I’m Not Happy Today, Please Forgive My Bluntness

girl education 1

I’ve got one life, one chance, one opportunity

The world says, “Eat, drink and be merry”

One life, one chance, one opportunity

The church says, “Retreat, judge and be petty”

#Justice

 

One life, one chance, one possibility

Yet people are more concerned about their standing

Comfortable lives, self-absorbed priority

While history records, 60 million girls missing

#PreciousInHisSight #HalftheSky

 

Violated lives, the numbers are stunning

World’s exploiting children, sex for money

Church still talking about feelings and ethics

Yet 1 in 3 children under 5 do not officially exist

#everynewborn #birthregistration

 

Ego, insecurity, fame, it’s all the same

Christians with opinions, yet not in the game

Every 1.5 minutes, a woman dies from baby labor

And 18,000 children under 5 die every day

#savinglives

 

I’m not happy today, please forgive my bluntness

Too many meetings, addressing the superfluous

Too many feel good, please like me, teachings

While 80% of girls from Niger are married before 18

#endchildmarriagenow

 

Whose phone is the smartest, 1st world problems

While epidemic rages, rampant female genital mutilations

The rich become richer, the poor become statistics

Tell congress to end the back log of 400,000 untested rape kits

#endthebacklog #NoFGM

 

Girls forced to give birth too young, fistula’s the effect

They become untouchables and husbands and families reject

It comes down to justice, the prophets loudly declared

It comes down to “What’s so scary about smart girls?”

#BringBackOurGirls #fistula

Songs That Make the Whole World Sing

Graphic of a digital sound on black bottom

Songs have a way of marking the seasons of our lives.

From cheesy love songs during our teenage years to one hit wonders that we can’t get our of our minds to songs of healing and hope during tough times to songs that challenge us to live more courageously, music is a powerful source of motivation, entertainment and influence in our lives.

These are some of the “Worst” and “Best” lyrics that have motivated, entertained and influenced me.

Best “Picture of Heaven” lyrics

Earth Wind & Fire “Wonderland”

Come on in and enter as a child
Always wear a smile
Love and laughter here all the while
The flag of salvation waves around
Freedom here abounds
The joy in the sound
Calls my name – on this day

Leave behind your shame and your disgrace
Here they have no place
You will wear the garment of His grace
The rising sun will never set again
Sorrows at its end
And every word that spoken shouts amen
Take me there

Best “Challenge to Live Life at its Fullest” lyrics

OneRepublic “I Lived”

Hope when you take that jump
You don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises
You build a wall

Hope when the crowd screams out
They’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stay

Hope that you fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
Is give it all you have

And I hope that you don’t suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes
You’ll say…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Best “Sarcasm About Religion” lyrics

Eagles “Frail Grasp on the Big Picture

And we pray to our Lord
Who we know is American
He reigns from on high
He speaks to us through middle men
And he shepherds his flock
We sing out and we praise His name
He supports us in war
He presides over football games
And the right will prevail
All our troubles shall be resolved
We have faith above all
Unless there’s money or sex involved

Frail grasp on the big picture
Nobody’s calling them for roughing up the kicker
It’s a frail grasp on the big picture
Heaven help us

Frail grasp on the big picture
All waiting for that miracle elixir

Best “Honoring Of Fallen Heroes” lyrics

Bruce Springsteen “Into The Fire” Tribute to 911

The sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me then you disappeared into the dust
Up the stairs, into the fire
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

You gave your love to see in fields of red and autumn brown
You gave your love to me and lay your young body down
Up the stairs, into the fire
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need you near but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

Worst “Love Song That’s Really About Stalking” lyrics

The Police “Every Breath You Take”

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you

(Very creepy!)

Best “Promise Of God’s Healing” lyrics

The Reel “Come Back Home”

It’s hard to come back home
when you’ve never really had one
never really had one

Is that why you
keep running from love?
You never really felt it
cause it never really lasted

The very hands that held you
Only let you fall
But…

Love is reaching out
with His arms now
strong enough to hold your pain
His hands won’t let you go
no, your not alone
He won’t ever walk away
His voice is calling out
with a love you’ve never known
“Come back home”

Best “I Was Born To Give You My Entire Life” lyrics

U2 “Magnificent”

I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise …

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar
But only love, only love unites our hearts

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent
Magnificent

Worst “Pick-Up Line” lyrics

NSYNC “God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You”

Your love is like a river
Peaceful and deep
Your soul is like a secret
That I never could keep
When I look into your eyes
I know that it’s true
God must have spent…
A little more time
On you…
(A little more time, yes he did baby)

Best “Lifting Children out of Poverty” lyrics

Audio Adrenaline “Kings & Queens”

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

[Chorus:]
Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout your name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

I would love to hear some of the “best” and “worst” lyrics that have influenced your life.

The Definition of Courageous

The definition of courageous is “not deterred by danger or pain; brave”.

I met a truly “courageous” person when I traveled to New Delhi, India during the summer of 2011.

Her name was Surinder Kaur

I was there to help raise awareness and money towards fighting human trafficking.
Specifically, underage sex trafficking.

She was there to stop underage sex trafficking even if it meant giving up her life.

Human trafficking has become the third largest illegal trade in the world, behind illegal arms and drugs.

In New Delhi sex trafficking is a growing industry where young girls are being held as slaves to make huge amounts of money for brothel owners.

It is an atrocity that is hard to describe.
It is an injustice that many are still ignoring.

Underage girls being sold into prostitution because of poverty, greed and pure evilness.
The younger the girl, the more money they make for the brothel.

I took a photographer with me and walked through New Delhi’s largest red light district—G.B. Road–home to over 2000 prostitutes, many who are underage.

While walking the road you can look up and see young teenage girls beckoning you up to their rooms, hoping for business, hoping to suffice the anger of their madams when business is slow.

Many of the young girls were holding babies.

It was the most emotionally nauseating walk I have ever made. The spiritual darkness was so heavy it was hard to breath.

Seeing western business men and local men in their forties, fifties and sixties walking into those buildings made me want to throw up.

There was an impulse to grab them, shake them and ask them if they were proud of what they were doing.

My guide could tell how much I was disturbed and told me to pray. Pray for the girls. Pray for the police. Pray for India.

After the devastating walk, my photographer and I met this woman of courage, Surinder Kaur.

She was the local police chief, known as a Station House Officer, and she was new to the area. She had just received the International CNN Hero of the Year Award for fighting sex trafficking.

Her first impression was that of beauty and grace, not of tenacity and courage. But we soon learned that those things are very powerful together.

As we sat down in her office, she told us that the police station she was now in charge of had existed since 1954 and the police chiefs over the years had been men who were bought off by the brothel owners.

Surinder was the second woman police chief and while the first one was intimated to fight, she said this was why God had created her, to fight injustice, to stand up for children.

She had set up a make shift bedroom attached to her office so she could be on call for these girls.

“I do not want any underage girls working here. They are children. My goal is to shut this district down.” Kaur told us.

Since becoming officer in charge of G.B. Road two years ago, Kaur has rescued over 100 minor girls. Before she was there, only 4 or 5 girls had ever been rescued over the previous 5 decades.

She told us that, “In the past, everyone knew the police were involved with the brothel owners…so no one passed information to the police. When I got here, I took the challenge. I developed trust with the public. Now we are working together.”

She went on to say, “It is an everyday challenge filled with physical danger, death threats and wondering who has taken a bribe and who can you trust. The hard part is that it is not illegal for women 18 and older to be prostitutes, but many are underage and most are illegally trafficked from other parts of India and Bangladesh and Nepal. My focus is minor girls. My mission is to rescue them all.”

A few weeks before we arrived, Kaur and her team had raided a brothel on G.B. Road after being tipped off that minors were working there. They rescued 9 girls. 5 were under age, one was 10 years old.

Since the 2 years Kaur has been working the G.B. Road, they have arrested 27 brothel owners, a number unheard of before she arrived.

Some good news on this very dark subject is that rescue efforts are becoming more common in India as awareness goes up and police make them a priority.

Books like “Half the Sky” are raising awareness about human trafficking. http://www.halftheskymovement.org/ @half @NickKristof
An organization like International Justice Mission is rescuing children all around the world. @IJMHQ http://www.ijm.org/ @garyhaugen

The police have also become more sensitized toward prostitutes and are now seeing girls as victims rather than criminals.

Kaur told us, “Why would a girl want to be rescued and then prosecuted as a criminal. That is why girls won’t reveal their real age. Once they know that they will be treated as a victim, they are much more willing to be honest about their age.”

Just before our time was done, Surinder told me something that made me smile, while putting a chill down my spine,

“When I started here at the G.B. Road station, I went to all the brothels and told the madams that I wanted to talk to the girls. I told the madams that they could stay in the room while I talked.”

Then Surinder Kaur, this beautiful, 50-something Indian woman looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Ken, I put my phone number up on all the walls and told the girls that if they wanted to get out to call me and I would get them out immediately. And then I looked at the madams and told them, ‘And if you take my number off the wall, I will kill you.’”

Looking into her eyes, I believed her.

“Rescuing children has become my life’s calling,” Kaur told us, “It is this century’s demand that we have to change.”

Sadly, since my visit, Surinder Kaur has been transferred to another area of town, far away from the G.B. Road.

Hmm? I wonder why?

Courageous: “not deterred by danger or pain; brave”