I opened up my browser this morning and was notified that it was International Day of the girl 2016. I had no idea there was any such day and was quite surprised by it and then I started to read some startling numbers:
Rates of child marriage are highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where around 40% of girls are married before the age of 18, and 12.5% before they turn 15.
One in five girls in developing countries who enroll in primary school never finish. Only 30% of girls globally are enrolled in secondary school.
Some 1.2 million children are trafficked every year. Many of them are forced into prostitution.
etc. etc. etc.
I looked at those numbers and just stared at them for awhile. Then I thought of all the young girls and young women that I have had the pleasure of pastoring, mentoring, and teaching over the years and my heart hurt. It hurt bad.
We have spent a week in our country arguing about words that were captured on tape by one of our presidential candidates. We have heard reasons given for the words. Everything from it BUT it was just “locker room talk” to BUT it “over 10 years ago” to BUT it was only “just words”.
Enough with your “BIG BUTs”
Let’s be very clear, you can’t defend the words. It doesn’t matter where they were said or how long ago they were said. I know you may feel as if Hilary Clinton has done worse but let me stop you there. To defend these words but telling me someone did something worse diminishes the damage these words do. We have been guilty of that for too long. We have allowed crude remarks to slide. We have allowed people to be demeaned and diminished and pushed aside. and tried to teach them through rhymes “that names will never hurt me”…friends that is lies.
We need things like International Day of the girl because for too long we have made girls feel as if they didn’t matter. We have ignored the pain they have suffered around the world and in our own backyards.
This is not about a vote this is about common human decency. This is about holding people accountable for what they have done AND said. However it is more than that. It is about standing up for those who cant stand on their own. It is about being the voice for the voiceless. It is about remembering that the Image of God that exists within me is just as prevalent in every precious little girl and young woman in this world.
After some time in prayer this morning, I was reminded by God that I can do better and I need to do better.
So pray for me…pray for yourself. Pray for your community and pray for our world.
It is time to do better.