Covered by Blankets, Covered by Grace | The Arnold Classic
Written by David Schermerhorn, director of She Has a Name.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Some of you may remember when She Has A Name asked for blankets and hoodies a few weeks ago. We needed them for the Arnold Classic, which is annual festival that welcomes more than 18,000 athletes annually who compete in more than 45 sports & events. More than 175,000 fitness enthusiasts attend the Arnold Sports Festival each year to experience thrilling moments of sports competition and fitness entertainment.
Here’s a little background on the Arnold Classic: Major sporting events like the Superbowl and the Arnold Classic draw in an incredibly large number of out-of-town visitors. Most of these visitors are men and thus the demand for human trafficking spikes. Traffickers bring in women and girls in large numbers because Columbus becomes a prime destination for profit. Prostitution becomes very lucrative at the expense of humans created in the image of God. At one point, the Arnold Classic was second largest trafficking event in the nation (PATHS: Partners Against Trafficking of Humans).
The blankets that were donated by Veritas are currently being used by the Salvation Army when conducting outreaches and rescues to victims who are in need. The Arnold “rescue” took place with the Human Trafficking Task Force on Thursday February 27th. An outreach worker from the Salvation Army explained that prior to receiving blankets, victims would sometimes use the hotel blankets. Now, the Salvation Army is able to use clean blankets provided by the body of Christ to cover the women. These blankets were given intentionally for their covering and care and have been set apart for them – new, clean, theirs.
We are able to see not only the physical aspect of this gesture, but also catch a glimpse into its spiritual nature. Physically, a woman is covered with a fresh blanket from God provided by his people. Spiritually, she is covered by our prayers. Furthermore, this act of generosity is a representation of a greater spiritual reality that God covers the broken, the guilty, and the oppressed.
And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
God is the only one who can provide the covering that we truly need. We see this in Adam and Eve at the dawn of the fall and again through the finished work of Jesus Christ. In Christ, we find no greater joy and comfort than knowing that we have been ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven of all our sins –free to live a new life. This is our hope and prayer for every survivor of human trafficking, not only that they are saved from their former lives, but that they are freed to live in the pursuit of holiness in the refuge of our God.
Being reminded that we too have been covered by God makes the impact of our generosity all the more worshipful. Something so simple can not only meet a need for victims in a direct way, but also remind us of the Glory of God in Christ. Thank You Veritas for your generosity and quickness to react and provide these blankets!