For some people, it may seem absurd to wear a dress during one of the coldest months of the year, and when you tell them that you’re doing it to bring awareness to the injustice of human trafficking, they assume that you must be insane. After all, human trafficking isn’t that big of a deal, and it only ever happens overseas so we don’t need to worry about any of that stuff. And that dear friends is why I advocate not just in December but throughout the year. It’s not just for those literally trapped in bondage, but for those caught in the illusion that the greatest injustice of our time isn’t happening all around us. I advocate so that everyone can find their voice again, whether they had it taken from them or they buried it deep inside.
To put it simply, I advocate because I believe that every person should be free. Free from disillusionment and free from oppression. The very foundation of the most basic of human rights is freedom. Freedom to choose the food you eat, the clothes you wear, and where you live. Sadly though, this freedom has become a privilege that 40 million people around the world are not afforded. I do not advocate because I think that I can personally save them, or that I am better than them. I know full well the effect that the “white saviourism” mentality can have on people who are fueled by the right motivation but go about it in the wrong way. When we think that we have all the answers, we will miss a whole gamut of nuances and end up hurting rather than helping.
I do not advocate because I want to be the one to save the world; instead, I want to be the one who points to the One who already saved the world. If I were motivated by anything other than divinely inspired justice I would have given up and changed out of this dress a long time ago. I know that there are an infinite number of causes people advocate for and an endless amount of motivation for them to do so. I don’t assume to know what draws each person’s voice from their chest; all I know is what sets my heart on fire and enflames my battle cry.
At the heart of it all is love. Love is what drives me forward; love is what fans the flame and keeps the spark alive. Love is what binds it all together. Without love, what is the point of rescuing and restoring? Without love, what do we hope to accomplish? If we don’t love and cherish our fellow humans, then why would we ever care what happens to them? I’m driven by the fact that every person is uniquely and divinely created; that they have within them the imago dei – that they are created in the image of God. His love for them drives my love for them. After all, Jesus died and rose again so that we could not just know about freedom but live fully alive in it.
No part of myself can fuel me to keep speaking up against injustice. There is no self-made well of inspiration deep within that I can draw from when the days get long and the fight drags on. In short, I am not able to advocate on my own. If I tried not only would I fail miserably, but I would burn out before I even started. I would be a flash in the pan, here today and gone tomorrow. I cannot conjure up longevity out of the air around me; rather, I rely on the grace and love of the Creator, who is infinitely more powerful than myself. As cheesy as it sounds, I feel not just pulled but called to action in this fight against human trafficking. This isn’t something I can do on my own, but something that requires a great uniting of fellow justice seekers. I advocate not to make my own name great, but to show that every person is valuable and deserving of love, liberty, and choice.