“There lived a people…who had the moral courage to stand up for their rights. And thereby injected a new meaning into the veins of history and civilization.” – Martin Luther KingJr.
I visited the National Civil Rights Museum over the MLK holiday. Generally Martin Luther King’s birthday is not something that I celebrate or even notice to be completely honest. His life and work are inspiring and heroic, but nothing that interrupts the course of my day or week. That was before this last weekend however. That single day has forever altered my vision, life and mission. I’m allowing the cry for freedom and equality that was released over the span of a hundred years pierce my heart and change my steps.
Many talk about Martin Luther King’s courage, speeches and leadership, and very well we should. However, there is something beyond an incredible leader that his life points to, it’s a deeper groaning that God is constantly aware of. A cry for justice that is still being released today. The Civil Rights Movement must continue.
Throughout history we see the fallenness of humankind expressing itself through oppression. The strong rule over the weak. That is, until justice finally prevails. Until one, two, or three have the will and courage to stand in diametric opposition to the powers of the age.
The Civil Rights Movement must continue.
I humbly submit to you that there is a battlefield in this age and generation that has not been conquered in the entire course of human history. One that is crying, yearning for a new breed of justice warrior to lay their trembling foot upon its soil and with their entire being declare there is truly “liberty for the captives, sight to the blind, and freedom for the oppressed.”
The Trans-Atlantic slave trade lasted 366 years and ensnared over 12.5 million in its grip. It is stated that it is the largest forced migration in history.
I beg to differ. Current estimates total the population trapped in the sex trade around 23 million. Many of these victims are constantly moved to escape detection. A victim can serve around ten to thirty clients a night, seven days a week. The average lifespan of a woman from the time she enters prostitution to the time of her “exit”, usually through homicide, overdose, or disease, is only seven years. If you are reading this you most likely already know the statistics.
I submit to you that this is the fight of our generation.
When history is written about this age I cry out to God that it would be noted that we raised the outcry. I pray that we would be the generation that would have the courage, boldness, and sacrificial love to stand against the impurity of society and reach our hands to save those sinking in its wake.
The success of the Civil Rights Movement leaned heavily on the fearlessness and fortitude of normal individuals. The nameless and faceless who were willing to sacrifice their own welfare to bring another blow to the structure of hatred. They did not cower in the face of fear but stood.
“We want the world to know that we no longer accept the inferior position of second-class citizenship. We are willing to go to jail, be ridiculed, spat upon and even suffer physical violence to obtain first-class citizenship.” – Ella Baker, SNCC Advisor, 1960
When we look back at those who have gone before us, laying down life, family, comfort, and security for the unsure glimmer of freedom and justice, let us take up the same baton and clothe ourselves with strength and courage, fighting for the same dignity of humanity. May it only strengthen our resolve when threatened or intimidated, assuring us that we are on the right track.
“We must be prepared for sore shocks, even for martyrdom, when the resistance and vengeance of the great and powerful are fully roused.” – Josephine Butler, 19th Century Abolitionist
There is not one disqualified. There is not one exempt from the battle. The blood of Jesus covers all.
“I have seen young men whose lives have been far from blameless, some in whose hearts rankled and oppressive sense of a wasted past, even a terrible remorse; I have seen such throw themselves into the battle in order to take a noble revenge against their former selves and die…making merely a bridge of their own dead selves for worthier comrades to pass over to victory…Many a wounded soldier has won the day….society is in peril from dangerous wounds which will not close until the young, the brave, the reckless, for Christ’s sake shall throw themselves in the yawning gulf.” – Josephine Butler
We must not wait for the abused to strengthen themselves and revolt as with the African-American community. It is the privilege and responsibility of the strong to defend the weak. The women trapped in sexual exploitation are weak in body, mind, and spirit. We must rouse ourselves to rescue and protect them.
Right here within a one mile radius of where I sit typing there are at least ten to fifteen sexually oriented business pumping out impurities minute by minute. Unrighteous sexual acts are committed hourly and to increase the appetite for more there are sex shops on every other block. Yet..
“The mountains of difficulties which are raised before us neither overpower our faith nor confuse our sight.” – Josephine Butler
Despite the odds stacked against us we have witnessed multiple brothels closing, traffickers and consumers hearing the gospel, victims asked for forgiveness for the sins committed against them in these places, and more.
Jesus is committed to saving souls and releasing the prisoners and it’s in Him we live and move and have our being. “He will not falter, nor lose heart until He has established justice throughout the earth.” By God’s grace neither will we.
-By Micah Bailey