Bangla Road was so full of lights and life that it seemed as if we just walked into the opening night of a state fair.
Florescent signs flashed brightly, loud music echoed in our ears. People handed out fliers promoting different events going on.
Food carts strolled up and down the road. Young girls sold flowers. People were everywhere. Mass chaos.
One of the most beautiful beaches in the world paralleled this particular road, bringing thousands of people in from all over. Young and old alike. People from all over the world gathered on this road.
When we arrived to Phuket, Thailand a few days before, we were briefed that we were currently living in the red light district and we would be working with girls in the sex trade.
What does that even mean? I thought to myself.
My senses were on overload as soon as we got out of the taxi.
Bar after bar after bar. At least 200 of them. Lining the street. Street venders and stores too… but the bars took over.
It was appealing to the eyes and I felt right at home. It looked just like the places I had hung out many times in the past to have a good time.
Dancers filled my eyes and loud music my ears. Laughter exploded as beer bottles and champagne glasses slammed together.
Lord give me your eyes.
That was a scary prayer, but he answered it immediately.
I saw it just like he did and I was wrecked.
It was extremely enticing to the eyes but so heavy on the heart.
By simply looking in the eyes of these women…
They would retract and look away.
it’s as if they saw something in mine that was intimidating.
Or even worse, something hopeful.
What a strange word on Bangla road.
Hopelessness took over the road like a flash flood.
But, there was a tiny glimpse of hope.
It glimmered in the eyes of women as we would pass them.
As they clung to the arms of the strange man who purchased their body just for the evening.
They knew they were made for more…
But this was what made ends meet at the moment.
This is what affirmed them in the moment.
Hope was evident in the little girls as we just sat on the streets and played with them.
Just for a moment it was as if their childhood was returned to them.
As if they didn’t have a pimp watching their every move
and that they wouldn’t be beaten at the end of the night if they didn’t sell enough.
For a moment… they felt the love of Christ but knew reality would hit in a few moments that they were indeed not free.
Hope was evident in the married man as he slipped off his wedding ring and into his pocket.
Dropping a few US dollars on a bar stool and walking off with a nameless girl for an evening of lies, deception and pleasure.
He was seeking satisfaction… in all the wrong places.
Hope was evident in the most prized prostitute as she spun around elegantly in that tiny glass box.
Enticing people for miles and miles.
Same makeup and gown night after night…
Same ghostly white face and empty eyes.
She looked down at us and immediately looked away…
It was as if the idea of freedom was too much to handle.
I have a huge heart for Thailand.
I mean, it pisses me off because I feel like the epidemic is so huge and there is little to do about it…
but I get righteously angry nonetheless.
As time has gone on…
I see myself in all of these.
It’s as if I see the hope of Christ and I know he’s there and waiting
But my current chains are way more enticing.
My current sins that I’m stuck in are way more comfortable than the hope of freedom.
I will look over at hope for a minute…
and turn away from it because it’s just not enticing enough.
The idea of not struggling and being captive of something seems nearly impossible.
I am just as captivated as these girls.
no, I am not daily raped and threatened and beaten…
I have led a blessed life for sure…
But when it all boils down to it… I’m a hot mess in desperate need of a Savior.
A Savior that I just so happen to deny more than I accept.
I run away from the One who breathed me into being because my chains are way too comfortable.
Yet, he pursues me.
He pursues me every single moment of every single day…
Just as he does the pimps and prostitutes and lady boys.
I am just like them.
He loves us, because he loves us, because he loves us
and he won’t stop pursuing us…
Rest in that.