It bears repeating: I have a love/hate relationship with my #OneWord365. Hope—that four-letter word. Sometimes heart-lifting, like a bouquet of helium balloons big enough to sweep me off the ground; other times, a heavy weight that renders me immobile…and exhausted.
And then I see it—hope—very much alive and well and forward-pushing in the hearts of those who have every reason to have given up on it. And it wrecks me. Because I can’t help but hear it whispering also to me…
My breath catches in my throat, and my eyes fill with tears, and I shake my head—not so much in disbelief, but in an attempt to dislodge the roots I can feel sinking deeper. Laying hold. Gripping securely.
Even when I try to shake it free—even when I let go—hope holds tightly to me.
“Don’t you ever get tired?”
She asked this question of The Exodus Road’s India Director after hearing about the uphill, overwhelming battles his team faces daily: the 24 hours of travel by train or bus to get to cases, the tip-offs by corrupt police, the sheer numbers of victims, the horrific abuse they witness. His answer was quick and emphatic.
“Tired? Yes, yes, I get tired. I get tired of traveling and taking care of everything and missing my family. I do get tired of all that. But I never, never get tired of rescuing these girls. I will never get tired of that.”
There are few people I respect and admire as much as this man and the other men and women on The Exodus Road’s team, actively pushing freedom forward in some of the darkest corners of the earth. Their resiliency and determination and passion—their unwavering hope amidst unspeakable circumstances—inspire me beyond measure. They disturb me in good and hard ways. They challenge me deeply. And, even when I’m not even sure I want it, they stir hope in my heart.
I’m fairly certain they will do the same for you.
Photo Credit: The Exodus Road