"That's Not a Prostitute"
Blog post written by Jenni Ramsey, Director, His Hands His Feet
Tonight our team prepared meals for men, women and children living on the streets of El Salvador. Right before dinner the team learned that they would be eating the same meal that they were making for the homeless community. We read a powerful excerpt from "Cross-Cultural Servanthood" before our meal called "That's Not a Prostitute." I've included part of it below. This was our second time delivering since our team arrived. We were honored to distribute meals in Jesus' name on Saturday evening, which was a very emotional experience for all of us. I have delivered meals on the streets of San Salvador many, many times, and it never gets easier. I'm always moved to tears every time I serve. We encountered small children, kids sniffing glue, people who were disabled and both men and women working as prostitutes.
Matthew 25 always comes to mind when I'm out on the streets delivering meals. It reminds me that while we're providing meals to those who desperately need it, we're ultimately doing this for Jesus. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “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?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" - Matthew 25:34-40
An excerpt from "That's Not a Prostitute"...
“I noticed a lady at the corner ahead. She was scantily clad. I turned to him and said in a voice the lady would not hear, “Is she a prostitute?” He paused, I remember thinking, Why the pause? It’s obvious. Then he said firmly, “No! That’s not a prostitute. That’s a person… in prostitution.” This proufound statement affects me to this day.
When I saw this woman, I saw a prostitute. When my friend saw her, he saw a human being. What do you think Jesus would have seen? What made the difference in our pereceptions? I tended to categorize people – homeless, drunk, drug addict, prostitute, pimp, panhandler – then I would know how to treat them: respectable vocation brings respect; disrespectful vocation brings disrespect. I decided who to accept not by the fact that they were made in the image of God but by the kind of life they were living. My friend, however, saw the image of God in everyone in spite of their activity. This truth made everyone first and foremost a human being loved by God, accepted by Christ, sacredly endowed with dignity and worthy of being treated with respect and honor by every other human being. He accepted this person in prostitution just as Christ would.”
Duane Elmer, “Cross-Cultural Servanthood.” InterVaristy Press