On August 11, David and I had the opportuntity to go see She Has A Name, a play by Andrew Kooman. Since the play was hosted as part of the Calgary Fringe Festival, standing in line to get in to the old church-turned-theatre was an interesting moment for me. In the midst of drag shows and generally crude comedy, here was a play about human trafficking.
Honest, haunting, and well-thought-out, this play was such a testament to me that all the different talents and gifts that we have can be used for something bigger than ourselves. The most memorable part of the entire production was watching the faces of the actors as they bowed at the end. Although it was the final night of the show in Calgary, they weren't beaming ear to ear or celebrating... Rather, their faces were full of the weight of what they had just portrayed. You could sense an inner longing, a deep hope that they might have made an impact, changed someone's perspective, or inspired someone to take action. It was very humbling to witness that moment.
You see, these actors weren't about making money, or becoming famous. They were there to tell a story, and an important one... A story of a man named Jason who traveled to Thailand to try and rescue girls enslaved in the sex trade, and all the mixed emotions that come with that kind of dedicated work. A story of all the ghosts that haunt countless girls and boys like Number 18 (the young girl he tries to rescue) who are trapped in prostitution. A story about what happens when greed and lust kiss and twist themselves into something even more horrid. A story about injustice that bubbles up a sense of urgency and anger inside of you, so that you can stop for long enough in this busy world to ask yourself, what can I do about this?
And as I sit and reflect on that question myself, the more I see the faces of those actors and realize that I have talents I could be better at using to raise awareness about trafficking too. Writing is one of them, and I have to confess that I'm frustrated with myself that I let myself go so long between my last post and this one. But I'm here to tell you I'm committing to being more diligent about the use of my talents. And so, whoever you may be, I ask you to question yourself... What can you do about human trafficking? Or about another matter of social injustice that you care deeply about? What are you good at, and how could you use it to better the lives of others?
It is written, "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:4-8
We all have different abilities. And we were given them for a reason! So cease opportunities to use them. And tell someone about it so that you can be held accountable to what you set out to do. I would love to hear from you and encourage you in that way. (Please feel free to fire me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment!)
Personally, I'm committing to writing a new post every two weeks. I'm also in the middle of booking more showings of Nefarious for this fall and winter. (You can read more about my involvement with this film here.) If you are a student who attends a post secondary school in Alberta, I'd love your help if you are interested in helping me book a showing of this very impacting film at your school. I'd also love to show it at workplaces or anywhere else where people are interested in learning about human trafficking.
Whatever your gifts are, don't just use them for yourself, or for fame and glory. There are millions of trafficked people who could use someone like you to stand up and use their talents to help end injustice.
And lastly, my friends in Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, and Red Deer, She Has A Name is coming to you this fall! I really really encourage you to get out and see it. The play is beautiful and there's really no good reason for you to not see it.
P.S. So if you don't hear from me by September 14, somebody please spam my phone/Facebook/email asking where the next post is! Thanks for reading :)