Taking Down the Tinsel

     Every day a small group of our team members travels to the red light district to prayer walk and talk to the people that we have started to form relationships with in the bars. We have some good relationships with a few of the workers at a lady boy bar that we visit almost every day. Last week we walked by and noticed that they were setting up new decorations, tinsel and streamers, all over the bar. Our leader, Kelli, questioned one of the workers about why new decorations were being put up. They said it was just for a change of scenery.

They then asked, “It looks like a paradise, right?”

     For the rest of the day I was haunted by this question. Did that bar look like paradise to them? Did a place filled with pain and hurt seem like paradise to those lady boys? Could a few steamers and some tinsel mask the brokenness so much that they believed this bar was paradise?

I know that God’s idea of paradise is not putting up streamers.

     I began to think about the places in my life where I’ve just put up tinsel instead of sought God’s perfect paradise out. Like the lady boys at this bar, I have sometimes tricked myself into believing if I can cover up the hurts and brokenness that I can make it look like paradise, to myself and the people passing by.

That is not our God’s idea of paradise.

     Paradise is when He heals us of our brokenness and fills us with His love so that we don’t get crushed every time the world tries to break us. Paradise is where He assures us that we are set free. Paradise is a state of reliance on our Savior, believing that His glory is bigger than the afflictions of our day to day life. One day, paradise will be our perfect dwelling with the Lord where sadness won’t even exist anymore and our relationship with Him will be completely restored-as it was always intended.

God does not want us to cover brokenness up; He wants to cover us with His grace and love so much that the brokenness disappears.

I pray that the girls and lady boys in this bar find a real paradise of peace and wholeness in their creator and savior.

I pray that they let God come in and take down the streamers and decorations and heal the brokenness that has been covered up.

I pray for the same thing for myself- that at the bare bones of my undecorated soul the Lord can heal my brokenness and fill me up so much that I will find paradise in Him.

More Articles in This Topic

I’m ready.