In Portland, Oregon, that is….July has been named Human Trafficking Awareness month. And aware we should be indeed. I did not know, for example, that the US Department of Justice has declared Portland as one of 12 US cities that serve as major hubs for child trafficking. That’s what we get for hosting the intersection of two interstate highways and offering so few resources for homeless youth. What can we do about this? Lots. Starting with the words of God in the book of Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed….Only be strong and of good courage.” It takes courage to step outside our comfort zone and look horror in the eye. I have a piece of calligraphy in my office, an Eskimo dawn song that says: Be brave, be brave, be humble as the earth and courageous as the sun. Let’s be courageous in love and look human trafficking in the eye. Let’s pay attention, cross the abyss of our own comfort, and be strong and brave enough to fight for women and children whom others are willing to sell or throw away. Let’s be humble enough to know that the abyss is not so huge, that these are our sisters and our daughters and our sons. Let’s see where we can turn darkness into light.