I approach our red light district… My team calls it our street because twice a day we are prayer walking down the street. The empty bars we see by day are the same men-packed bars we see at night.
Okay, so I’m approach our street and my heart begins to jitter with nervousness. I don’t know why I’m nervous… I tell myself “all I have to do is love like Jesus. You can do this.” Nonetheless I feel the jitters and jumps inside. I call out the enemy in Jesus’ name.
I am instantly filled with peace and I am no longer afraid.
My friend, Ariana, and I turn down a street that is lined with bars. Shoulder to shoulder. One bar after another. One man after another. We’re both fervently praying, “Lord lead us where you are already working and we will go.” As always, Father God hears and is faithful.
To my right I see this young Thai girl leaving a bar that was lit with blue lights. Instantly Papa was pulling on the strings of my heart saying, “This is the one beloved.” The same feeling was confirmed through Ariana. Being obedient to the Lord, we followed his call and went in.
There are two girls playing a game of pool. Two are sitting behind the bar. And one is entertaining a customer. Other than that one man, the bar was empty of men.
The music is loud but we manage to order a diet coke and make small talk with the girls at the pool table. I was happy to introduce myself to Faith*. She received my invitation of friendship with a huge smile and a laugh.
I am really enjoying the simplicity of loving on Faith and her friend Sarah*. We talk little, but are able to communicate through finger points and smiles. I look around and see that some men are walking by. Then, I see my new friends going out to greet them.
I feel something in my heart as this man comes up. I watch the girls greet him with hugs around his plump belly. Oh, I’ve been starting too long. For now him and I are making eye contact. His blues eyes sit under a heavy set of gray eyebrows.
In his eyes I see desire. I am immensely sickened and I look away. I’m trying so hard not to judge or be angry at him. I’m calling on Father, “Oh help me to see him through the cross. As you see me.”
In breathe in Jesus.
I breathe out evil.
Once I have regained confidence in Jesus,I look at him again. Now I see it….I see the depth of his pain, brokenness, loss of identity. I see it all. I see the rawness of his soul.
Jesus has given me new eyes to see these men that he calls sons. He sees them as lost heirs of the True King. Oh, how the Lord has greatness in store for them. Oh, how the Lord has given me revelation for my brothers.
They may be easy to blame or even to hate. But because I love Jesus and honor the cross I will love these men. It doesn’t mean I am pleased with what they do, I simply love them for who they are. A son of the Most High God.
Many blessing and
May the God of peace be with you, Brenan
**photo credit to Ariana**