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    We Must All Make Sacrifices (response to Blake Lively’s video on child porn)

    I wrote this after watching Blake Lively speak on child porn. Watch here.

    The world is dark.

    We suppress this knowledge with alcohol that tastes like coffee and binge watching Netflix. We are okay with watching shows like Criminal Minds or Law and Order for entertainment but we are not okay with acknowledging the reality of “special victims” in our own world, in our community, perhaps even in our midst. Our excuse is that we have a lot going on. We have our own stuff to deal with. Yes. Yes we do. But we are also not alone. You cannot receive healing in isolation, indeed, often healing comes in the form of interactions with others. Even if they do not know how they have helped you. Even if that relationship was hard. We cannot grow alone and we cannot be fulfilled without contributing to society.

    We should not be alone or voiceless in our pain. We should not allow others to be voiceless and alone in theirs.

    There is a darkness in this world. We don’t see it. Maybe we don’t even know it exists yet. But there are children being sold for sex. There are videos of infants being circulated for perverse arousal. They are being sacrificed on the altar of ignorance. They are kept hidden from those who would stand up to help them if they knew. Who would speak for them if they understood the depths of how that violation of human rights would affect these babies for the rest of their lives. That is, if they live long enough.

    There is a darkness present. Shrouding the helpless. The small beings that should be innocent. That should never live to learn about such violence, let alone survive BDSM and torture before they are old enough to read. Its not elsewhere. It’s here. Its rooted in the hell on earth so many suffer to know intimately.

    We cannot keep our altar lit.

    We must tear it down and become aware, watchful, and allow ourselves to feel the pain. It’s a fresh wound, pulsing in the wind around us. It’s throttling the people we pass without a second glance because they are somehow less than us. They are different and unapproachable. They are mentally ill and left without adequate care for their inner self. They are a waste of taxes… why can’t they just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and take care of themselves?

    We are asking the wrong questions.

    Instead of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Ask, “Why are good people not standing up against evil?” Instead of “Why is God absent?” Ask, “Why am I not doing the justice and good works God has called me to do?”

    We must all make sacrifices to survive, to get by, the father reasons as he sends his 9 year old daughter not to school but to what the Western world has rationalized as “sex work”.

    We make sacrifices when there are babies with their umbilical cords still attached being penetrated by grown men and showcased to thousands.

    Will we make the sacrifice of our conscience? Or we will sacrifice our ignorance, our safety, and our gifts for the voiceless?

    Yes, we must all make sacrifices.

    The Lord is Vast

    The Lord is vast.
    He is holding you in the center of his palm and he is laughing over you. He is laughing with joy over who he made you to be. He is bigger than your sin. He is bigger than your victories. He has bigger plans, bigger dreams, and bigger hopes for you and for me than our small minds, our small boxes, our smallness can ever hope or believe for. He wants to break our minds and our hearts to make more room for the good he has put before us.
    To enlarge our hope and our faith from a mustard seed to an entire mountain range.
    We have a platter before us, stretching farther than your arms wide, than your eyes can see to the edge of the horizon. A platter full of intricate beauty, of broken pieces made into a new thing, a new season, a new time.
    The fractured image you see in the mirror is new. It has been put back together by the loving hands of your Father. He is delicate with you. He holds you like a new baby, holding your head steady, holding you close to his chest and he is singing a lullaby of peace and rest over you. He is bigger than any oppression. He is stronger than any pain.
    The Lord is vast. You are in him and there is no end. Plumb the depths, run to the edge and find he is full and there is fullness for you. He is whole and complete.
    The Lord is forever and ever. There is always more for you in him. 

    Let’s be unreasonable here

    Let’s be unreasonable together. Belief is not logical. It does not follow any pattern or law except the ones God has set for it. His ways are beyond us. He does not ask us to reason our way to him. He asks us to believe. Take him at his word. Follow him. When others shout that you cannot do it or question “how” we respond. God. God will make our way.
    Let’s be unreasonable together. The pharisees were reasonable. They knew the law, they knew what it said. They were so reasonable they missed Christ in front of them. Christ was not a reasonable Savior. He came as an ordinary man, from an ordinary family, in an ordinary town and was raised in an ordinary Jewish faith. How he died and fulfilled his promises to Israel was unreasonable. It was unexpected and flew in the face of what Israel thought “should have” happened.
    Let’s be unreasonable together. Because reason has gotten us into tight corners of theology where we can hope, but only so much. Where God can work, but only so much. Where we can grow, but only so much. Where we can sin, but only in certain ways. We look at the would-be sinners and we say that our theology, our reason, makes them an abomination and the only way they can know God is to join our judgmental reason. Fall in line so God doesn’t leave you out. So your prayers will get answered. So you won’t burn in hell. So you will fit in. So God will love you.
    Let’s be unreasonable together. Because God is good and we don’t have all the answers. We can only learn to hear his voice and grow in love for the people he died for (which is everyone). Leave the conviction to him. Leave the reasons and the answers to him. We follow. He leads. By faith, not sight or know-how. Let’s be unreasonable here.