Not long ago I had the privilege to serve at a large event down South. As we exited the freeway for our downtown destination, one place of business was so prominent and well lit that you couldn’t miss it with an inch-thick blindfold.
It was a high-dollar strip club with a giant marquee advertising in neon lights the names and showtimes of various dancers. I was in the car with several gentlemen, so we all felt a bit awkward when we pulled up to our hotel nearby.
“Wow,” I said to break the tension. “That’s an interesting view for the weekend.” The words weren’t cast like stones. With my background and former bondage, it’s a miracle that I didn’t end up somewhere worse. Still, the imposing structure was impossible to ignore.
When I walked into my hotel room on the seventh floor, the picture window framed the marquee like it was custom-fit. The lights were so alive in my room late that night that I tightened the blinds together to darken the room so I could sleep.
My alarm went off well before daylight. Coming out of the bathroom to pour some coffee, I saw a long sliver of florescent orange light searing a laser beam across the bed through the thin gap between the curtains. The sight was so remarkable that I walked over to the window and threw open the blinds. An incandescent pumpkin-sun had set the horizon ablaze.
I stood transfixed at the glass as it rose beside that club like an outdoor elevator ascending every floor. The sun then seemed to halt right on top of that marquee like it was momentarily hung on a nail. I stared at the sight with breathless wonder.
Still stirred by what I’d seen, I opened the conference that morning with the story and asked the attendees if they would pray with me compassionately for the women who worked there and for others employed in similar places. They welcomed the privilege and some eight thousand hearts raised the roof in unified rhythm.
I had no idea until right after the session that 20 dancers from that very business were seated at the top of the arena. They were floored by the story and wept through the prayer, awed that Christ had pursued them with unabashed affection.
I could still sob over the gracious heart of God. He didn’t bring the sun up over a steeple that day. He brought the sun up over a strip club. That is my Jesus. That is your Jesus.
No door is so dark and scandalous that Jesus is unwilling to enter to make Himself one person’s exit. For what good is light on this desolate sod if it refuses to show up in the darkness?
Excerpt from Beth’s Moore Bible study, Children of the Day
“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” —1 Thessalonians 5:5
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