Do you ever find yourself couch surfing when that awesome Falcon’s commercial comes on taunting you to “rise up” via a gospel choir and a dashing Samuel Jackson cameo? If you do, do your hands slowly find each other starting a slow clap and your knees straighten to a full stance? Well, I find myself in this scenario every time that commercial comes on. I mean, how could you not? We all have Atlanta pride! We love our sports teams and we love our city! Right?
Well, imagine a similar commercial comes on, asking twenty-something’s to “rise up” and take a stand against human trafficking in Atlanta. Would we have the same reaction? Would we stand up sharply, cheering and clapping our hands? Hmm… probably not. And let me tell you why. Twenty-somethings living in the city are “busy”. We are just starting to jumpstart our vivacious careers; we battle horrendous traffic every day; we date efficiently, with a mission – we don’t have time to advocate for anything other than a social life. Right? I’ll be honest with you because I like you: I used to have this mindset. I used to fill my thoughts/center my plans around “mwah”. But then the man upstairs stepped in…
Last year, after returning from a two-week mission trip to Cambodia, I knew I wanted to do my part in Atlanta but had no idea where to start. In fact, I was so clueless that I eventually gave up. Whoops. But then I went to church and God hand delivered the answer to me. Don’t you love when that happens? Joel Thomas was speaking and mentioned all the wonderful things Mary Frances Bowley was doing to help girls and women in Atlanta. My heart stopped for a moment. I knew this was God speaking directly to me. I knew I had to place my selfishness up on the shelf. So I googled “Mary Frances Bowley” and boom, there it was: Wellspring Living. So I assumed I would either volunteer in the stores or in the girl’s home. (Yes, Wellspring Living has four “rad”, super trendy consignment stores – one of which is conveniently in the Highlands! Hooray! My neighborhood! Click here to find out about the other great locations.)
But God said, “Nope, I’m going to open a different door for you.” And that’s when I heard about Wellspring’s Speaker’s Bureau – a group of trained volunteer speakers that represent Wellspring Living at various community events. Now, when I first thought about public speaking, I almost fainted. Then I began to think about speaking to mass quantities on sex trafficking – double faint. How awkward and uncomfortable! This is a topic that most people pretend doesn’t exist because it’s so uncomfortable to discuss. It’s even taboo in a way! And that’s exactly why I had to do it. If we don’t band together and hit the streets advocating, sex trafficking in Atlanta will never end. We have to make people aware of what’s going on!
So my challenge for you, twenty-something, is to “rise up”! Take a stand for something you believe in. It might not be comfortable; it might not fit with your schedule, but I assure you that by helping others you will also help yourself. God said it best through Luke: “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33-34)