would have it, The Exodus Road was at Allume, and I had a chance to be part of their impact opportunity. I had the honor of meeting Laura Parker, co-founder of The Exodus Road, and author of The Exodus Road: One Wife’s Journey Into Sex Trafficking and Rescue. For over an hour I got to hear her story first hand and see her heart. Any questions I had were answered and any reservations I maintained were wiped away.
We saw girls who were 10, 11, and 12, being sold by their parents into slavery. Ten thousand girls lining up to sell their bodies every day, and the thousands of men who so willingly violated them. We saw live footage of raids and rescues – real children being restored, real men and women coming to their rescue to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
It was my moment of choice. I could chose to stay on the sidelines and let the story, my part in it, go unwritten; I could talk about cooking and teaching and reading my bible while turning a blind eye to the orphaned and abandoned and misused.
When we choose to remain at arm’s length, when we choose to remain detached, our well is shallow. We are safe, and sound, and bland.
Or I could wade deep into the mud and do my part to pull these drowning children from the mire and pull my soul out of mediocrity.
Or I could be the salt of the earth.
Or I could tell the story of women like these.
Women who are so desperate to free a young girl from slavery that she runs ahead of everyone – the police, the rescue team, into an unknown situation. Women who wrap their arms around these broken children like like wings of Yahweh. By telling her story I can choose to run ahead with her.
We cannot tell the story if we do not first choose to see it.
I was at a threshold. I could choose not to act, but I would never again be able to say that I didn’t know, or that I couldn’t help, or that I didn’t see.
Ann Voskamp spoke to this, and touched my soul, when she reminded me that we are the Esther generation.
We are the ones inside the palace – but only by Yahweh’s Grace.
“You could have been the one outside of the gate. You could have been the one with the Lord’s Resistance Army slitting your child’s throat in the middle of the night, you could been the one born into a slum, raped without a hope, you could be the one born into AIDS, into starvation, into lives of wild Christ-less desperation. The reason you are inside the gate for such a time as this – is to risk your life for those outside the gate. If I perish, I perish.”
And so we said yes. The moment that we chose to partner with The Exodus Road by sponsoring Search and Rescue Team Bravo, based in India, was the moment that this story was born into reality.
But that was only the first page. This is only the very first step of a journey that has just begun to unfold.
And I don’t know where the path is going to lead, but I am assured of one thing, wherever it is, it’s going to be one heck of a story.
Interested in how you can help? Visit www.theexodusroad.com to find out more!