My wife’s sister, Becki, introduced her to an organization called A21 which is committed to abolishing the injustice of human trafficking in the 21st century. Here is how this organization describes its beginning: “When confronted with the horrific statistics surrounding human trafficking, it is easy to agree on the fact that “someone should do something.” The A21 Campaign was born when the decision was made to raise our hand, and be that “someone.” It was a decision of ordinary people who decided to take responsibility regarding the issue of human trafficking. So with little knowledge, and a lot of passion, in 2007 we set out to make a difference.”
The trafficking, any type of trafficking, of humans is an abomination in the sight of God. God places a very high value upon people because of his love for people. That’s the reason why Jesus came to earth (John 3:16). Trafficking views humans as “throw-away” commodities, not much different than common household products that are now considered disposable like cell phones and microwaves. This behavior is straight from the pit of hell. Even though the image is marred by sin and evil, every person who has ever walked the earth is made in the image of God. When people are seen as disposable and “throw-away,” that image is thrown in the mud and trampled over.
On the a21 campaign website, http://www.thea21campaign.org, they offer 21 ways to get involved. Number 2 is called “Multiply Your Pennies.” Here is how they describe this way to get involved: “Everyday changes can make huge impacts in bringing an end to slavery. By simply altering daily choices and saving money, you can become a partner with us as we bring an end to slavery. Instead of ordering a large coffee, opt for a smaller size and save those pennies! A few small changes for us can help bring about lasting change for a survivor!”
Whether or not they realize it, this suggestion is actually an idea that God gave to the Israelites some 700+ years before Jesus was born. God commanded Israel to observe certain days of fasting, but they only observed these days as a ritual; they did not understand the spirit of why God commanded this. Here is what he had to say to them from Isaiah 58:3b-10:
“On the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousnessa will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
Fasting and not spending as much money on food was never meant as a personal savings plan! God intended for the money that was not spent on food because of the fast to be used to meet the needs of those who are in need or oppressed. That money would be redeemed. And that is what a21 is proposing: redeeming money in order to assist those who find themselves trafficked.
So, here is what I am going to do and what I am challenging you to seriously consider. Do what this idea suggests. Put a jar somewhere in your house that you put the money saved from moving to a smaller size or brewing your own coffee at home instead of paying $3+ for a cup of coffee at Starbucks or Caribou. You already are used to spending this certain amount of money, so redeeming this money by not spending it on that cup of coffee will have no adverse effect on your budget. By doing so, you will be helping someone who finds herself in a situation that is unfathomable.
This suggestion mirrors God’s heart for it goes way beyond form to the reason why.