For a long time I felt the frozen immobility that comes with not knowing how to help; what to do about human trafficking. How do you bridge the huge chasm between slavery and the suburbs? This excerpted article, originally posted over at Donald Miller’s brainchild, The Burnside Writer’s Collective, outlines my first steps as inspired by my friends at The Exodus Road. Turns out, the business of fighting modern day slavery sits in the hands of ordinary people like you and me. I’d love to have you join me. ~Kelley
Entering the Bat Cave
Confessions of a Social Justice Slacker
One of my dearest friends is an anti-trafficking die hard by profession. Her Matt Damon-ish husband travels regularly to India and Southeast Asia. He coordinates covert investigation operatives in brothels and bars. They run an international coalition to rescue children sold as sex slaves. After a Life Overseas, the Parker’s unlikely central office for rescuing children is in a quirky little Regular Joe kind of town. Having them around feels like working at the same office with Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, which all sounds very dramatic and enviable. But frankly, having social justice superheroes as friends comes with issues; like, the constant nagging feeling that I am in reality, a total social justice slacker — like Lois Lane standing outside the empty telephone booth wondering where Superman went. And that’s just lame.
The Bat Cave
I sip tea and lean on Laura Parker’s kitchen bar while she does dishes. I go first. My catch-up topics consist of sleepy American issues regularly seen on Lifetime or The O Network. I ramble about marriage, getting kids through college, and my internal struggles with church (don’t yawn). Then it’s her turn. She updates me on her three kids, moving pains, then, details about The Exodus Road. My brain searches for the mental hard drive folder marked “Covert Operations”.
I need warm-up time before entering this Bat Cave. First, Alfred greets me politely at the front door of the Wayne mansion. Then we wait for the sliding library wall to open so we can descend the secret stairs. I must leave behind a world of wealthy subdivisions before I can reorient to the space where injustice is fought.
Laura and I situate ourselves on living room couches where she shares details of a locked brothel, virginity sold at a high price, an exposed ring of male pedophiles, and a little girl in a lineup of prostitutes who scribbled “Rescue Me” on a dollar bill.
I forget to exhale and stir my tea unnecessarily. She waits. I set down my cup and remember to breathe. We sit in the absorbing silence where no words come.
Seed of Justice
I think an embryo of justice resides in the conversational chasm between slavery and the suburbs. A sharp seed of justice embeds where we interact with deep injustice and don’t know what to do. That moment of holy unrest is the abrasive grain in the oyster where sand begins to turn to pearl … where thought germinates into action. There, we stand at the mouth of the Bat Cave and ask, “What now? What next?”
Read the full article HERE
Kelley J. Leigh, Freelance Writer, Content Manager at The Exodus Road
Kelley lives in a quirky little mountain town in Colorado. Her non-writing hours are spent with her husband, four sons. Someday she hopes to own an old scooter and embarrass her sons by wearing a very dorky helmet as she rides around town. www.kelleyjleigh.com