“We are prophets of a future that is not our own.”
I wish that I had said that. It was penned by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw upon the death of an Archbishop.
I had a heavy moment last week as I taught an anti-trafficking workshop at church. In the midst of teaching, I found myself wondering if this is just a waste of time. The issue of slavery is so big. The network is so vast. The long march toward freedom is long and dirty and sometimes dangerous.
And then words like that walk across my path and I am reminded of what I already know. I do not see the future. I do not know how God writes tomorow’s history, yet faith is being sure of the things that I do not see.
We are called to be prophets, you and I. Called to speak of a kingdom that we know lies beyond us and called to live that kingdom into reality today. Like Moses who rattled the framework of Pharoah’s foundation, today we stand and we speak of a ‘Once upon a time’ tomorrow.
Say it with me. ‘Let my people go.’
As I sit in this shelter and tap away in a corner of a city that is known for the girls that it sells, I see hope. Beyond the sex. Beyond the trade. Beyond the industry. Beyond the lives that never had a chance to be fairytale beautiful, I am learning the names and the smiles of the people that God is setting free.
Can I tell you a little secret? Freedom is only beautiful on the other side. When the heirloom stories are stitched together from the tattered pieces, after the heroes have gone gray and the fireside is warm and the grandchildren are gathered to hear what can only then sound like a grand adventure in a once upon a time land. There, in that place, freedom’s story takes your breathe away and taps a little dance.
Freedom in the making is so far from the fairytale that sometimes we can not even recognize it: heartbreaking, discouraging, unsure, terrifying. Full of sacrifice and sleepless nights.
I watch two of the girls here with their bellies bulging in motherhood. Not yet 18 but already sold and returned like broken merchandise at customer service.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own. Indeed. This is true. Prophets for those babies that are yet unborn and already rescued from the shelf of a trade that would market them like a sack of potatoes for consumption.
Follow us this week as we bring you a series of ‘Dear John’ letters, as we report from a place in this world where exploitation is available like Coca Cola, as we claim this future that is not our own, and join our voices with Moses.
‘Let my people go.’