Burden of Love

Nothing could have prepared me for this journey. When my husband Joel got the call to take on the project it had been a dream come true. We knew God had been leading us in the direction of documentary filmmaking but we didn’t know the path would take us into a story on child sex trafficking in Cambodia.

I remember the cold, rainy day we started looking through the hours of footage. We huddled up in front of the computer with coffee and got to work, anticipation buzzing in our chests. It didn’t take long to forget the excitement, studying the faces of the girls, listening to their stories. And it did something. It broke something down inside of us that will never be repaired. A cloud crept in and settled over us. We began to feel isolated and disillusioned.

It is so easy to go on in this life without being affected by the pain and injustice that preys on the weak across the earth. It’s so easy. Working on “The Pink Room” gave me my first taste of losing my appetite for this life. My first taste of setting down my fork at dinner, unable to take another bite. Unable to get their faces out of my head. Suddenly every little girl had become those girls. My nieces, my neighbors, the little girl in the shopping cart in front of me at the grocery store. I could see them locked in a dark room, waiting for the torture and abuse that was sure to come.

I was overcome and weighted down, and I thought it was the “attack of the enemy”. Now I can see it for what it really was: truth. There is a burden that comes with truth and it’s not fun or easy to carry. The bubble gets burst and once we’ve seen, we can’t erase it. Once we’ve heard, we can’t forget. The images won’t leave me as long as I live. Because I am those girls, I am anyone who is hurting. It is natural and healthy on a spiritual level to grieve the brokenness of our fragile world.

It’s true that I have longed for the days of ignorant bliss, where my most raw revelation was finding my hamster dead in its cage. But honestly, I don’t think I would go back. I watch the blind go about their day, their concerns, and worry. I don’t want those tedious burdens anymore. Love requires sacrifice and it is a sacrifice to give my heart to the victims of injustice, to choose to remember them, to let its reality be a part of who I am.

What it has allowed me to see is beauty. We cannot ever truly appreciate beauty where there is no ugliness. We cannot genuinely savor peace where there is no unrest. We cannot fully celebrate justice where there is no injustice. We cannot ever learn what is honestly good until we have seen real evil.

I can worship our God in a way that I couldn’t before, I can praise Him and thank Him to a depth I hadn’t known existed. My perspective on everything has changed: on myself, on my faith, on the world. If I have learned anything, it is that I am not special. It could be me in that brothel. It could be my daughter. No one is immune to this fallen world. But it has ironically brought me a joy that I have never known. It has planted itself within me and it too, will never leave.

To find out more about the documentary “The Pink Room”, visit thepinkroommovie.com.

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7 Responses to Burden of Love

  1. Adrienne, thank you for sharing this with us. I appreciate hearing how this process impacted you personally. It kind of reminds me what Steph said in her earlier post… that awareness is not enough… we have to get involved.

  2. Sex trafficking has gone from being an unknown issue to a popular issue very fast over the last several years, and people who have never lost their appetite for this life, as you put it so well, can easily dismiss it as just another social justice problem. Thank you for sharing, as filmmakers, how deeply this impacted you and changed you. It certainly has had a similar affect on me.

    I love that this work is not just a job or even just a dream to you, but it’s a passion and a call.

  3. Noelle says:

    This movie gave me such perspective. Thanks for writing A. I love you and Joel and your global call for this mission.

  4. lizirynn says:

    Adrienne, thank you so much for sharing this journey of your heart. This awakening calls to my spirit and I know the Lord would have each one of us respond to the call to reality: the sinking heaviness of truth that He carried on this earth as well, a “sharing in others’ sufferings”.
    I am so amazed at how He longs to use those who are willing…sharing the burden of their pain, of praying and interceding for their protection and rescue, for healing of their hearts. Wherever they may be.
    Lord I am willing, help my unwillingness.

  5. Stephanie says:

    As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I am always filled with an aching happiness when I see this exposed to the light. It’s our hardest battle. No one wants to believe this is real – anywhere. In the US the statistics are staggering. There are so many of us. 1 in 3 adult women and 1 in 6 adult men have been victims of childhood sexual abuse.

    The worst part is the way that people look at us differently once they find out, as thought we are ruined, or damaged in way that they pity, but don’t want to get close to. Their eyes say “I’m so sorry…but please don’t talk to me about it”…

    The more light that we shine on this REALITY, the more likely we can stop this from happening.

    Thank you for this film.

  6. Heartbreaking, real and inspiring. Loved it. Thank you.

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