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He named her Lovely.

So maybe you noticed I have a blog, and maybe you noticed it has a weird name. Or maybe you didn’t notice, and then I’m confused how you got here. Anyway, this is is a blog about some work I am doing that involves assisting victims of human trafficking. I decided to call it “he named her Lovely” and maybe you are wondering why. Or maybe you aren’t, but I am going to tell you anyway.

“he named her Lovely” is the title of a poem I wrote a year ago. It was sort of a late night, and I was sort of having a hard time, because I was feeling a lot like a failure. I was at a point where I realized I’ve been a believer for 4 years, and I’m still a really ugly person inside. I am still mean, and nasty, and selfish. I still hurt people, still disobey God, and still ignore him a lot. And that makes me sad, because he’s given me everything and I know he deserves better.

So I was feeling pretty ugly inside. But then I thought about how beautiful it is that God says “Kyle, I know you’re ugly. But I’m not judging you for it, because Christ’s perfect life stands in your place. So you don’t have to be lovely and good, because Christ is lovely and good. I will accept you and love you because he accepts you and loves you.” I thought about how beautiful it is that God knew I was ugly and decided to keep me anyway. I thought about how beautiful it is that in my ugliest time, he chose to adopt me call me Lovely even though I am not. And then I wrote a poem, because the Gospel is beautiful and it deserves to be proclaimed beautifully.

This is the poem. You can read it if you want. You can even laugh at it if you want. But it is a poem about my Savior and what he has done for my broken, messy heart.

he named her Lovely

but she was ugly, stained with dirt,
crusted in mud, and tainted by the blood under her nails.
Her dark eyes were liars, deceivers,
and lonely guardians of a palace occupied only by hate.
Her language—a weapon she faithfully used:
thoughtless, violent, offensive, and ruthless.
She believed not in rain to cool the fire of torment under which
she lived not, breathed not, saw not, felt not.

She’d been born an orphan, become a killer and thief.
The way that she walked – it brought nothing but pain:
her knuckles were still bruised from the beating she’d given
and her face yet swollen from the one she’d received.
Her body: a prison, its inhabitant dead,
beaten, abused by the life that she’d led.

but he—
he held her dead fingers, he touched her cold heart;
picked up her limp body, and opened her eyes.
She started—she sputtered—for the first time she saw:
her deadness, her cracked hands, the rot and the filth.
She  gasped, she recoiled, she started to breathe,
she wept and she trusted. The sweetest relief!
Her past! It was gone: consumed in his fire.
He named her Lovely, he called her his own,
poured on her the only love that she’d known.

I chose to name this blog after the poem because “he named her Lovely” is the Gospel in four short words. It reminds me of who I am and who God is and what he’s done for me. It also reminds me of the girls who have experienced trafficking firsthand. Girls who have been trafficked, especially those who have been manipulated and abused sexually, often struggle with shame and self-hatred. I see so much of myself in them, and I want them to know that God has offered them adoption, a new life, a new name and identity- that they, too, can be called Lovely, though we are not. This blog is a platform to speak about issues of human trafficking and to give voice to the girls whose cries are not heard.

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