Me, a movie theater and India

It was worlds apart from my ordinary movie experience. “Not Today” came to a theater in my hometown last night so I took the chance to see it.

I’ve been following the A21 campaign for a year now and it has opened my eyes to the magnitude of child trafficking around the world and the damage it’s doing to innocence.  But nothing brought this reality to light like the movie I watched last night.  It’s one thing to hear or read about it.  It’s entirely another thing to see a real example played out in a drama like “Not Today”.

In the movie, Caden, an egocentric guy gets an altered perspective when he meets a father and daughter living on the streets of Hyderabad, India.  The little girl, Annika, is sold by her father on the verge of death in hopes she will get an education and a chance to find her way out of their homeless state. Caden does some research and tells the naive father that she is probably now a slave and not going to be educated and taken care of by the men he sold her to, and there begins the journey to find Annika.

In some ways I can identify with Caden, who is changed in the process, going from a suburban guy living what he calls the American Dream, to giving all he has away to purchase freedom for innocent strangers.  I would be lying to say that I live every day conscious of the needs of the world.  I wish I did.  I even spent the hour before the movie started shopping for an upcoming vacation.  Walking back to the car after Annika grabbed my heart, that shopping bag seemed so ridiculous.

Let’s just say it’s good to be re-centered often, here in our western world, that it’s just not about us.

You must see this movie (like TONIGHT), support it, and tell others about it.  If you’re like me, it’s going to rock your world and cause you to break in a good way.  It’s no longer acceptable for me to let it go in one ear and out the other when I hear about slavery. 27 million people, many of them young women.  My memories of age 7 or 8 involve playing in a tree house and trying my skills on a soccer field.  Annika is a homeless, motherless girl in the lowest caste of India who is abandoned by her father, incapable of providing for her.  She just wants to play with dolls and be loved.  Yet the culture accepts and approves of slavery, and she becomes a victim.

This story has a beautiful ending.  Like so many of us who have been rescued by Jesus, it’s time to take steps to be rescuers of girls like Annika.  At the end of the movie, there are many ways shown that we can get involved.  Check out the A21 Campaign online, tell your friends who many not know that slavery still exists, and let God’s heart for justice sink in deeply to move you to prayer.

I’m thankful I stepped into a theater last night and let my world collide with India.


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