can’t they just leave?
the door is open why doesn’t she just walk out?
no one is watching you who says he can’t just start running?
these are just some of the questions and thoughts people may have when they think about human trafficking, especially in open bar (or parlor) red light districts.
it is hard for us to fathom the thought of someone being physically unrestrained, yet totally unable to walk out. in fact they are completely captive.
I once heard a story that puts into perspective what it is like to be in captivity, seemingly free yet unable to leave…
the elephant story
when a baby elephant is first weaned from its mother, in order for it to become a “show” elephant it must be trained. In many countries elephants are a part of culture and tourist curiosity. The following is a method of making them suitable for crowds:
in the initial training, the baby elephant has a massive and heavy chain attached to its hind leg and is tied to a tree where it will often cry and fight for months to break free. The elephant is taken away from its’ mother right at the start. As as young elephant it is put in a huge chain, unable to move or do anything, crying, freedom being one key away. As time moves on the chain gradually gets smaller. The elephant being kept captive and heartbroken as they are left, held, stuck with freedom in sight and no one willing to take just a few steps to sit, to comfort, to show them real freedom. Once the elephant has been initially broken it graduates to a smaller chain, one it could perhaps break out of with its initial vigor. A chain so small that physically the elephant could just walk away for this restraint is nothing compared to the power within, but the elephant does not know this because it is so broken down. The animal eventually will end up free roaming with only a small rope attached to its leg. Just a string and a peg, when the peg is put in the ground the elephant stops, able to move, but not free.
The elephant has been broken, unaware that it has all the power in him to walk right out of the situation they’re in. (Not that they could all successfully escape without repercussions but they don’t even try because they believe they are totally captive).
The depth of every situation is so vastly different. Many may question why someone stays, because they are not free. It saddens my heart seeing people who are captive and all others can think of getting them out of their current situation, yes they are experiencing hell of earth but if they do not come to know Jesus they will experience eternal life separated from the Father. That is why relationship is so important. Relationship with Jesus. Where freedom is reached with just the mention of his name.
There are moments
when God sets captives free
in such a dramatic way
that we get to watch
in awe as their chains fall off…
a single strand holds them captive…but a single Savior sets them free.