“A prostitute . . . . ”
I read this story recently and I think it is worthwhile to share. It’s horror is only magnified by the fact this goes on around us and we are possibly unaware, unconcerned or ill-equipped to respond. This story reflects a very harsh, painful reality and before we dismiss it as extreme or irrelevant, we might consider what situations may parallel this in our community and whether and how we would respond. It would be a mistake to disregard this as not possible.
“A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-tear-old daughter. Through sobs and tears she told me she had been renting out her daughter – two years old! to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit.
I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing, it made me legally liable – I’m required to report cases of child abuse. I had no idea what to say to this woman. At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naïve shock that crossed her face. CHURCH! She cried. Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.”
What struck me about this person’s story is that women much like this prostitute fled towards Jesus, not away from Him. The worse a person felt about herself, the more likely she saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the church lost that gift? Too often the down and out, who flocked to Jesus when He lived on earth, no longer feel welcome among His followers. What has happened?
Perhaps we would be wise to retrace Jesus’ steps through the gospel accounts and observe the manner in which Jesus related to others, especially sinners who, when all things are peeled away, are in some way like us. Refresh your memory of how he called Zacchaeus (Luke 19) and Matthew (Matthew 9), how he responded to the woman with the issue of blood or the Gadarene demoniac (Mark 5), and how tenderly he ministered to the woman caught in adultery (John 8) and the woman at the well (John 4). Put yourself in Jesus’ sandals as you walk alongside Him and read these accounts. He was probably hungry, tired from little sleep, weary from long walks, and exhausted from so much ministry to strangers. And while your feet are in His sandals, just pretend a little that the words He spoke could have originated from your lips. Think About It.