I must admit, I stood there with my wife and felt very awkward and unsure. Something inside of me said to acknowledge this young woman with at least a "good morning" but I didn't. I remained painfully silent. The elevator doors opened and we all got on it. Nothing was said by anyone. When it reached the main floor, she got off and then so did we. She was gone. So too was my opportunity to just treat her like a human. To acknowledge her as a person.
Even now, over a week later, I still feel ashamed. Not for her and what she was, but for me and what I wasn't. I was not the least bit Christ-like. Jesus loved prostitutes. They were drawn to Him. Why? Because He offered them grace, mercy, and love not silent judgment. Where was my compassion? Scriptures tell us that the world will know His followers by their love, so where was mine that morning?
In Matthew 21:31 Jesus even states, "Truly I tell you, the the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you." He loved the repentant over the religious. I wonder how many religious people will get their holiness in a bunch when they see prostitutes entereing the kingdom of heaven before them?
Jesus even has a prostitue in his genealogy. There in His family tree was Rahab, who was described in scripture as a "zônāh" or harlot. Yet she is worthy enough to not only be listed in the lineage of Christ but she's also mentioned three times in the New Testament. She is spoken of for her faith (Hebrews 11:31), her hospitality, and her mercy towards Joshua's spies. She even converted and her statement of belief was, "For the Lord your God is God in heaven and on the earth below."
How much could one small act of grace make in another's life?
I truly believe that God had put her in my path for a reason. I didn't do what I was called as a follower of Jesus to do. I did not step outside my comfortable box. But I learned this lesson: I cannot be silent to those who need a Savior.
Ministries that work to end prostitution, sexual and human trafficking:
International Justice Missions (https://www.ijm.org/)
Agape International Missions (http://agapewebsite.org/)
Compassion 2 One (http://www.compassion2one.org/)
Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (http://faastinternational.org/)
Christian Organizations Against Trafficking in Human Beings (http://www.caritas.org/resources/Coatnet/Coatnet.html)
Covenant House (https://www.covenanthouse.org/)