Sometimes I struggle with words. I love words, but sometimes I truly and verily struggle with them.
I have read a lot of words over the last few weeks. Many of them very good words. Words telling me about the law changes in New Zealand to now protect underage girls from being brought here to be married off…also protecting any underage people from pedophiles in this country. Great words. So encouraging words.
I read words that told me about New Zealand winning it’s first court case against a man trafficking in persons. Those were also sad words. To realize what this man and his family would do to others from their home country just to make some money. I’m so glad that this country did their part and convicted him not just for being a bad employer, but also for bringing people here with the intent to defraud them and degrade their humanity.
I read words about how Californian law changed so that no underage girl can be convicted of prostitution because the reality is that girl is a victim of her surroundings. These were hard but good words. So sad, but so true. And I’m glad that California took steps to correct these words in their legislation. I was saddened to read that the media refuses to use appropriate words like victim or trafficked person in regards to underage girls in the sex industry.
I’ve also written a number of words in the last few weeks. I’ve been attempting to write good words. Words that mean something. Words that convey the deep ache in my soul to see abused humanity set whole and free with dignity and grace. Many times the only words I have in my heart are literally, “Lord have Mercy” And I have to accept that sometimes those words seem so inadequate and yet have to be enough for now.
There seem to be so many bad words around. So many ugly and tormenting words. Words that pretend to be loving and righteous, but in reality cause harm and pain. I do not like those words, although I do understand those words. I understand where they come from, I understand where they’ve gone awry. I know that for any change to happen, it must first start with me. So I am choosing, imperfectly and clumsily, to participate with the pain of those words and the anger, mine and others.
If I humbly can, I invite you to consider your words these next few weeks. Consider others words. See if you can step beyond the commonplace face of things, and delve behind to the root of the words. Behind my words, sometimes I find surprising roots. And it proves the lie to my words, even though I thought I had the most honest of intentions. When I can do that I communicate better. When I can see the roots of another’s words I may find a lie in the words, but the lie doesn’t affect me because I can also see the root. And often the root is what is worthwhile addressing more than that words.