it’s time to change our thinking.
I sit here with tears streaming down my face. Ugly tears.
This face has cried buckets of tears in the last few years. OK, if you know me, you know I cry a lot.
But this is a different kind of cry.
This is a cry for God’s people. A cry that sobs from the core of my being for answers — any answer — because I’ve realized easy answers there aren’t.
This is the cry of my heart to free others from the bondage they are held in and help them see the worth of their being. But you can’t do that without getting completely messed up! Broken people break you — I mean they break your heart square-up in two.
I’m reminded of Jesus and how he continually poured himself out for broken people. He took ridicule from many and yet he stood firm for the prostitute, homeless, and broken person. Oh but why didn’t He tell us just how messy it was to do that? Why didn’t he give us a manual with answers?
An old way of thinking.
I’ve been taught and thought my whole life I needed to stay away from the dark sinful places that others visited — clubs, strip joints, drug houses, etc. I’ve avoided them like the plaque! Maybe you have too. I’ve surely taught my kids the same and I’m glad took the advice!
While I know we shouldn’t go to participate in the craziness-of-sin happening in those places, maybe we’ve missed the point somewhere along the way. Maybe we’ve actually turned our backs on the very people Jesus called us to help. I’m pretty sure Jesus said “He didn’t come for the healthy, but for the sick.” (Matt 9:12)
So if we are only hanging around the healthy, how are we ever going to reach the sick? [tweet that]
My friend, this question plaques me. Haunts me. Wakes me up at night. That question suffocates me.
Yes, Yes, Yes! I realize that some shouldn’t go because the temptation is too grand. I get that, I really do! But what if the temptation doesn’t mess me up? What if I feel called to go? What if someone’s daughter waits for me? Waits for you? Should I go? Go for the one?
The conversation continues.
My friend who manages the strip club, remember her and the situation? Read it here.
Feeling ready that the time is right to go, I’ve had a couple of conversations with Christian friends recently. And the conversations all go a little something like this:
Me: I really feel the timing is right to go back in and make contact with my friend and the girls in her club.
Me: The opportunity is there. If I don’t go, for sure I’ll never see those girls.
Friend: By going in there, as a Christian, aren’t you agreeing that what your friend and the girls are doing is fine?
Me: But if I avoid them for fear of what it might say to others, don’t I miss an incredible opportunity to reach girls?
Maybe it’s time to change our thinking.
Maybe we’ve spent too many years NOT going into the dark. Maybe we’ve ran, which allowed all the wrong people to hang out in there. Maybe when Jesus said “go after the ONE”, He meant these ones. Maybe by ignoring the problem and the fear of our own phobia’s we’re actually leaving the ground fertile for further non-sense?
Or could it be that this is what scripture says when it refers to the Kings of Old and how they feared the Lord, BUT didn’t tear down the high places. Maybe?
Maybe I don’t have a clue?
But this I do know — the longer we sit around and debate on if this is Christian-like or not, more girls are being bought and enslaved. This makes my tears gush ugly-bad and my heart pound.
These are not “just girls”. These are somebody’s precious daughters. They could be mine. They could be yours.
And that to me is worth gutting it up, stepping over fear, and going. Going in to dark places to free another. Now that scares me to death, but reminds me of Jesus!
How about you? Are you ready to love others in hard places, love on the unlovely, and be Jesus’s light? Are you ready for the messy?
There’s surely not a perfect answer, is there?
About Alene Snodgrass
I love to tell the story whether it is from behind a camera lens, writing at a computer screen, or speaking into the lives of others. With a heart for the broken and down-and-out, I serve others. I'm learning to be fearless to help you be fearless. Follow me on twitter @alenesnodgrass or facebook. Check out my newest book, Graffiti -- scribbles from different sides of the street, written along side a homeless man.