When you go to a writing conference, you don't expect God to give you a word about what's in your closet. But since He rarely does what I expect anyway, that's exactly what He did to me this weekend.
While I was at the amazing She Speaks conference in Charlotte, NC, I had some time to kill between sessions and visited a booth displaying super cute jewelry and accessories. When I learned more about what was on display and the women who had created it, I wanted to cry. And buy everything I saw.
The booth was set up by Fashion&Compassion, an organization that employs women in the United States and other countries who have faced what you and I probably cannot imagine. Women who were once trafficked for sex, women who are living with HIV, women whose husbands have abandoned them and who now must provide for their children in third-world countries. The artisans making the beautiful items are given hope and financial security because of Fashion&Compassion.
As I was touching the pieces and seeing the beautiful faces of artisans standing near me, I was convicted to my core. I have a closet full of jewelry, accessories, and clothing, and I have no idea where any of it was made - or who was exploited so I could purchase it inexpensively. The money I spent on all of it didn't give anyone hope.
But I know who made the necklaces and bracelet I bought. Alice and Paty. Alice, a widow and mother of four, left witchcraft and now follows Jesus because of the influence of Fashion&Compassion. Paty from Ecuador made my bracelet from nuts and seeds. I will think of them - and see their faces - when I wear the handmade pieces.
Please consider visiting Fashion&Compassion's website and purchasing some beautiful and meaningful pieces. There are women - sisters in Christ - whose lives will be made better.