Thursday, January 31, 2008

Release from Darkness

***This post is not for children or teens. It deals with some sensitive topics that I've recently witnessed and want to share with you. Please use discretion in allowing others to read over your shoulder. Thank you.

A couple of weeks ago we walked over to the Providence Mall after church to eat lunch in the food court with our friends A2 & M2. During the walk over the husbands noticed a couple of oddly dressed individuals. I was too busy talking a mile a minute to Amy to notice other people.

But later I noticed. Boy, did I notice!! In order to get back to street level from the mall Amy and I (with Ellie in the stroller) took the elevator. The guys, plus Mia, took the escalator. I've never been so glad my boys weren't with me.

Apparently there was a "le@ther c0nventi0n" going on at the nearby convention center. And by le@ther I'm not talking c0wb0y b00ts or H@rley D. jackets. I'm talking Hello, Jerry Spr*nger!! kind of le@ther!!

As Amy and I waited for the elevator we observed several people. One man was dressed in a le@ther military officer's uniform. Think German WW2 only all le@ther. A woman was dressed, ...well.., think prison guard meets Fredrick's of H0llyw00d. YIKES!! It was bad, but a nervous-laughable kind of bad. And then the elevator doors opened. And I didn't want to laugh any more. I wanted to cry and share the Word.

A relatively normal looking man walked out holding the end of a long chain (at least I think he was normal looking, I didn't really pay much attention to him). The other end of the chain was attached to a le@ther collar around the neck of the woman walking a few paces behind him. When I saw her everything in me screamed and wanted to share truth right then and there. Not just because of the coll@r and chain. It was far worse than that. Her le@ther skirt had buckles as though her legs were bound up. She walked with her hands clasped in front of her as though her wrists were tied (they may have been I'm not really sure). Her entire demeanor was one of subjection and enslavement to the man in front of her.

Even now my heart aches for her and I feel sick to my stomach. On the way home Joel and I discussed the various individuals we had seen. Thankfully my boys were oblivious to what was going on around them. I would have hated to try to explain to Will why the woman was wearing a chain!! But more than that I told Joel I felt sadness for those people.

I mean, if they are willing to go out in public dressed like that, what are they willing to do in private?! And if they are willing to participate in such extreme activities you have to believe it's because they think that lifestyle will fill the void in their hearts. That it will bring them happiness or satisfaction or fulfillment, even if only for a moment.

I know it won't and I know the One who can bring satisfaction and joy and fulfillment. His name is Jesus and his love neither humiliates nor enslaves. His love serves and heals. As I observed so many people so obviously bound by their sin and desires this scripture leaped into my mind:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." Isaiah 61:1-2.

Jesus quotes these verses in Luke 4:18-19. "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

My prayer is that tall beautiful woman (and others like her) will find the one man, Jesus, who can give her the peace and fulfillment she craves. That she will allow Jesus to set her free from a life of sin and captivity. And then she will experience healing and wholeness in ways she never dreamed were possible.


mer said...

Wow...what a word picture of enslavement. The reality is that while most of us don't walk around in visible chains, there are still things that hold us captive. I'm not totally free from some things in my own life, but am thankful for the freedom and healing and forgiveness I've found in Christ.

Great post, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing, and I will join you in praying today for this woman and the multitude of others who need Jesus.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Wow. I think it's almost a gift to be able to see how visibly that void is in people who don't know Christ, because the truth is even people who look "normal" still have huge voids within them when they don't.

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