The Birthday Boy
A few weeks ago our team went to the streets. Our usual routine. We go out, drive our usual route, visit our friends on the streets corners, and hand out coffee and cookies.
When the van stopped at the boy’s park- the park where all of the guys are being sold- there was a new guy standing on the corner. It was his first night.
It’s always hard to see those “fresh faces”. The young kids who still have that spark in their eyes, that shine, hope. The ones who don’t really know what they’re getting into- and some of them who didn’t even have the choice.
This was this particular guy’s first night on the streets. He was high as he could be, trying to numb the pain, the fear, the doubts, his conscience, his soul. Drugs seem to be the only thing that can quite that voice within, the voice that I believe is the voice of God, that makes your heart pound as you hear “don’t do it”.
We don’t know this boy’s story, but we can imagine. That night, his first time on the streets, happened to be his 14th birthday. The day in which one celebrates their lives, celebrates ‘life’, shares time with the ones that love them... A birthday is about looking back on the beautiful years you have had, and being excited about the one to come. But this boy, on a day meant to celebrate life, was handing his life over to the discretion of the enemy. No doubt, he will never forget this birthday. A day in which he did not celebrate new life, a day in which a part of him actually died.
With this 14 year old boy, I only imagine where he should be on his 14th birthday. I felt just a small glimpse of the pain that must overwhelm the Lord’s heart as he stands with that boy on the street corner night after night. The pain of having been madly in love with this boy for 14 years, and to see him standing on a corner waiting to be raped. I can’t image the pain that the Lord feels, and I completely understand why he commands us to do something about it. As the Lord’s ‘plan A’, his representation on Earth, we have no choice but to respond... and to do so with urgency.
While not all of the people we work with are forced into prostitution, they are all victims... victims of slavery to the enemy, in chains so real that they can not run away. We have heard them describe these chains that hold them to that street corner... that drag them back each time they try to run like a dog who gets yanked backwards when the slack in his leash runs out.
These are the ones that you want to wrap in your arms like a child, snatch them off the streets and take them to your home, the ones that you pour out your soul trying to convince them that they are loved and that God has a plan for their lives..... and a street corner is not it.
After their first night in the streets, that ‘sparkle’ in their eyes starts to fade. After a while it just faintly flickers.
The only thing that we have found that can bring that light back in an encounter with the Lord.