If we rewind 2012, we’ll discover the world spun at 1,040 MPH. We who lived the entire year, experienced 8,784 hours, 527,040 minutes, and 31,622,400 seconds.
Think about how you invested those hours, minutes, and seconds, while the earth spun at its unfathomable speed. What did you do with your 2012? Reach your goals? Live your dreams? Relax and enjoy your life?
Now I invite you to imagine with me, a very different 2012. Are you willing to go to a hard place? Would you like to make a difference for someone else?
In this other world, your stomach gnaws with hunger. For yet another twenty-four hour span. You get a whiff of your own foul body odor, and pray others aren’t put off by the scent. You stand, but a wash of dizziness pushes you back to a seated position. Painful sobs tear from the throats of your siblings.
You get back up on wobbly legs, and shuffle to the kitchen. Hoping for a miracle, you open every cabinet door, praying this time to find a few morsels. It won’t take much, after all, your stomach has probably shrunk to the size of a lemon. The wailing from the other room grows in intensity.
With a bowed head, you make your way to the tiny closet where your one remaining possession of value hides. You pull out a small bundle, wrapped in an old rag. With deep reverence, you unfold the corners, to reveal the contents.
Inside, you gingerly pick up a bird shaped pin, inlaid with sea green, red, and yellow stones, inside filigreed golden wings. You kiss the precious piece, in memory of the grandmother who left it to you. Then you leave the cramped apartment, and walk onto the crowded street.
You stand on the corner, timidly trying to hawk your priceless gem.
A well dressed business man approaches you with a compassionate smile. “What are you selling?”
With tears pooling at the edges of your eyes, you slowly unfurl your fingers. “This,” you hold the glittering jewelry on your open palm.
“Why are you selling it?”
“My family needs food.”
With extreme tenderness, he folds the petals of your fingers back over the heart of your hurts. “There is another way.”
“I don’t understand,” your lower lip earthquakes.
“I want to help you.”
“It’s what I do. You aren’t the first.”
“Come with me, I can offer you a whole new life, beyond anything you might expect.”
Fast forward six months, at the onset of a new year. Trembling, your legs bleeding from the latest beating, your spine stiffens.
A familiar growl echoes into the blackened room where you now reside, “Get out here. Now.”
Once your captors clean you up for the latest paying customer, you are taken to the meeting room. Minutes later, you submit under oppressive weight.
Every moment of every day of the year, freedom eludes you. Imprisoned by the traffickers who own your body, your soul languishes in torture. Your hope deferred.
If you are reading this, odds are, you can hardly imagine such a life. And the pain of such thoughts cause you to turn them off with great intent. Unless you take courage, and decide to make a difference.
I know such a person who made such a decision. A woman who braved her comfortable existence, and infused herself in the dark world of human trafficking for the sake of others.
Susan Norris has written a captivating book based on her experiences, and insider’s knowledge — Rescuing Hope. The main character is fictional, and her story is different from the one above, but be assured, Hope is based on real people. Innocent victims of heinous acts, perpetuated by pedophiles, under the guise of everyday activities. Surprising realities are revealed in the page turning life of Hope. Will the love of Christ rescue her?
And what does Hope’s story have to do with you? Join me next time, when we’ll explore how 2013 might be the year you take part — in Rescuing Hope. Would you save a life if given the chance?
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author of the soon-to-be released book, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, client of WordServe Literary Group, graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.