Can’t put Two and Two Together
My cousin and my best friend's daughter just turned two. They can walk and babble on. Squeals of joy and pain are a constant reminder that they're still babies. They are losing the chubby face, their molars are coming in, and they need plenty of rest.
Even their thinking and reasoning has given them more of a sense of self: My cousin can point to her tummy when I ask her where it is. My friend’s child is so curious and has found the nail polish cabinet too many times for my friend to count. Words are beginning to develop in their mouths and brains. They can understand 10 times more than they are able to put into words (© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated).
Why am I going over the developmental stages of my cousin and my best friend’s daughter?
Somewhere, in the same place in this world, there are babies being sexually abused behind the camera of cyber-sex trafficking. In this line of work, I hear these stories in our partner’s updates. At the same time, I hear and see the excitement of parents that their two year old can pick up their toys or can sleep longer now.
It doesn’t add up. This is an equation that we can’t put two and two together. A child sleeping in our arms can’t have someone their same age being offered for sexual exploitation in front of a webcam. Where my cousin has a baby monitor for security in her room, there are children with webcams for heinous acts. This past month, our partner had its youngest rescue: a baby less than a year old.
The beauty and innocence of childhood are some of the most wonderful things we can ever experience. How can this beauty be abused and taken from its original state of perfection? How can it be redeemed and rescued?
We must begin with beauty because we as a people have lost the sense of wholeness that beauty reflects. A recovery of beauty then will lead to a recovery of a sense of good. We must move swiftly and urgently in justice. We don’t live in the world of perfect beauty and justice. This is a broken world.
Despite such brokenness, we live in a redeeming world. Redemptive justice comes from our partners who rescue children and will fight to any lengths to bring them safely home into hands that will love them. Redemptive beauty comes from years of therapy for these children and educating families that no such harm should be done to their children. These children are being rescued and in larger numbers than a few years ago. Just as these criminals find new ways to exploit, we as people who DO justice, LOVE mercy, and WALK humbly in this world will find new ways to bring redemption in this world. May we continue to rescue, restore, and revive this world and our immediate community.
Share the suffering and the rescues in hope that there will be an end. May the end be as beautiful as the wonder in a child’s eye.