But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. (Psalm 13:5)
Relate: Free McDonalds for a year. That’s what he got for his actions that day. Charles Ramsey had been walking down Seymour Ave in Cleveland Ohio eating a McDonalds meal when he noticed another man, Angel Cordero, trying to communicate with a panicked screaming woman inside. English not being his primary language, Angel was having difficulty communicating and responding until Charles put down his meal and came to help. The two kicked a hole in the bottom of the storm door and Amanda Berry crawled through with her daughter.
Charles, Angel and Amanda Berry went next door where Amanda made a 911 call saying, “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry … I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. I’m here. I’m free now.” When police arrived they found that not only Amanda but also Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight had also been help prisoner in this average looking suburban home for over a decade.
React: In an average house in an average community in an average city an unspeakably horrible evil was taking place. Three women had been kidnapped and been held against their will by a former bus driver who has since been indicted on 512 counts of kidnapping and 446 counts of rape. Where were the neighbors? Where were the police? Where were you? Where was I?
There are people desperately crying out for freedom all around us. Some are enslaved in red light districts in India, Thailand, or the downtown streets of virtually every major city in the world. Others have been kidnapped from their villages, tortured and brainwashed and now trudge through jungles with a gun in their hand. Some are forced to work in garment factories. Others, are working an average job in an average community right around the corner from me and seem as normal as the house on 2207 Seymour Ave. But in reality they are chained to their addiction, they are chained to their fears, they are slaves to depression or the haunting memories of past abuse. For some the abuse is not yet a thing of their past.
I have a responsibility. I have been adopted by a Father who is overflowing with unfailing love. He has given me a reason to rejoice. I have been set free. Now it is my turn to carry this freedom forward. There are people in India, and Thailand, and Uganda, and Bangladesh who are desperately crying out for freedom and I have a responsibility to heed their cries. There are also those held captive in the 2207 Seymour Avenues around the corner from my home who are just as desperate for someone to hear them. God does. Do I?
Thank You for setting me free. There is no words, no song, no sacrifice that can ever be enough to repay for what You’ve done. Thank You. I thank You again. And when I am done let be begin again. Help me to overflow with joyful gratitude. As I do, help me to carry that overflow to my world. Let the unfailing love You have poured into me spill out into everyone I meet. Help me to keep my eyes open to the needs and my ears open to the cries for freedom from those around me and from those far off. Bring Your freedom.