She is not us. She is irrelevant. She is a drop in an ocean whose current is too strong, its tide unstoppable and so we pretend. We purpose in ourselves to ignore. Her daily torment not worth bumping news of last night’s sporting endeavours back just a few pages. Perhaps her story will make it beside the dog that has learnt to juggle. Why? She is lessor. She is irrelevant. She is not us.
She reminds us of everything we hate to see in humanity. Those neatly portioned narratives offered to us by the media that evoke respectful headshakes with appropriate frowns. How awful. Her truth: an offensive reminder of the human condition. And so we ignore, continue and consume. We ride this insatiable tide, crying our ignorance. Wilfully. Blindly we contribute to her pain because it is easier than a moment’s thought of her living horror. We might throw a pound at that nice smile with a name tag and blue bucket collecting for charity. ‘Money for the fight against Human trafficking’. Charity, we like the association. Through this one word, we legitimatise our role as the heroic individual, the protagonist, the generous one. We shun the priest and the Levite in turn – we purport to be the good Samaritan. We shut our eyes to the truth, to the fact that we never even cross the road. ‘Bless you, Sir’, ‘You’re so kind, Madam’ – the platitudes and publicity inflating our already bloated egos as we head to Tesco, or Sainsbury’s, or Asda, to enslave her once more. Why? She is not us.
Yet the God who parted the raging blue depths to make dry land, who spoke the unstoppable tide into stillness, this God calls her to Him. He names her ‘daughter’ for she is fearfully and wonderfully made. Crafted by the hand of a designer, she is made in His image, she is unique in the universe and loved with an everlasting love. And she is us. She is a victim of human trafficking but she is no less human. And as these promises are true of her, they are true of us. But this is not the end of the commonality. This dignity is shared, but so is the wretched sickness. Even as she in her enslavement screams of the evil of the human heart, so we also proclaim our brokenness in our deliberate distraction from her.
Yet God came for the broken, not the whole. The bleeding, not the healthy. Innate dignity and dependence meet as the Creator calls the sick, not the righteous. We are not the heroes – as though we could return her humanity to her any more than we could reclaim our own. Only God can do that. And through lifting up his only son upon a cross, allowing the unstoppable tide to crash over him and not us, he has. Through His sacrifice, she can cry Abba Father. She is worth dying for, as are you.
For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only Son, that whosoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life.
Lucy Talbot | 3rd year @ Balliol