The Great Divide
In our generation we are witnessing perhaps the greatest contrast between good and evil in history. Other generations have had their challenges: the Diocletions, the Hitlers, the the World Wars, the Holocaust. Genocide and slavery have been a part of our history since the beginning. But because of the technology, population growth, globalization and modernity of this generation, there seems to be an exponential element that can go in both directions. The chips are higher than they have ever been.
“Where degradation and evil abound, grace, in the most unlikely ways, abounds even more…”
Evil can spread like wildfire, as we see in the surge of the human trafficking epidemic. But so, too, can movements for good take wings in this age of viral networking. Human trafficking solutions must come from the creative and collaborative thinking of people who are determined to make a difference.
Summoning the Better Angels
The “better angels of our nature” seem to be summoned most often when we are confronted with the darkest challenges. Human trafficking charity arises from the horror of modern day slavery.
History is replete with examples of the triumph of good over evil.There’s the diary of Ann Frank, the little Jewish girl who grew up amidst the nightmare of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. A tattered journal left behind by a little girl who was terminated before her time, its handwritten pages discovered in the ashes by Allied soldiers amidst the ruins of the Third Reich, has communicated grace to countless readers in every generation since. I think of Oscar Schindler, who worked frantically to redeem as many Jews as he could hile he could. I think of the firemen who ran toward the burning Twin Towers to rescue as many people as they could on 9-11, 2001. I think of William Wilberforce, William Booth, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Father Damien—on and on goes the list.
The list is still being written in this generation. We live in a day, yes, when evil abounds and young people are suffering incredible injustice around the globe. But I believe this can be the “Grace Generation.” There was a popular bumper sticker back in the 90’s that said “Sh-t happens.” It resonated with millions of people because their experience told them it was true. A few years ago I decided to fight back. I ordered a license plate frame that read “Grace happens. Recognize and cooperate.” Every day there is an opportunity for us to do something about the evil we see all around us. Human trafficking solutions arise in the hearts and minds of those who see the evil for what is and are determined to act.
There is a song of hope and grace waiting to erupt in every situation.
I hold to the idea that where evil and suffering abound, grace can abound more. This does not mean that all that is broken will be fixed, or that water under the bridge can be retrieved. It simply means that there is a song of hope and grace waiting to erupt in every situation. And when it does, it has a way of influencing others to join in. If we recognize the tune, we can join in on the melody and experience harmony with others who do the same.