Chicken & Cigarettes - Pt. 8 - Prayers for Prostitutes  

Posted by Ben in

"Jesus never talked to a prostitute because he never saw a prostitute. He only saw a child of God he was madly in love with." - The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

For anyone who has not read The Kingdom of God is a Party by Tony Campolo, I think it's a good idea to do so, but I wouldn't make it on the top of your "to read" list. Instead, listen to a sermon he gave at a Christian Community Development Association conference here. Whatever you do, don't write this off just because of reservations you may have about Dr. Campolo. It is powerful and moving. He tells a story of a time he was in Hawaii and ran into a bunch of prostitutes. Long story short, he threw a birthday party for a prostitute at 3 a.m. and gave her a glimpse of the Kingdom here. For a moment, she felt the love God has been pursuing her with. This sermon, or address, moved me greatly and inspired my following interaction.

As we sat down on my park bench, for a quick recap and prayer before going to bed for the night, a woman came by and said hey. She sat on the park bench across from us, where Galen would be sleeping for the night. Her name was Laura. She had the look of a woman who had once been beautiful, but years of hard living had taken their toll on her and it almost looked like something had stolen that beauty from her. She said she'd heard about us, and wanted to know "So you all just trying to get the experience? Just doin it for kicks to see what it's like?" Apparently this is something that people will do from time to time, sounds like a somewhat fruitless endeavor to me.

We explained to her that we indeed were not interested in simply "finding out what it's like." We were far more interested in the people, and attempting to love, be love, be Christ, and hopefully help someone spiritually. At the very least, we wanted to see, and be seen. To give others the chance to know, and be known. It just seems that being known, and being heard, are two things lacking for those on the margins of society. She said something to the extent of "oh, wow." She then began to talk to us about herself and what she does/why she does it. A lot of it turned into rambling about her interactions with the folks who stay in the park. Some of it was interesting, some of it was downright pointless, until i realized that she was seeking to be heard. That is all, just to be heard. Something i take for granted every day.

She was kind enough to warn us to make sure we locked up our wallets in the car and that i hid my keys somewhere no one could take them from me while i slept. She assured us that as much as people had appreciated us, there would still be those who would seek to get ahead at our expense. She told us that she doesn't particularly like what she does, i can't imagine she would. She said sometimes you have to do what you have to do to put food on the table. She doesn't have kids, so i struggle with that, but i am not her and have not gone through what she's gone through. We simply let her be heard, talked to her about ourselves, and told her of our hope in Christ. She seemed content with the fact that she was a good person, and this was just something that she had to do. We didn't attempt to change her mind, what can you do but offer the hope of Christ? She certainly didn't reject the idea of Christ and His love, she seemed interested in how it had manifested itself in our lives, but she only had so much interest for the subject. We entertained her for a short while, heeded her advice, thanked her for it, and told her we'd be praying for her.

That night i prayed a prayer that God would deliver her from the horrible things men had done to her. "That is how these things start, some slob messes a girl over when they're really young and we blame her when we should be blaming him." Such a powerful line that shook my core when Tony Campolo said it. I can't imagine feeling that's the only way to make it, i can't imagine how she got there, she didn't quite inform us and it wasn't a question i dared ask. My heart went out for her and i prayed that God would help her feel HIS love, and that God would send someone her way in the future who could change her position in life. Give her hope. We still intend on going back, maybe we can be that at a later date. The only thing we could do that night was pray.

Galen told me the next morning that when we woke up around 2am to the sound of an ambulance and man yelling, that he had seen Laura out on the corner.

Lord, deliver her.

Deliver us.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 14, 2008 at 10:40 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


"That is how these things start, some slob messes a girl over when they're really young and we blame her when we should be blaming him."

So true, and I've seen it over and over again. I'll pray for Laura.

July 14, 2008 at 9:13 PM

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