Giving A Rose

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NONE ARE FREE IF ONE IS ENSLAVED!

Last night my hubby and I participated alongside an outreach that ventures into the dark places of society where most of us would not go. Why? To represent LIGHT, unconditional love, to push back the darkness, be the hands and feet of Jesus, offering HOPE to those with NO VOICE.

Heartbreaking, but, every bit worth the ‘out of the comfort zone’ experience to approach women lingering on street corners in places where evil runs rampant; to see up close and personal those forced to solicit sex, consumed, trapped in a destructive lifestyle, desperate and without hope!

So much darkness, bondage!

Our purpose? To present a rose, offer prayer, arms to give a hug, words to encourage, an option for rescue or the means to do so when they are ready.

In giving the rose, and pondering, to me it represented a significant symbol of God’s beauty. Christ’ blood shed for these broken ones who are abused and proclaiming YOU are beautiful, worthy of beauty because you are made in the image of God and created for His glory!

Each pedal signifying a tear,
God’s tears shed on their behalf,
and speaking cleansed!
Christ’ purifying blood the covering,
His redemption the healing,
now whole and complete.

Though ours lives are vastly different, I know there is no difference between us, I am a sinner in need of rescue too!

The rose…
it is a physical representation,
the tangible expression of,
BEAUTY!
Hopefully, prayerfully, when gazed upon becomes the reminder,
reminding, and in the midst of,
regardless,
YOU are beautiful.

The encounter impacted me!

Praying, God, consume them with your PRESENCE! When they are lonely, whisper in their ears you are not forgotten! Though hurting, whisper in their ears you are not forsaken! Feeling unloved, whisper in their ears you are loved! Feeling unworthy, whisper in their ears you are worthy!

Driving through strip clubs, motels, observing parking lots filled with clientele, pimps guarding and hovering, truckers looking for sex, women getting into cars and disappearing, the game of cat and mouse solicitation, demand of customers, the lingering and hopelessness… my heart wept!

Praying…

for God’s presence to supersede their heartache,
a tangible visitation of God’s great love to be manifest,
an undeniable, relentless God pursuit,
a drawing of women, men and children toward a life-changing encounter!

Please pray too!

I know God is bigger than all of this, but nonetheless, this is warfare!

As we continued to travel into dangerous dark places, many in the van prayed, interceding where hearts were broken for what breaks God’s. In the midst, I hear the Holy Spirit whisper, REMINDING…

…INSTRUCTING, be strong, put on the full armor of God, be prepared, there is a war that needs to be fought against the devil’s schemes. It is not against flesh and blood, but the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm!

EPHESIANS 6:10-18
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

I found myself less judgmental, seeking to be even more so, desiring a deeper compassion, hurting more for what hurts, a heart breaking for what breaks the heart of God, keenly more aware and without a shadow of doubt their heart is a treasure and one to be treasured!

Witnessing afresh, contemplating, thinking, ‘why them and not me’ all the while observing and looking into drug-glazed eyes and plastered smiles speaking and screaming despair, wondering what is one to say or do, its just so humbling.

The daunting reality surfaces, reminding once again, there is a large portion of society that goes unnoticed, forgotten, is abused and more often than not swept under the rug of indifference. Quite frankly, if the truth to be known, society as a whole wants to forget, remain in denial, making excuses and rationalizing how not to get involved.

Much of life for the sex-trafficked, prostituted and pimped is gravely misunderstood and remains hidden.

This cannot continue!

We must press on, be a voice, God’s voice, aid the hurting, oppressed and exploited!

ISAIAH 58:6-12
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

I’m very thankful for organizations and individuals who fight the good fight, who stand up for the oppressed and exploited!

Just know, those with NO VOICE SEEK FREEDOM, that is their heart cry!

Just know, Satan always seeks BONDAGE, the destruction of souls, is the father of lies! His number one objective is to kill, steal and destroy!

GOOD NEWS: God sent his son, Jesus, who conquered Satan! Jesus came not to judge, but to redeem! Though the battle wages on this side of eternity, it is finished, the final outcome is secure!

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. – JOHN 10:9-11

Oh, how I long for sex-trafficking to be eradicated. Praying for it! The fact that sex-trafficking remains, points ever so strongly toward our need for a savior!

In closing, there is only one solution to the human condition that seeks, continues to be in pursuit of PLEASURE, perpetuates devaluing human life through coercing, forcing, selling which abuses the body, mind, soul, spirit for personal and monetary gain, it is only CHRIST!

PSALM 10:2-18

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out. The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.

ISAIAH 61:1-11
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – PROVERBS 4:23

 

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