I recently did a biblical word study on the word peace. It occurs over 370 times in the bible, which means it is a pretty important term in God’s eyes. The concept of peace occurs more than the word grace, more than joy, and even more than justice. It’s a pretty significant concept.
In my studies of peace, I immediately became entranced by its complexity and its beauty. I realized that this idea, this concept of peace, is how God created the world and it’s what he desires for all of us. The Hebrews call this term shalom and the Greeks call it eirene. A lot of societies take an aspect of peace, and make it the whole idea, whether that be absence of war, internal wholeness, or something else. But peace is more than that. Peace is a beautiful, holistic term, that can barely be described in human terms. When I studied this term, I was brought to tears as I looked at its beauty. So, here is what peace means: Total well-being. Prosperity. Security. Completeness. Wholeness.
Need I say more? Those words when put together are beautiful. But why am I writing about peace in the context of a human trafficking awareness organization? That seems kind of odd. How could there be peace in the midst of something as brutal as the commercial sex industry? Is there even peace at all in this chaotic, broken world? Well, I was asking myself the same question when doing my research.
I couldn’t see the peace in such a brutal industry. Will there ever be peace? Well, a few weeks ago I was asked to compile a slideshow commemorating Shared Hope’s year, and I saw peace. In this slideshow, I saw over 30,000 gathering to stop the commercial sex industry and put an end to human trafficking. I saw advocates from all over the world putting an end to this injustice. I saw recovering survivors smiling and interacting with people again. I saw a survivor getting married! And then I saw a room full of Defenders, gathering together in training to learn more about the industry so we can end the demand and educate our families.
While watching this slideshow, I was in tears. I realized that while well-being, prosperity, security, completeness, and wholeness aren’t completely happening right now (and we still have a lot of work to get to that point) — we are still gathering together to make that happen. Together, as Defenders and fellow advocates, we are working towards the recovery of victims and providing a sense of well-being we are working towards prosperity; we are working towards security, and we are working towards completeness and wholeness. That is beautiful to me. It’s exciting, and it makes me cry when I think about it.
So this is really a blog post of thanks. Thank you to every Defender and advocate out there who is working to bring about peace. You really are making a difference. Thanks for your desire to make this world a better place and heal the things that are broken. Together, we can end demand and bring peace to the broken.
A Fellow Defender
To learn more about Shared Hope’s impact in 2012, go here.