40 Million Voices

‘A suffering that no tongue can express nor language impart.’


A word that runs bitter on our tongues,

Yet can remain distant, incomprehensible, unreal even.

We commit this barbaric fact to the pages of history,

And hope with all our will that such an atrocity could not exist anymore.

But 40 million voices would tell us otherwise,

If we listened, if we could hear,

We might understand a little more of this hidden violence,

And the depth to which it pervades this world.

It is beyond words, beyond imagination even,

That one person could so brutally, indefinitely and mercilessly rob the freedom of another,

That a group of individuals could traffic countless women into sexual exploitation,

The one man, sat in the comfort of his own home could direct the awful abuse of a child 7,000 miles away,

That the very workers assigned to uphold justice and protect the vulnerable from violence,

Could be the very ones to violate those who they are called to fight for,

That a mother could exploit her own child.

It can be easy to forget, to overlook, to neglect to see the injustice that pervades our world

It can be nice to pretend that the world within our reach is a little less broken than it is.

The burden is too hard to bear,

And so we bear no burden at all.

And as one might sweep crumbs under a rug,

So we sweep the plague of violence that encompasses the earth out of sight and out of mind.

How do we comprehend the violence and injustice that dwells in every corner of this broken world?

How do we accept the reality that children, women and men and exploited, violated, abused in every nation on this globe?

How do we comprehend the depth of evil that lurks in a human heart?

In the face of the violence and oppression that plagues our world, it is far too easy to turn our face away.

The burden is to hard to bear,

But there is one who bears the burdens,

Who carries the very weight of every broken moment upon his shoulders.

A Creator who crafted mankind in his very own image,

Who gifted each with dignity, with inherent worth, as children of a heavenly King,

Who continued to reach for us, to love us, to restore use,

Even when we turned away.

A Creator who called a people to himself,

And drew close to them in their anguish.

His people were exploited, burdened, abused,

Forced to labour endlessly at the will of the Pharaohs,

Abandoned by the world,

But not abandoned by God.

He heard their cries and he listened,

He saw their pain and he cared.

His people had been enslaved,

But he acted, he interevened, and he set them free.

The God of the Bible is a God of justice,

A God who sees the brokenness, the violence, the evil of this world,

And will not let that evil stand.

Lord, break my heart for the injustice of this world,

And grant to me the desire to follow you in caring for the widow, the outcast, the oppressed.

Lift my eyes to see the violence that stretches out into every corner of this world

And give me the strength to live a life the pursues your justice,

That reflects your love for the world.