As I sat on the curb for 35 minutes, talking to my friends, God gave me a small glimpse of His heart for them. These 2 guys, my friends who are transvestites, have lived dark and damaging lives that I can scarcely imagine. Their stories are unbelievable... and unjust.
One of them, Nicole*, introduced me to the other one, Isabel*, a few weeks before. When we walked up, Nicole said to a reluctant Isabel, “no, don’t worry, these are the ‘real’ ones. These are my friends who love us and are here to help us. They don’t judge.” She went on to explain that we were the only people who truly loved and cared about the people who work on the streets; and that God sends us to them each week.
Now a few weeks later, I sit beside the two of them on the ground and talk about life and identity. Nicole told me how everyone goes around trying to fill a hole they have inside... and in the process they all end up hurting and abusing others. I agreed to that truth; and added that after that hole is filled with God, you are free to engaged in relationships where you can bless the other person by giving instead of always taking. Nicole looked at me, and agreed saying, “that’s why I love when you come here. You always come to give. You're the only ones who give.” These transvestites shared that they had literally never had a relationship, a friendship even, or even a relationship with a parent, in which the other person GAVE to them instead of TOOK from them.
We talked about identity... and God gave me an image.. an image of Him as He was forming them, and He was creating an original masterpiece. I wondered what it was that God was thinking when He created these guys. I wonder what dreams He had for them; what gifts He decided to plant in them; what blessings He wanted to lavish upon them; what He wanted them to be ‘when they grew up’; how desperately He wanted to walk that dream out with them.
I know that this is not the life God has for them. I know that the enemy did so much damage to rob that life from both of them. As I spoke truth into their lives about their value and worth as people, and I told them that their value is unquestionable, not matter what life choices they had made; Nicole got goose bumps and teary eyed. I wondered how it was possible that no one had ever told them this before. How did they not know? How could no one have told them as children that they were special.
We talked for a long time sitting on that street corner. A bus drove by and people hatefully threw things out the windows...soda bottles, trash- yelling horrible things that fed these lies that have been planted in their hearts- and I saw the hurt in their eyes. They shared with me that their entire life has been filled with rejection; beginning long before they became transvestites.
As we prayed over them, tears gently rolled down their face. Nicole told me that he always feels something when we pray for him... he feels an energy and she gets goose bumps; he feels this presence like he has never felt before that he says he is unable to explain.
Relationships. You begin to see people differently when you have a relationship with them... when you take the time to hear their stories that are so filled with pain... when you allow God to share a little piece of His heart for them with you. A transvestite can transform right before you eyes- you can see the broken little boy, a little child, hurt and abandoned- your heart is able to break with them- your heart is able to break with God's.