Human trafficking has been around for a very long time. Joseph in the book of Genesis was trafficked--sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt.
Also in the book of Genesis is the story of Hagar, a slave taken from her home in Egypt and either given or sold to a man named Abraham. Hagar had no choice about her new life, about wandering as a nomad with her "owner's" family. She had no control over her future, her activities, even her body.
When the master's wife could not conceive a child, Hagar was sent to the master in her place.
Hagar became pregnant and, not being perfect herself, showed pride in the fact that she was able to conceive when the master's wife, Sarah, could not. Hagar's pride led to her being abused and mistreated.
So she ran away. Only where could she go in the dessert?
Hagar was desperate, alone, and helpless. She had no future and no hope.
Then through her pain came a voice. "Hagar, where have you come from and where are you going?"
Hagar answered the first question. "I'm running away." But she could not answer the second. There was nowhere to go. She would die there in the dessert, pregnant, alone, a victim of other people's wrong choices.
The God who called to her from heaven saved her life that day. Later, she delivered a baby boy. After a few more years, once again with no ownership over her own life, she was sent away into the dessert again.
Wandering, lost, dying. Hagar sat her starving child down and walked away a distance because she could not bear to watch him die.
And once again, God intervened.
God rescued them both that day, and Hagar gave Him a name. Back then, they had no complete Bible to tell them what God was like, so when they learned something new about God's character, people would give Him a name representing what they had learned. Hagar called Him The God Who Sees Me.
This holds great significance, for Hagar was the mother of Ishmael, the father of nearly every Muslim on earth. The millions and millions of women who are hidden behind veils trace their ancestry back to this woman, the one who says God sees her.
We all wear veils. Not so obvious as, say, the long blue coverings of Afghanistan. Ours are more subtle--layers of makeup to show we haven't been crying, fancy accessories to distract from the pain in our eyes, a successful career or new car or bright outfit to show we're doing just fine.
Yet God sees. He sees through all the ways we hide and pretend. He sees us as we really are, and amazingly, that God who sees us more clearly than we even see ourselves, He is the one who loves us so much He declares us worth dying for.
We can stop hiding. Stop pretending. For those of us who receive Him and let Him in, we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. 2 Corinthians 3:16
Dear one, be free.