Being the Change

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” -Leo Tolstoy

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

If two illustrious social reformers such as Tolstoy and Gandhi both consider the foundation of social reform to be first reforming ourselves and you combine that with a section from possibly my favorite Bible passage:

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.” – Isaiah 58:6-7

The only logical conclusion we can draw from this is that we as humans are not meant to sit and do nothing while the world around us suffers. Too often people complain about the way the world is without ever having the intent on doing anything about it.  I am not saying that it is bad to talk about problems in the world, but there comes a point when we need to stop talking and starting acting.  Unfortunately it seems that many people do not make it past that point.

I had talked and thought about the issue of sex trafficking for a while before deciding to start Scribbles of Hope.  Random sidenote: I am still working up the courage to share as to why the issue of sex trafficking is so important to me.  Currently only one person knows (shout out to my girl Alicia for being one of the best listeners I know) and it is not something that I am ready to share with whoever happens to read my blog.  Please do not be offended that I have not told you as it is very personal and I am the type of person who easily shares those type of things.  However, I might be willing to tell it to you over a cup of coffee, especially if it looks like this:

That turned out to be a long side note, sorry about that.  Anyways as I was saying, I had cared about the issue of sex trafficking for a long time before I decided to do anything about it.  And I have learned that it is a lot easier to talk about change when are doing something more than just talking about change.  I have also learned that if you care about something as much as I care about the issue of sex trafficking, it will make you miserable to not be doing anything about it.  As I said, we were not made to watch the world suffer.

Taking it a step further, we can’t change the world if we ourselves do not walk the proverbial walk.  We can’t complain about the injustices in our society if we ourselves are part of the problem.  We can’t ignore the problems right under our noses, and we can’t be part of the problem by being self centered and hateful towards others.  I am not trying to lecture you, because these are things that I am guilty of as well.  But I want you to realize we can’t continue to complain about the world if we continue to ignore the suffering of our neighbor and look down at those less fortunate than us.  There is something to be said for wanting to make the world a better place.  Some people may think that believing you change the world is naive.  I disagree.  Yes it is naive to think one can change the whole world.  We need to first find our corner of the world we want to change.  For me it is women that have been tricked, used, abused, treated worse than livestock, and endured horrors worse than I can even imagine.  But for you it might be something completely different, and that is ok.  It is good actually, because if we all change our little corner then soon we will run out of corners.  So I urge you stand up for what we believe in, fight for something worth fighting for, and really fight for it.  I promise you it will be worth your time; who knows you might just change the world.

Scribbles of Hope

In highschool English class we watched the movie Amazing Grace, and ever since then I have had this dream that I will grow up to be someone like William Wilberforce.  Someone who fights against all odds to battle the injustices of our world.  The older I get the more crazy and unrealistic this dream has become, but it is still there I just silence it with reasonability and responsibility.  But now I have this idea that I love but think is stupid, crazy, and will never work. But isn’t that how changes starts?  When someone dares to hope that their stupid idea but just be crazy enough to work.  No one can ever be practical when attempting something crazy life changing venture.  I mean Esther didn’t just go up to the King and ask him to only save one or two of her close Jewish friends. So I am sitting here thinking about my idea and how ridiculous it is that I could believe this could work.  But I bet Esther probably thought that too.  Worse case scenario at least I won’t get killed.

So here it goes.  Many of you may not know this, but I am a very passionate person.  If passion could be a spiritual gift then it would be one of mine.  And one of my passions, which is the injustices and horrors of sex trafficking, has been growing like a fire in my soul. I guess as a bruised and broken woman my heart goes out to women who are even more bruised and broken than I.  And then recently I stumbled upon this book Undaunted by Christine Caine .  I haven’t finished it yet, but she addresses the issue of sex trafficking and our belief that we are too insignificant for God to use us.  Boy did that one hit home (Isn’t it crazy how God sneaks the right things into our laps?).  Over the last year I have been telling myself that once I start my career as a tough criminal justice something or other then I will join the fight against sex trafficking.  But what about now?  Am I just suppose to ignore the cry of my heart that aches for the women who have been silenced and reduced to a commodity? Well I can’t wait anymore.  Only I wasn’t really sure what I could do.  I can write . . . kind of, and I can paint . . . kind of.  But I am not very good, and I am just me what could I really do?  Only I am not just me now am I. That is the point of trusting God to use us.  We give Him our scribbles of words and paintings and hope that He can use them to impact someone.  so are you ready to hear my crazy idea?  Are you sure??  Good.

So I can write, that is a start.  This is start to me writing about this issue I am so passionate about, and hoping that some of that passion wears off onto you.  Secondly I can paint, and I plan to paint about sex trafficking.  And here is where I need your guys help.  My hope is that you guys will actually want my paintings.  I have this crazy idea that you will “buy” paintings and I will donate all the money to The A21 Campaign which is an organization that fights against sex trafficking (more info on this in later blogs).  I figured this way everyone wins.  I get to paint and share about something I am passionate about.  You get a painting that can remind you to pray for all of the victims around the world, and yes even here in Sioux Falls.  And some women will get the hope that someone somewhere cared enough to help her.

So that is my crazy idea.  I still have a lot of kinks to work out, mainly being I still don’t know if I like my first painting.  But I wanted to throw my idea out there.  As I mentioned my first painting isn’t done, but I have one I have already done that I feel fits quite well. So while I keep praying and figuring out the kinks I want to leave you with a few lyrics from the song Boston:You don’t know me and you don’t even care. You don’t know me and you don’t wear my chains. No one knows my name.

These lyrics gave me chills after I thought about how real their meaning is for so many women.  My hope is that I can change that for at least one woman. Want to help me?