You are precious to me. You are honored and I Love You. Isaiah 43:4
I was sitting on a stranger's bed, I had never met her before, I had never been to a red light district before to be honest, I've never spoken with a woman in the trade. In all my years of study and raising awareness on human trafficking, this was my first time I was in a situation like this. I was sitting on her bed in her home no bigger than my kitchen maybe smaller. With a bed and not very much else to call her own, and there I was having tea with her. I felt a still small voice say over and over, "this is where you belong". It was so clear and true, for a long time I have known the type of place the Lord has called me to. This was a confirmation of that calling.
You see, this encounter was an immense privelage for me, I was able to sit in her Bari (home) with the local team and her pimp and witness her opportunity for freedom. The organization that operates on the ground in Kolkata, Freeset, ministers to these women. They tell them they are precious, they help them settle their debts, and they provide these women a path to freedom. As we sat on her bed and the local team spoke to her in Bangla. They told her she has an opportunity and a choice to be free. A choice for a better life and a future. Then she offered us tea. To me, it was more like communion. I believe Jesus was there in that room with us.
In Kolkata, Cha (Chia Tea) can be poured into a terracotta cup. It’s considered a throw away cup (much like a paper cup or styrofoam cup in the West) because once your done drinking tea you take it and throw it on the ground. The same analogy applies here, these women are considered by many to be throw aways much like this cup.
Used up and then dissposed of. I saved mine as a reminder that in scripture it’s mandated by God over and over again to love those on the fringes of society. The women on the line are not throw aways but instead precious and created in the image of God and He sees them as precious tea cups.
I did belong there. I belonged next to my neighbor, loving and helping them in their time of need. To be honest, all of us belong there. As Christians this is what we are called to and this is why Christ died for us. You see Christ is not distant from our suffering but came down to earth and made himself a part of it. He was crucified for our sins and rose again. He defeated death and in that there is hope.
My deepest desire is that people all over the world without a voice know that they matter, they are all precious and valuable. Even if they view themselves as throwaways, God sees value. God sees a precious teacup.
Let us start conversations that matter with our friends and family. We don't have to have it all together or figured out but let’s start right where we are. Let us share a message of hope. Let them know that although there are so many still in slavery, there are so many rising up on their behalf. Let us cry together with one voice, set them free! Together we can change this.
Crystal, Founder, and Visionary at All of Us Matter