As we were preparing to leave, the RENEW girls joked about climbing into our suitcases. In fact, one of them ran along side of the car, waving good-bye as we were pulling away! How difficult it was to leave them behind! Although I returned with many beautiful memories, precious relationships and a heart filled with thanksgiving, I’m intensely wrestling with a number of issues that made their way home with me. A deeper awareness of how broken this world is and the intensity of sin that was placed upon Jesus keeps flooding my heart. I find myself crying, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” A more focused consideration of what Jesus died for and our desperate need for His redemption intensifies my pleas for His mercies!
Like most, my attention leans toward these broken women because I’ve become more aware of the atrocities which they experience at the hands of the men who use them. However, there are two additional issues connected to all of this that keep gnawing at my heart:
The behavior of these men is nauseating, perverted and evil! In fact, when a brother in Jesus read my journal entries, his response was, “They all deserve to burn in hell!” He’s right! But, you know what? So do I! So do you! So does he! In the eyes of the Lord, their sin is no worse then ours. You and I may, but Jesus never categorizes sin!
There is no one righteous, not even one;
There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.Romans 3:10-12, 23
Another brother in Jesus poses these questions:
• Are these men who seek out sexual escapades “just” lustful beasts and drooling vultures?
• Do they not need help as well?
• Do they deserve to be dismissed from compassion and/or the need of redemption?
• Is it possible that significant damage has been done to them that they would act worse than animals toward women?
• How many of these men are victims who find their significance in abusing women because they’ve been abused?
• Given these possibilities what should our attitude be towards them, as well the women?
He went on to say,
“The way of the religious keeps these men silent and suffering.
It is an abuse itself because it is not what Christ did.”
He’s right, you know! The lack of compassion directed toward these men by those who profess to follow Jesus is no less sinful than the abuse these men impart upon the women they use.
Many of these men were birthed into and have experienced evil that you and I would have difficulty even getting our minds around! Imagine a child watching and experiencing this sort of wickedness? Imagine how infected their heart, soul and mind must be? As I scanned the faces of men on the streets and in the bars, I perceived hearts filled with anger. But you know, fear is always breathing down the neck of the face wrenched in resentment and rage. Where is the One more powerful than themselves in their pain? The redemptive love of Jesus needs to be demonstrated to them!
I walked away with this disturbing awareness: it seems that there is no one willing to be Jesus to them? What it is more difficult for me to reconcile than the evil acts of these men is the fact that the “church” seems to hide from them! I’m still searching, but I’ve not found Love reaching out to these men, not in the Philippines, not anywhere! Does anyone care about what’s going on in their hearts? Who will be Jesus to them!