Tonight at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta almost 5,000 people gathered to watch the premiere of the short film "The Candy Shop." It is a documentary on child trafficking, specifically in Atlanta. The film tells the story of a man that owns a candy shop. He takes little girls in, turns them into lollipops, and then sells them to paying customers. Turning the story of men buying sex into men buying "candy."
The lead actor is a twisted man, but just like any man in that industry, he probably didn't start off so gruesome and horrific. It takes steps to get down that road, and it's easy to do little by little. A lot of times we look at the "buyers" and make them out to be the most terrible people in the world. And I agree that they do evil and abuse innocence, but when you get down to it- they are men that are hurting. Men that were probably abused or never given healthy affection. Not told that they had value or that they could do more with their lives. Hurting people hurt people. And I think that's where we stand with the consumers of children in this city. Even they are hurting.
So how do we see the lives of these perpetrators transformed? What will make them start making different decisions and spending money on better things? To see the value in sweet children and adolescents?
We will see their lives transformed when we start bringing the Kingdom to the streets of Atlanta. By getting our hands dirty and bringing child trafficking and prostitution into the light. By going into dark places because we know that there can be no dark in the presence of light. By believing that what we carry is more powerful and more life-giving and life-restoring than anything this world can conjure up. We have to stand in the gap for those that can't speak for themselves. Even if only one of us stands, he can make a difference.
And to me there is a difference between "Christian" and Kingdom. So let's stand up oh Church. Arise and shine.