Two days ago, people all over the world ‘blacked out’ for the day in an effort to promote the #EndItMovement, a movement started by the Passion Conference team to raise awareness and push for an end to human sex trafficking and modern day slavery. I’ve seen a lot of criticism about how effective this move was, and I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical myself. However, after looking into it more I found a couple cool (almost subtle) aims that I think the movement was hoping for. One was realizing that there are people who’s voices are ‘blacked out’ and we are privileged to have the ability to use ours. As one girl put on twitter, “ I have freedom, I have a blessed life, I have a voice. And I plan to use all three to help.” By committing to refrain from social networking of any kind (especially in our society) you are in effect cutting out your voice. You are voluntarily restraining yourself. Millions around the world face this everyday, obviously not in the form of a social media fast. But millions are faced with another day in which their voices will not be heard.
The bible speaks about speaking out for those that can’t speak for themselves. I thought about using that verse-the same one a thousand other people have quoted when discussing this same issue. I thought about writing and emphasizing how we should be standing up and speaking out on behalf of those whose voice is being silenced- and we should, don’t get me wrong. But you’ve read that before. You’ve seen those posts, you’ve heard that plea. It’s easy to use words to make you feel certain things. I can string some things together here and give you goose bumps and have your heart burning for a few hours, that’s what I’m good at. But where’s the real change, the lasting impact?
I’ve been wrestling with all of this. And in the midst of it all, all I know to do is point you to Christ. When we see Jesus for who he really is, everything changes. Everything. I can tell you that in my own life I tried to do the Christian thing for a long time because it was what my family did, what my friends did, what I was supposed to do. And then I saw Jesus for who he really is. Now there are days where I wish I could slow down and take it easy but the passion in my heart wont let me. Because everything has changed for me.
So while we’re talking about using our voice and speaking up for the ones who are silenced, let me paint this picture. A world full of humans, born into sin, and doomed to be forever separated from their creator. A people in need of their God, but unable to get there because God is Holy and sin and holiness can’t hang out together. A people needing to cry out to be saved, but whose voice had been silenced because of the effects of their sin. Then we have Jesus. The only one with a voice that could be heard by the Father, the only one that was not bound by the choking chains of sin, the only one that could choose to use his voice. In such stark contrast to every one of us, his voice, his life, proclaimed something greater than himself. He poured out his life, and ultimately gave up his life, on behalf of something greater. His life didn’t say ‘I think I’m pretty cool’ but ‘There is more to be living for, something greater is coming.’ The bible tells us that to this day, he is standing before the father, petitioning on our behalf. He is still speaking out on behalf of those who can’t speak out for themselves. ‘No man comes to the Father except through me.’ He is speaking up for you.
When we see Christ for who he is, it changes us. He is speaking up for me! How can I continue to live for myself? How can I spend each day seeking my own pleasures and my own desires. His example of using his voice, of pouring out his life for something greater, is incredibly inspiring and causes me to want to do the same. Should we speak up for the hungry, the thirsty, the enslaved? YES. But why? Because Christ speaks up for us- the spiritual hungry, thirsty, and enslaved. Why do we help these people? Because it’s a picture of what Christ has done and is doing for us. He fought for our freedom, he offered himself-the bread of life, the living water, on our behalf. So when we ‘speak out’ on behalf of those who have no voice, that’s great, but if we stop there we will miss it. Our voices should be used for the voiceless, but above that they should be used to proclaim the One who uses His voice for us.