Somewhere around 10:30 PM last night, I opened the door to allow two police men in my house.
“Yeah, I can show you,” I respond as my heart broke, ached & grieved.
In the comfort of my evening I had been scrolling through Instagram using a popular hashtag having to do with planners & planning art in the most creative of ways. Suddenly my stomach churned.
Surely it can’t be, I thought. Well, it could be, but yuck.
Unfortunately, it was.
One after another, pictures & video of graphic sexual activity. Pornography.
As much as my stomach churned I clicked on one image to report it. Then another. And another. Then I realized they were coming from the same user.
Well, that makes it easier. I’ll just report the user.
I clicked on the user profile, which at this point had about 400 followers and maybe 55 photos & videos posted, & reported it. Then I noticed the small thumbnails & began to cry.
Already, porn itself makes me angry and sad all at once because it is such an assault on the most intimate & beautiful thing God created for married men & women to share. It angers me because I’ve seen the way it permeates lives & rewires sex & distorts true intimacy and the revelry which ought to be enjoyed between husband and wife.
Pornography deceives, distorts & destroys.
Then, I saw one girl, who looked like she wasn’t even alive or conscious, being roughly violated. Another with a look of fear & dread in her face. And then, a girl whom I surmised to be somewhere between eight and twelve years old. And another, maybe an early teen.
Dear God. What have I stumbled into? What do I do? What can I do?
I can report the photos. I can report the user. I can report this vile fiend to the cops.
It’s a start.
By the time the officers showed up, the user’s profile had doubled. Pictures & followers were flooding in quickly. The user, this abuser, began posting notes to his account with vulgar words and laughing at anyone who dared to report him. Because he’d disappear before he was found. He taunted about how he’s done this so many times before. So sure he’ll never get caught.
The police affirmed that it’s highly unlikely he’ll be caught. They confirmed what grieved my heart the most, that this was likely the result of human trafficking, which continues to increase. And yes, it appeared to include child pornography.
I teared up as I sat at the kitchen table. Thankful that they would do what they could, though I knew it would be little.
Mostly, I was wishing like heck that I could just call Penelope Garcia & get her fast moving hacking skills on the job. Pronto!
I was told to keep on reporting this kind of content. Sites like Snapchat, Instagram & Tumblr are still young companies and we can make them stay accountable in keeping this junk off our screens by reporting content.
With one small step at a time, we make a difference.
When you think of how easy porn is to find, and how much it is is a main stay in the lives of many lives, it’s disheartening to say the least. My friend Jen & her husband Craig released a book a year ago called Pure Eyes, Clean Heart. In it they talk through their struggle as Craig was addicted to porn for years. They share honestly & have sought healing through bringing this out into the light.
Darkness cannot stand the light.
For us to stay in darkness is to not walk with the Light of Christ. So many of us believe there is nothing we can do, but we must do something. We must shine light and expose darkness.
Believe that you can do something
Quite frankly, it irks me that this user taunted anyone who had the gall to report him. That’s pure evil working through a human y’all. It is the enemy using lies, anger and any tactic possible to induce fear and convey power.
Remember, the enemy always wants us to believe we are ineffective and that God is less powerful than He is. Satan has been trying to usurp God’s power since the beginning, it’s what got him cast out of heaven. Y’all – he’s still at it.
But believers in Jesus have the very real power of Christ within us to counter evil. There are things we can do and we need to do it with the courage that says, I believe.
Prayer is no small thing. I’ll be addressing our beliefs about prayer more tomorrow, but in the meantime, let’s begin to challenge ourselves with what we believe about prayer. Do you believe prayer has an impact? Do you believe prayer changes things?
Big things, like prevalent evil systems of human trafficking, child porn and the whole sex trade industry itself, are sadly part of the world we live in, but we are not powerless.
We can pray for mighty works in the spiritual realm. We can gather together in prayer.
Join & Fight
We need to link arms with other believers and counter evil together. God created us to live in fellowship & community. To work in relationship. The enemies’ tactics include trying to get us isolated.
We can’t fight as well when we are alone, but we can join other organizations. Stand with thos who actively fight to take down the industry providers & users.
We can pray with them and for them. We can support them financially. We can use social media to the benefit of the kingdom and share about the work these organizations do.
Use Social Media for Good
We can also share about the evils that are occurring, and bring light on darkness. To do this effectively we need a heart that his humble and not riddled with bitter hate or our own vileness which turns others aside.
We have an opportunity to use our voices online for the greater kingdom good, rather than tear it down or stay focused on ourselves.
I have lived much of my life in fear. Fear of what others might say or think about me. Fear of what others might do to me. Fear of failing to do a good enough job. Fear of disappointing.
One by one God is bringing healing as I uproot the things I have believed wrongly & replace them with the truths of God’s Word. I’m so passionate about it because I know I’m not the only one.
We all need to identify ungodly beliefs in our lives and replace them with God’s truths. Then rehearse those truths repeatedly. As we pursue godly beliefs and personal healing & freedom, we are better equipped to stand strong against the enemies’ attacks.
While our own hearts remain captive to fear, we are less effective for the kingdom. If we want to make a difference right where we are, start by seek healing & personal freedom. Not only will we be stronger, but our hearts will be drawn closer to the heart of Christ. To experience His freedom & love is like nothing else.
Let’s pursue freedom so that we can free others.
As our ungodly beliefs are replaced and we get free, we grow. We become stronger. We have the courage which God tells us to have, repeatedly. Be courageous.
Who knows what steps God may call us to take. Boldly. Courageously.
Believe You Can
What we believe we can do impacts whether or not we will do anything. Evil is around us everyday in many ways. Some more subtle than others, but it’s there.
Believe that you can make a difference.
Below are a few organizations that are fighting these injustices.
If you know of more, would you add them to the comments below? I’ll add them to the page as I am able.
Thank you for joining me in #31DaystoBelieve as we pursue what we believe and how it impacts our lives.
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May we learn to #livewell.
- International Justice Mission
- Girl, Set Free (Facebook Page; site about to launch)
- Five-Fifteen : fighting the darkness of human sex trafficking with the LIGHT (Facebook Page)
- Five-Fifteen Site
- Stop Child Trafficking Now
- A21 Campaign (Facebook Page)
- A21 Campaign