Shining Light into the darkness

Published 7:45 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

This past weekend, my wife and I took a trip to the cinema. We watched the true story of Tim Ballard, who arrested hundreds of pedophiles and children sex traffickers, and rescued more than 120 children.

But the movie “Sound of Freedom,” according to its star Jim Caviezel, is not really about him or Ballard — it’s about a brother and sister at the center, who are captured and sold into slavery.

This is not a feel-good movie. I’m not embarrassed to say I shed several tears, some in joy but most in pain and brokenheartedness.

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By the time this is read, the movie will have left most theaters. But hopefully it will be available to view at home very soon.

The goal of the filmmakers is to shine a light on the darkness that is human trafficking. More than that, it’s to shine a light on the darkness that hides this and all other evils.

At one point in the movie, a character closes the curtains to keep from being seen. Though not a “Christian” movie, this and other moments caused the words of Jesus of Nazareth to come to my mind repeatedly.

“… this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed” (The Gospel of John 3:19-20).

The only way to combat the pitch darkness of my home at night if the power goes out is with a flashlight. I have a powerful one that seems to blaze as it completely eradicates the darkness that is in its way. I am not the flashlight, but I can use it to light my way.

Just a few verses earlier in John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him” (3:16-17). So there’s hope presented in the same conversation as the pronouncement of judgment. Then in chapter 8, Jesus clearly states, “I am the Light of the world.”

Now I am not that Light, but as a follower of Jesus, He lights my way. Where I go, the Light goes, and the Light must shine.

We may not be able to eradicate the evil that is human trafficking, but we can shine a light on their deeds and help penetrate the darkness. We can help equip people to avoid being targeted in many cases, and we can support the people who fight in the trenches against such evils through prayers and donations.

That’s what this film calls for: awareness that leads to action, as the Light shines into the darkness.

This is a danger all over the world, including small town, rural Mississippi. We cannot afford to close our eyes, and thus embrace the darkness.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at