By Bruce and Tracy Clemenger
“God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering… Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out” (Romans 12:1-2, The Message).
When we think of child-trafficking, we think it only involves children overseas. When we think of slavery, we don’t think of child-slavery or that it really exists today. But it does. And in Canada.
The RCMP estimates that 600-800 victims are trafficked into Canada each year, and another 1,500 to 2,200 persons are trafficked through Canada to the United States annually. We know that Inuit children and youth are being trafficked to southern cities in Canada for prostitution and other abhorrence’s against human beings.
The news is alarming. When we are shocked, we go numb. In a media-saturated world, our attention is quickly diverted from this sin. The tragedy of our technological society has children present but not really seen, recorded but not really heard.
Children are bought, sold and used as things, without being recognized as co-citizens of God’s Kingdom and image-bearers of God. Children are our neighbours we are called to love (Proverbs 31:8-9).
Jesus Christ is the world’s greatest children’s advocate who affirms the Old Testament commands to protect, care and advocate for children: the fatherless, the weak and vulnerable. Consider Mark 9:
- Jesus cradled a child to teach a room full of wanna-be leaders what true leadership is.
- He rebuked anyone making a child stumble.
- He called followers to radically sever ourselves from anything harming a child.
- He rebuked leaders preventing children from experiencing God and their gifts and abilities.
Yet why isn’t Jesus famous as a Child Advocate? Do we conveniently embrace ignorance or indifference concerning the plight of children? Perhaps criteria for leadership has become so divorced from the primary care-giving of children, that we see children on the periphery rather than integral to the gospel mandate and our social well-being.
How radical to experience Jesus this way! He protected and nurtured children whether or not they shared his genes or home address. Children need us to do the same: hearts and ordinary behaviours realigned to the heartbeat of God the Father. We dare not miss any opportunity to wholly devote ourselves to be holy followers of the world’s greatest Child Advocate and to advocate on children and youth’s behalf.