The mountain roads of Kentucky.

The mountain roads of Kentucky.

Do you never find yourself stuck on a word? Where you look up it’s meaning and chew on it a while?

From time to time, I’ll have a word stick in my mind that I can’t seem to shake. When that happens, I’ve come to realize I’m in the classroom again. I’m the student and there’s something I am supposed to learn through the process.

Recently, the word that’s been tumbling in my mind is through. 

If you look it up online, you’ll find:

preposition & adverb

 1. moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location).

 2.continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period).

One of the biggest problems I see today is there are very few through people in the world. What do I mean by through people? People who will go the long haul with you, when you feel like you’re going through fog and have no idea what’s on the other side. People who will not only start a journey out with you, but walk it out until the end.

I’ve noticed when I travel to speak about sex trafficking in America, people will get fired up and want to do something. They want to become part of the solution. That’s fabulous. That’s what we want and desperately need. In many ways, I see myself as a recruiter calling people to join the army on the front lines of this issue.

The issue is a lot of people only want to volunteer on the front side of the issue. They want to take hotline calls, where they get to talk with the victims and hear their story. Or they want to be part of the rescue teams that help extract girls out of the life. Maybe we’ve all seen Taken and want to release our inner Liam Neeson.

I get it. I personally would love to use a special set of skills to bring justice. There’s a rush and an urgency about rescues. We need rescuers and people to man the hotline number. Some of my dearest friends in this fight are called to serve in these roles. They are critical to the restoration process.

Where there seems to be a great need is in through people, people willing to walk through the recovery process, which is a long, long process.

Mary Frances Bowley of Wellspring Living and I were talking about this last week at an event the  United Way sponsored in Atlanta on Human Trafficking. Not everyone wants to be a through person. It’s hard. It takes time. It’s not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination. It’s tiring. It’s costly, to yourself and your family and that doesn’t even take into account any monetary investment.

Through people:

  • Are interuptable: They’ll stop what they’re doing to be there, whether on the phone or in person.
  • Are available: They can be reached to answer questions or just talk, whatever’s needed.
  • Are strong: They know when the survivor spews off at them, sometimes in very colorful form, it’s not really about them. It’s more about fear and/or the lack of control of the circumstances that drives the survivor to say those things.
  • Understand it’s not a quick fix: Coming out of something horrific is difficult and time consuming. There are layers upon layers of victimization that have to be dealt with over time.
  • Recognize they’re signing up for a relationship with, not a project to complete. They don’t just step into the survivor’s life, but invite the survivor to step into theirs as well. They become friends and ultimately family to one another.

We all need some through people in our lives, especially Jesus. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, on our good days and our bad ones [Deuteronomy 31:6,8, Joshua 1:9]. King David understood this. He stated so in Psalm 23:4,

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” [Emphasis mine]

If that is how the Lord treats us, then when we become through people to others, we are being like Jesus. Isn’t that what we all hope to be, more like Jesus? [Matthew 25:40]

Who are your through people? Is there anyone who sees you that way in their lives?