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Monday, February 21, 2005

Monday Morning Snowfall

I picked up a hooker this morning. Not that I intended too, but she was trudging through the snow carrying an empty gas can, and I figured she might need a ride. It is so easy to just drive on past these people in the rush of our hustle-bustle world, but this morning I actually had some pad in my schedule. So I offered her a lift, and quickly discovered that she was not your normal citizen-in-need.

Her literary ability tipped me off. She had this amazing capacity for sexual innuendo in casual convesation that would have put the best of my junior-high buddies to shame.
"So where you from?"

"California. I've lived here in the city for a long time now, but I can still blow like nobody's business, you know what I mean?" (grin and wink)
Wow. How do you respond that that?

Back in the day, she certainly would have turned heads, but now, nearing 50, she reminded me of an old running shoe - after many miles she just looked worn. She was missing a front tooth. She was hard to understand. She may have been a little stoned. She was definitely surprised that a white guy picked her up.

In the midst of all this, I kind of froze. I mean, what do you say to someone like this? I gave her a ride to the station, helped her fill her can with kerosene. She had no idea how to work the pump - she was doing this for her elderly neighbor who needed it to heat her house. And her biggest gripe was that "none of her people would give her the time of day."

I gave her a few minutes of mine, but not much more. How do you meaningfully share anything with someone in 10 minutes, when you will never see them again in your life. Do you jump right to the gospel? Do you smile and nod? How would Jesus love this person?

I'm afraid I don't have any answers here, just lots of questions.

The one thing I do know is that we as Christians need to learn how to love people like this, because if we believe what God says about us, we're a lot more like her than we are like him (cf. the Wedding Dress post). We are whores, and yet God is willing to embrace us if we are willing to embrace Christ.

Its kind of ironic to see a black prostitute walking off in the white snow.

Sometimes its nice to have a bit of perspective to start the week...


At 8:53 AM, February 21, 2005, Blogger Molly said...

I don't think you had to say anything to her.

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' [or, 'When did we see you walking down a snowy street with a gas can and drive you to the nearest station?']

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

Matt 25:37-40

At 11:15 AM, February 21, 2005, Blogger Justin Dombrowski said...

I think Miss M has a point, though I see your tension: you want to be able to offer her more than 10 minutes and a can of kerosene--and with good reason. As M pointed out, Jesus does place particular ethical demands on his kingdom citizens, but that does also include "matheteusate!" a la Matt 28. I have the same struggle at JTS. I've been having a similar problme with one of my lesbian Jewish friends who's lonely for a mate...what do I say?

In your case: You could carry business cards and hand one too her and tell her that if she needs something in the future to call you (I do this). You can get free ones at That way you could foster a relationship of some kind that would provide other opportunities to know her. You could also try to invite her to church, if not that moment, then perhaps when she calls (i.e. if you gave a card)?...though that might be too sudden. I do the business card thing sometimes...though for various other reasons.

Just an idea.

At 3:02 PM, February 21, 2005, Blogger Charles said...

Christian: I don’t know what to do in that situation. I think that random mind had a good point in that most people would not have done what you did. I know that I probably wouldn’t, but that can either be attributed to my lack in fear of God or my jaded Philadelphia sensibilities. Every time I leave the house, my Dad stops me, as if to say something profound or informative, and he says, “Be careful out there.” He does this as if I want to get hurt every time I walk out the door or something, or as if there really is that much to fear. So I guess what I am saying is that we all, especially in the cities, are made to fear worldly things probably a little more than we should. This could get into a discussion about what we really should fear, and I think that I know where you are coming from there. But then again, we aren’t in Kansas, or in your case, Montana, anymore.

Justin: With your lesbian Jewish friend, maybe the best thing to do is show sympathy for her. I mean the goal is to be her friend isn’t it? You may not be lesbian or Jewish, but do you not know the feeling of wanting a mate, whether that be for good reasons or bad? If your ultimate goal is to make a spiritual change in her life, do you think that you can do this if you haven’t built up trust with her? This goes back to Christian’s post about life evangelism and what I, as a non-Xian, think is most effective.

At 9:34 PM, February 21, 2005, Blogger Justin Dombrowski said...

To Charlesdog:

Yeah, that's what I'm doing, and that's my rationale as well. At the moment I can't see what else I can do aside from pray of course. Trying to be a good friend and colleage. The tension is that I don't want that to be my final stop. Being a good friend is great, but I want to offer her something much greater!

At 12:55 AM, February 22, 2005, Blogger Charles said...

Justin: If what you people keep telling me is true, then I would say that being a good friend is enough and God will do the rest. Remember, at the end of the day, what you want to do you can’t do. It is up God and her. At least that is what it seems like you guys are saying from out here.

At 4:33 AM, February 22, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

There's a tension here, because Scripture says several things are true:

a) God is sovereign, and only he can change people's hearts

b) the way he changes people, however, is always by them hearing his Word, and that usually comes through a Christian sharing it with them.

God is the one who sends the lightning bolt of truth/enlightenment, but it doesn't just come out of the blue, so to speak.

Even though God is the changer of hearts, Christians speaking his word into lives of unbelieving friends is generally how it happens.

Think about the Drawing the Line post from the other day - God uses the true friend to speak the hard truth when I need to hear it most.

So the tension is, I need to be a friend simply for the sake of being their friend, but I also need to be a friend who cares enough to speak the truth in love.

And knowing when to speak and when to just listen is really hard...

At 1:56 PM, February 22, 2005, Blogger c1h2a3p4 said...

This happened to me, once, when I lived in Africa. I saw this woman standing in the cold rain, completely soaked. I asked her if she needed a ride somewhere. When she got in, she had her professional obligations to work on. I politely declined and asked her where she would like to be let out. I let her out at the next corner and she went on standing in the rain.

At 2:25 PM, October 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny thing... i picked up an older black lady a week ago. She looked desperate for help, also carrying a gas can. I stopped near her and asked if she needed a ride. she gave me an off the wall story about her car breaking down (not needing gas necessarily). she couldnt keep her story straight about where the car actually was, when i asked her. she said i'll help you out, if you help me out. I said ok. I parked behind a building, pulled down my pants and she gave me an incredible blowjob. Goddamn i love fat black hookers with big ass titties and gas cans. for only 20$ you can't beat it!

At 1:18 PM, October 08, 2007, Blogger Christian said...

Ok, I'll bite - Are you serious, here?


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