I couldn’t understand what she was saying, but I could feel the pain in her heart. Her mouth showed signs of drug abuse, with stained and missing teeth. As my friend from YWAM Cheb asked her a question in Czech I picked out and understood one word of her answer.
It was the number of my room on the eighth floor of the “Blue Tower” where we were saying in Cheb, Czech Republic. I had to know the number so I could get the key to my room. It was the only number I knew in the Czech language at that time.
I knew what she was referring to by this one word.
She had five children.
I looked at her dark brown eyes and the glittery pink eye-shadow painted on her lids. The pink sparkles gave some sort of facade of innocence and joy.
What a lie.
She was standing on the street waiting for a customer to buy her. Buy her body, buy her time, buy her value. She looked for a lost soul to try and buy what cannot be bought because she had five mouths to feed and humanity had put a price on the priceless. So she gave that price what she had. There was a lie fed to her that it was all she had to offer.
I wanted to hate everyone who had ever hurt her; her pimp, her customers; whoever it may be. But God had gotten to me before the hatred. He placed His heart in my heart about two months before. He had given me compassion for every man who was trapped in the emptiness of searching for love and lust with currency. I wanted to help them too. Though it was harder to find, my compassion and heart for the traffickers and the buyers was just as deep as for the victims of this horrific crime humanity commits against itself. Because in truth, everyone involved is a victim.
There wasn’t much I could get translated to her because my Czech contact spoke very limited English. I could not think of a thing to say to her, she was the first prostitute I had ever spoken to.
What could I give her? How could I change her world?
I am powerless.
I gave her a hug. I smiled at her. I tried to convey with my eyes what could not be said with words; language barrier or not. I wanted her to know that there was a Love that was better than life. I desired her to understand there was a Hope and a future that did not consist of the hell she had been living in.
About a month later I was standing on the street talking with two teenage Czech girls. They were out for a smoke on their break from school. One of my team members, our translator and I had been speaking with them for awhile. We had presented ourselves as students from America and Canada with a survey for them. They were willing, but not interested. That is, until we went deeper.
We talked about the possibility of heaven and hell.
I asked if there was a definite answer if they would want to know. One girl jumped on it with an enthusiastic ‘Ano! (Yes!)’. The other was more hesitant.
I took the first girl’s answer and headed into a series of questions.
I asked the girls – through my translator – how they would feel if someone had died for them, and in that death this person had paid for all the bad things they had done and insured for them that they would get to heaven.
They both said they would feel bad about it.
I asked them if it was an act of love if they could accept it more easily.
They said it would be easier, but still, no one should do that for them.
I asked them if they could be with this person after they died, would they want to be.
They both gave a definite ‘yes’.
I couldn’t help smiling as they said yes to Jesus before they even knew it. Their souls were crying out for a love this good.
I then said, “What if I could tell you that someone did do this for you?”
I watched as the translation into their language reached their ears. They’re eyes were wide and searching. They wanted to know; was I speaking the truth?
I saw the beauty and life in the words I spoke. I realized that the love I was presenting to these young girls was a love that by common phrase would be call “too good to be true”, except it is true.
I have been a Christian my whole life, but I’m not sure I realized how desperately people want what I believe in, until that moment.
I noticed I had a burning passion to say yes to this wonderful Savior that loved me – it was all I had ever wanted – even though I had said yes a long time ago. I felt like I had convinced myself to believe in Jesus, even though I already believed.
I have always been worried about pushing Jesus on people. So many people will tune you out the moment you mention Jesus, because they think of a religion soaked in rules without freedom. But as I presented Jesus to the people of Czech Republic and let the truth of His grace, love and all that He is display itself, I realized I didn’t have to try and make being a follower of Jesus look attractive. It already was. Human error is what makes Christianity look so uninviting. Jesus bought us for freedom. We are free.
I once heard someone say that trying to defend God is like trying to defend a lion; all you have to do is open the cage door and stand aside. It’s true. When we stop trying to shove God in a box that fits into our limited understanding people see the unending majesty of our King.
What’s the point?
In the moments that I stood on the streets in the city of Cheb telling souls about Jesus, my Savior, and His love, I saw that what I had been trying so hard to be right and perfect – the whole imagine of being a ‘good Christian’ – was not only not the point, but also not what I wanted. It was simpler. It was more beautiful than works. It was grace. It was love. It was what I wanted.
So as I stood before prostitutes and others who were searching, I could offer them a hope. I could hand them what had been handed to me; free salvation. I knew that I could completely stand behind what I was telling them, because I didn’t have a check list for them to fill out once they knew the Truth.
I didn’t care if – or want, honestly – the prostitute to become a ‘good Christian’ or the girls on the street to feel like they had to go to confessionals and services to fill out a Christian ‘to do’ list.
I want them to be free. I want them to know true, pure love. I want them to know Jesus.
That is it.
That is the point.