This afternoon we had the opportunity to go downtown and visit some friends of ours. They work as prostitutes on a street next to a fish market. Today, I can honestly say that my heart was broken. It was like my head was so full of things that their Father wanted to say to them, but I couldn’t figure out how to express it. One of the girls and I don’t usually have too much to say, but we deeply appreciate each other. Today as I looked into her eyes, I saw the deepest sadness that I have experienced in a while. We simply sat together in silence. As I watched her eyes dart around anxiously and with a level of dread for the next customer, I glanced around as well to see men walking by and gazing a little too long. They no longer see her as a woman, but rather as an object to satisfy their desire. What is this life that she is living? I just wanted to tell her, “You are so much more beautiful than this. You are worth so much more than this!”
Oh, if my friend could only know the love of God! I have shivers traveling up and down my spine every time I think about how much God loves her, how He cries for her, and how He longs for her to know how very special she is to Him. I met her children a couple weeks ago. She has a little baby. How I just want to to let the tears fall down.
I don’t know her whole story. I have no idea how she came to work on the streets. In fact, she has told me very little about herself, and I don’t push her to tell me much. I know that God knows her story and has been present in every moment. He saw her as a child when she fell and scraped her knee. He walked with her through every success and held her through the tears. When I leave her there on the side of the road, I have to trust that this God who has always kept her close will continue to protect her through all the dangers and risks that come with her job.
I have had a strong desire in my heart for a while to work with women in a variety of situations related to this one. I have read books on the subject, but until I met these ladies, this situation was just another horrible part of our society that needed fixing. Now I have a face and a name, and she knows my face and my name. Now I don’t even see the number, but I see a life that is so precious to God. I see a life that Jesus came to rescue; the very life that I am sent to rescue too. God has sent me to convey to her the depth of His love, though I can only imagine how skewed her idea of love is after all that she has been through.
When I close my eyes, I see a little girl dancing like a ballerina. The video plays silent in my mind, but this sweet child is free. She runs around and spins in circles with the biggest smile on her face. Then she turns around and runs straight into the arms of her Daddy. Oh how proud He is of her! Oh how His heart is so full as He watches her dance! Although when I look into the world behind the smile of my friend and see the hopelessness that pours out of tearless eyes, I know that little girl isn’t gone. I want to see her come alive. I want to see the little girl dance again.
I hear her Father say, “My love, how beautiful you are! You are so much more beautiful than this. My princess, you deserve the finest of food and the finest of suitors. I want to give you the best of me. I’m not angry, and I have not forgotten you. I have not missed a moment and I will never stop pursuing your heart, like a true lover should never give up on his beloved. You are my bride. I long to dress you in white! I long to restore your innocence and purify all that has been so brutally damaged. I long to bring you mercies that are new every morning. I long to chase away the darkness that has oppressed you for far too long. What you have been through is not fair, and this was not my desire for you. I have plans for you that are so good. It is not too late. You are not broken. You are not dirty. You are so much more beautiful than you know. You do not belong on display, seated on a stool by a fish stand. My love, you are so much more beautiful than this.”
And my friend, I love you so much. I love you too much to not tell you these words.