Photo: ABC News

Photo: ABC News

Have you seen any of the news coverage of the three women rescued in Cleveland?  It has been all over the media.  Three women who were abducted separately while in their teens and early 20s and held in bondage were discovered and rescued by an unsuspecting neighbor, an unlikely hero.

One of the victims, Amanda Berry, took advantage of her captors absence and began screaming for help.  Her neighbor, Charles Ramsey, said he wasn’t a hero.  When asked about his neighbor, Ramsey said,

I give this dude his mail when it comes to my house. I eat his food when he feels like barbequing. When he feels like playing salsa music, I try to merengue.”

He went on to say,

I didn’t see anything. She’s been right there next door to me for a year.”

Castro seemed so normal, and therein lays the problem.  Pedophiles, Johns, and sex traffickers can look as normal and you and me. They don’t just sleek around in the dark. They don’t wear big hats and drive jacked up cars with fuzzy dice dangling from the rear-view mirror. They live in our neighborhoods, shop in our grocery stores, work in our offices, and attend the same sporting events we attend.  The fact that they appear so normal is their greatest cover and our biggest disadvantage when it comes to catching them.

We expect evil people to look evil; however, they are as deceptive as the one they serve.  Ezekiel 28: 12-15 talks of how Satan was created beautiful.  He doesn’t walk around in a red suit with horns and a pitch fork.  Wouldn’t it be easy if he did?  Unfortunately, he is beautiful, luring and very good at what he does.  He’s also equipped those who serve him to operate the same way.

Let’s face it, Satan’s M.O. hasn’t changed since the beginning of time.  John 10:10 spells it out for us,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”

So are we sitting ducks? If you stop reading after the first part of the verse, you’d think so, however, the rest of the verse says,

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus didn’t leave us hanging.  He’s come to help us.  He tells us in Matthew 10:16,

Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

We have to be aware.  We have to be astute and teach our children to be as well.  We have to teach our young people to take precautions whenever possible to protect themselves from the enemy.

You can find Ten Steps to Playing it safe here as a starting point. Also, pay attention to your surroundings, get to know your neighbors, and if anything seems even remotely off, call the authorities. You never know when you will be the next unlikely hero rescuing a young person from bondage.

Evil doesn’t just happen overseas. It’s happening right here, in our country, the land of the free and the home of the brave. It’s time we draw a line in the sand and declare, “NO MORE! NOT ON MY WATCH!”

We must spring into action and raise our voices for hope, because there’s a nation full of Amanda’s looking to be rescued. Are you willing to be an unlikely hero?