A Transvestite, the Human Condition, and A High Priest

A Transvestite, the Human Condition, and A High Priest

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Sitting outside a restaurant in a small city in the Amazon at two in the morning, exhausted from leaving it all on the altar, my heart still raw from the intense meeting. At our table the atmosphere around us richly filled with laughter and testimonies from the night. In true Brazilian fashion, we sat, celebrating life and enjoying each other’s company, abruptly though, the conversation ceased.

Turning to see the cause of this interruption, my eyes settled on a young man speaking…no pleading- desperately…hopelessly pleading with the pastor.

His hair matted and face warn, my heart shattered. Garbed in a bikini top and women’s shorts, his face painted in make-up and sweat oozing from every pore, he obviously needed a fix…

Often lost in translation, I’ve learned from my travels to read situations, not sure what was being asked, but quickly realizing he was asking for money. Looking on further, the pastor offered him some food and an invitation to dine at a nearby table.

Not sitting well with the restaurant owner, he asked the man to leave. Sneering and pointing at our table, as if to throw in his face, “They told me I could sit here!”

Little did we know, earlier, he spat and sneered at patrons refusing his plea for food or money. The locals knew he was a drug addict and a male prostitute…later we found out he would trade money, food, and even sex in exchange for drugs…

Having been asked on numerous occasions to leave, he continued to refuse. Shortly after, two extremely large, plain-clothed policemen arrived and demanded he leave. Vile exchanges infringing upon the patrons forced all to continue to spectate. Pushing this young man to leave, he screeched and fought the whole way out, pointing at our table. “They invited me here!”

The following memory, deeply etched in my mind, still plays vividly over and over in my head…

Fist meets face…Hatred is released…

The young man fell, his face forced hard into the dirt and rock covered asphalt. I literally felt as if I had been punched in the gut! One of the policemen had stopped and punched him right in the face!

Attempting to get back on his feet, his shrill voice filled the air, while blood and dirt clung to his face. They punched him again, as well as kicked him repeatedly. It all happened so fast, and there was nothing we could do- these were the police!

This scene honestly could have played out in any city in the world. Unfortunately, it’s a clear picture of the state of sin and the human condition. It goes without saying, this young man was in the wrong and absolutely needs MUCH help. The owner even had just cause to have him thrown out, as he was protecting his business and patrons from being harassed. Likewise, the police had to do their job and escort him out of the restaurant.

But what was so heart-wrenching about this situation? Why was I so gripped? You see, recently, I began praying, “Father enlarge my capacity to identify with the hurting…let me see with Your eyes.” This has become a dangerously eye-opening prayer!

In witnessing these events, I couldn’t help but ask what horrible things have been done to this young man and how many others, including Christians, have looked at him with hatred just like this policeman?  In reality, though, how many times would we look at people like this and write them off or turn our noses up at them, because we see them as vile and perverted?

However, instead of merely seeing a cross-dressing junky, I saw a young man who had, along his way, lost his identity and was enslaved to sin, medicating his pain with sex and drugs.

I also saw the hatred and disgust in the policeman’s eyes, as he struck this guy. Why would there be such hatred in a man’s heart? What atrocious things has he had to endure that has made his heart so callous?

Tossing and turning, night after night, thinking about the incident, I continue to rehearse all of these questions in my heart, so maybe just for a moment I can identify.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

It has taken me some time to wrap language around it, and even now, I don’t know that I am fully communicating my heart. Obviously in both situations, there are deeper spiritual conditions at play. There are natural things and choices that cause open doors, and in some cases, there is no explanation for actions and atrocities committed.  However, there is always a root.

I am by no means justifying any sin, nor am I saying he shouldn’t pay for his crimes, but I am speaking of the state of the heart and human condition. I am merely attempting to challenge us, as believers and in light of recent events, to not so quickly make enemies out of the lost, but rather allow ourselves to see through the eyes of Jesus.

I’m reminded of the lady caught in adultery. Jesus showed her kindness and grace, yet still dealt with the sin. It’s God’s kindness and love that leads us to repentance… Romans 2:4 There is a way to release the love of God and still deal with sin and injustice.

The fact is we expect the lost to live as believers, but they don’t believe yet. And the fact is Jesus died for the transvestite, the junkie, the murderer, and even the most hateful person you know!

“For God so loved the WORLD He gave….” John 3:16

Jesus died loving us all. Are we willing to lay down our lives daily for the unlovable?

Just a simple question to ask ourselves.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

In His Fire,

JLJ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s