Sooooo, You Used To Strip?
Right before Thanksgiving I preached four services in Vegas at Canyon Ridge Christian Church. At the end of one of the services, a lady walked up to me to talk. She was tall and beautiful, but dressed in a way to definitely not attract attention. She had on an oversized sweatshirt, baggy sweatpants, and running shoes. It was as if she was hiding herself. She put out her hand to shake mine and said, “That was a fantastic message! I used to be a topless dancer and…” *ERRRRRTTTT* (That was the best way I could think to type the sounds of tires screeching to a halt.) There was a complete thought that came out of her mouth, but I was hung up on the fact that she just shared something with me…something that, if she were in another part of the country, she would be judged for! In fact, I thought to myself, it would take MONTHS to find someone here that you could trust enough to share that information with. But there it was, real life right in front of my eyes! (Anyone with a seventh grade locker room mind, stop reading now.)
Now, there’s something you should know about me. I have a heart for strippers and prostitutes. And have had for a very long time. The reason is, one day I realized that for someone to take their clothes off and dance around in front of a multitude of men for money, or for someone to climb into the back of a car or seedy motel and have sex for money, has lost something much greater than a paycheck. I’m no expert, but it seems pretty rational to me that there is a massive void of a QUALITY male in their lives. (Hello Dads!) Someone who shows them REAL love and REAL affection, and instills in them a confidence of how truly beautiful they are, and that it’s not about what’s on the outside. And that the men who attend or pay for such things, are pretty screwed up with their views of women.
The FIRST thought that I had with this beautiful woman was how glad I was that she was in a church in Vegas, and not one where she would have been judged and crucified on the spot! You see, I’ve been in many churches where if she would have shared that, they would have judged her, walked away as fast as they could, and then gossiped about her for months. And yet, the Bible clearly condemns gossip as a destructive sin. I wonder what Jesus would have done in that situation…oh wait, we have those examples. He actually hung out with people who were still IN the act, much less the ones who used to do it but have been freed. It was one of the most real conversations I’ve ever had. We talked a lot about finances, and church, and her son, and the way men have treated her. The funny thing is that I could write a chapter on just this specific and amazing conversation alone. And if a bunch of you want it, maybe I will. But I will never forget how it made me feel, that God trusted me with his baby girl. The one He was crucified by His own children for. Hmmm…