I Can’t Un-Know

On Sunday a small group from our IJM Freedom Tour team visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

The experience of this tour has changed me in one significant way: I now know about the horrors of violent oppression. I’ve heard individual stories from victims of human trafficking, slavery, and forced sexual bondage. I’ve heard the names, seen the faces. I’ve seen a child-sized mannequin ripped by 400 holes to represent the number of times a child sex slave might be raped in a single month.

I know.

And once you know those things, you can’t “un-know” them.

In the shadow of Dr. King’s statue I stared for a long time at this quote from Letter From A Birmingham Jail:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

I can’t un-know that human beings, including small children, are oppressed, abused, raped, and sold as property. And I can’t un-know that those people live in the same world, were created by the same God, as me. I can’t un-know that we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.

I can’t un-know that God hates oppression. I can’t un-know that He’s given me the ability to do what I can, where I am, with what I have, to end it.

I can’t un-know. I can only decide, as Dr. King decided.

Dr. King’s statue gazes across a beautiful tidal basin at the memorial to Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the U.S. Declaration Of Independence and owner of more than 300 slaves.

What do you think they’d say to each other?

Please leave a comment here.

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