Hope. If I had to describe this fictional account which helped me to understand human trafficking, the word 'hope' would be the very best word to describe Barbed-Wire Butterflies.
Elani Benjamin's (main character) journey into a hellish existence helped me to become more passionate about praying for those who have lost their freedom - whether due to sexual trafficking or an existence in a sweat shop. I was educated and introduced in a gentle but riveting manner into the very real tragedy called human trafficking. The author described this atrocity through the eyes of one girl who was taken captive. Her will to survive was splayed with hope. Hope was what inspired her to create beautiful butterflies made with the most visible symbol of her captivity - barbed-wire.
Without being a spoiler, I was cheering, crying for her and touched by her willingness to be brave despite the the odds of her escape. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing her risk her own safety by befriending her cell mates and "den mom" and then the hero. Her friendships and faith in God are what kept her from losing her mind. She was blessed. Oh that many, many more would manipulate barbed-wire!!!
The author is clearly a faith-filled woman of God, but this book I believe is for secular as well as the Christian market. The faith message was subtle yet so powerful. I thought of the little girl in the red coat in Schindler's List whose red coat danced in front of a sepia toned background. Elani had hope. She clung to that hope.
I reflected often and wondered if I had ever been placed in that position, would I have the will to survive, the hope, the strength to endure? Personal reflection and conviction for taking my own freedom for granted at times were two other takeaways (besides the reminder of our choosing to have hope in all situations).
Halfway through reading Barbed-Wire Butterflies, I joined a human trafficking prayer group at Calvary Chapel Boca Raton. We meet Sunday morning at 8:00 am before service. I am moved to tears as we lift up men and women we do not know and may never meet. We pray not just for their freedom and their safety, but their salvation. We realize that someone somewhere may just be waking up from a hellish nite only to relive it all over again - and again - and again. Praying is what I can do. And hopefully more people will read Jessica Kristie's Barbed-Wire Butterflies and be inspired to get angry about the injustices and begin praying.
I was so inspired. I will never be the same after reading Barbed-Wire Butterflies. There is so much work to be done.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Jessica Kristie for the purpose of review.