Interrupted Dinner

I watched her tall figure shrink into a small stature as she rounded the corner from the smoke filled air she had just departed. My brain rushed to take in what we had walked in upon.

We had just eaten dinner at a restaurant we enjoy frequently. It’s been a bit of an oasis for us and a guaranteed consistent quality service and food. We had a bit of a challenging day and thought we’d take it easy and let someone else prepare our food. The ambiance is always delightful with the lit pool amidst the palm trees. The only thing unappealing was the canard (or duck) small plate that was complimentarily served. Gag!

When dinner was over, we decided to venture to the rest of the grounds of the hotel. We had eaten here earlier this week with some friends visiting from Kenya. Their youngest child of 17years was with them and he ventured off to see this beautiful hotel units. We had never left the dining hall or pool area and the air is so perfect tonight so we decided to go for a walk. That’s when we saw her.

While other guests were dining, she was leaving her client and headed to who knows where. Once we saw her we knew she was up to no good. The clothes were so tight and left little to the imagination. She rounded the corner and quickly exchanged her 6”heels for some practical flip flops for her journey home. She tugged down her shirt and let down her hair some. It seems she’d played the part and was now resuming normal appearance.

Completely disgusted and in shock, we continued on the pathway towards the man she’d just left. He was now smoking and drinking from a large bottle of hard liquor. I wanted to throw up and hide from his appearance. Matter of fact I said out loud repeatedly not caring if he knew English that I was going to throw up! We walked back towards the well lit area of the street connecting the buildings as quickly as possible and my eyes searched for her. There she went walking down a narrow alleyway disappearing into the night. I kept my eyes glued upon her until I could see her no more. Stephen knew why I’d stopped and gently whispered for me to keep walking. I couldn’t though. I couldn’t even pray. I just let my heart sink and my eyes grow weary.

I know this goes on probably thousands of times everyday here. I see what some call the “Father Abraham Club” with the old often French/European men and the young Malagasy women. Yet most public displays I witness are marriages of such age differences, not hotel hook ups. I’ve been in other parts of the world and walked past brothels, prostitutes, and stayed in hotels where men have paid off women in the lobbies. It’s not like I don’t know what’s going on, but tonight this was close to home. There are women on the streets selling themselves nearby my house. But this is a place I’ve gone to get away from all of that. To have some sanity in the chaos of living here. And here in my “comfort zone” was this scenario.

God likes to interrupt me when I’m feeling comfortable and reveal His heart. Just when I get comfy, He stops me usually abruptly and shows an area where His light ceases to exist. He finds me when I’m trusting in my own abilities and empowers me with His grace. Tonight in a place I’ve called a refuge, I was confronted by the gross darkness of sin. I was reminded of why light must shine in darkness.

I watched as this young woman walked away from such a scenario. Questions filled my mind. Where would she go next? Has she been so filled with lies and lust from others that she is numb to a possibility of real love? I turned and leaned into my husband’s embrace. My husband who saved himself for me not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. It made our disagreements and challenges seem so small. Why do my arms find love and peace and hers find lust and abuse?

I’m thankful for those moments where I’m pricked with the sting of death around me and remember the hope for which I am called. It’s not easy to be confronted with real life. It’s messy and in your face sometimes, but it is necessary to compel us to be His hands and feet in a hurting world.

May God arise and let His enemies be scattered!

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