Our generation has more global exposure than any other generation before it. Daily we have images of sufferring worldwide flashed before our eyes. As a result of having so much exposure, it takes a lot to grab our attention; everything, from movies to news and groups, have had to up the ante if they're to get people to take notice. And when it comes to social causes you find people so desperate for action that they too have upped the rating on their material in hopes that it'll serve as a bucket of cold water over a sleepy ADD generation.
There is so much gore, so much darkness, so much devastation in how people talk about issues facing our world. And I do believe that the people sharing their horror stories are genuinely hoping that it will get people to act and that they are of the best intentions, however, intentions will never serve as proper justification for anything. And nor will good intentions justify the further exploitation of the exploited.
Picture this: A man is trying to get a group to act against human trafficking, particularly as it pertains to the sex industry. In an effort to get at your heart he shares his chilling experience of seeing sex-trafficking first hand. He shares the disgust he felt at the scene and goes into somewhat graphic detail describing what he saw. He then shares how it changed his life and how he hopes hearing about it will change yours. The End.
I ask you; who is honored in this story? Certainly not the soul that they are trying to solicit action on behalf of.
Exposure is a delicate thing. Any exposure you gain is really an entrusting. You have been entrusted with someone's story and being entrusted with that story does not necessarily make it yours to share; and should you ever share it it should be shared in such a way that would honor them should they ever hear you tell it.
Try to think of it like this: In Genesis 9 we read of a certain time where Noah became drunk and was naked in his tent. One son came into the tent, saw his father's nakedness and ran and told his other two brothers. The other two brothers then wrapped a garment over their shoulders and walked backwards into the tent to cover their father in such a way that they would not see their father's nakedness and expose him. Which of the three brothers do you think were honored for their approach?
Is it our responsibility to expose or is it our responsibility to honorably cover?
At the heart of every issue and every story lies a person; a person with feelings and rights, a person worthy of protection- protection even from good intentions. And at the end of every day people are motivated by hope more than they could ever be motivated by despair. So why don't we concern ourselves with how we facilitate hope rather than how we facilitate conviction? Let us truly honor the souls that have captured our hearts and our attention rather than honoring the darkness that victimizes them. Let them be honored in how we speak of them and think of them rather than being embarrased by our words exposing their nakedness. Instead, let us be like the two brothers who backed in and covered their father. Let us be like our Father Who saw our ancestor's, Adam and Eve, embarassment at their own nakedness and made them clothes.