Let’s be real.
I get nervous sometimes.
Whether showing my shoebox display of the Tundra (complete with an igloo made of sugar cubes) to my science teacher in fifth grade, talking to referees on the soccer field during a coin toss in high school, or giving a presentation on Futurist art in a British Literature class in college, my body seems to react the same each time: sweaty palms, shaky voice, and maybe even a tear or two.
I get afraid of saying the wrong thing or saying the right thing. I get scared that I’ll say too much or not enough. I’ll most likely sweat through my shirt when somebody asks me a question and I doubt my opinion actually matters. I’m not a huge fan of confrontation, which can range from a full-blown argument to somebody who is merely curious to know more.
I think that it’s ok to talk a certain way to people in an office, another way to my barista at Starbucks, and a completely different way to my friends and family. If I don’t make you choose the music in the car, then what we listen to depends on who you are…never would I want to make you listen to a song you don’t know. I tell myself that I’m simply trying to become all things to all men, like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:22.
It’s biblical. Right?
Well…no. Not really.
It’s through this that I sometimes lose who I am and the voice that God has given me as a daughter of His and fighter for His kingdom so that I don’t make people feel awkward or embarrassed. I mistake my chill and relaxed attitude for passivity and people pleasing. I don’t point out things when they’re false and I often put my feelings to the side, thinking I’m displaying some sort of holy honor towards the other person.
Label me all you want. Insecure. Compassionate. Timid. Emotional. But here’s something I do know that is true about the whole situation: sometimes, I act this way because the devil doesn’t want people hearing what I have to say. And I know that in order for him to be defeated, I have to speak up.
So here is something that I want you to know.
The coming weekend will be an extremely long and tiring few days. The lump in my throat may never leave and my stomach will be doing plenty of flips. And honestly, I don’t anticipate getting much sleep. Why? It’s Super Bowl weekend.
I won’t feel sick because companies paid $4 million for each 30 second commercial, and my stomach won’t stop doing flips thanks to Beyonce shaking her thing at halftime. It’s not because over 118 million people will spend a few hours watching grown men wear tight pants and hit each other. I don’t even know who is playing.
I will be sick thinking about the herds of men who flocked to Louisiana with their buddies for a “guys weekend” to satisfy their cravings on entertainment only New Orleans can offer. Their wallets stuffed and stomachs full, they open their minds to the desires of the streets.
I will stay up at night, tossing and turning in the safety of my bed, picturing thousands of women and children being forced to have sex with men they don’t know, in a city that is most likely not their own. For the 2010 Super Bowl, it is estimated that over 10,000 women and children were trafficked to Miami for sex. In reality, the Super Bowl is considered one of the largest human trafficking events in the world.
I commit to you now that I will be fighting this weekend.
I will fight for the men who have temptation staring into their soul and luring them into darkness. That they won’t fall into the enemy’s trap, but will remain pure and unadulterated sons of a God who loves them passionately.
I will fight for the women and children who were taken by pimps and traffickers and sent to New Orleans, only to be relentlessly raped. That they will be rescued, restored, and renewed by a God who hates everything that has unjustly been done to them.
I will fight for the pimps and traffickers to be caught by police. But more importantly, that someone shares the Gospel with them and they come to know Jesus as the One who saves, forgives, and redeems.
I’m not writing this to make you feel guilty for watching the Super Bowl Sunday night, but rather to open your eyes to the underbelly of the event, making you aware of the vitality of your prayers this weekend. Don’t ignore the reality of sex trafficking happening in America. Though this topic probably makes you nervous and some people uncomfortable, it’s time.
To be bold, to speak up, and to fight this evil.
Our voices matter. Will yours be heard?