The faces of Philadelphia

The other night, as I was driving home from my friends’ house, way too late, reality smacked me in the face like a 2×4.  

You see, I have no rose-colored glasses when it comes to what goes on in the city.  I know that, on a Friday night at 4 AM, there are a bunch of really drunk people wandering the streets, looking to fulfill their most carnal desires.  I know that there are women whose occupation it is to meet those carnal desires.  

I guess I wasn’t prepared, traveling from suburban NJ to my apartment, a few blocks away from Center City, Philadelphia, to see women standing on the corners, dressed provocatively, waiting for me to pick them up for an hour.  I was less prepared to see the men who would ultimately profit off of the sex for sale sitting on stoops, right behind the girls, eyeing them like a rancher eyes his cattle for sale on the open market.

During the day, these corners are bustling with foot traffic, people shopping for antiques, free trade items, hamburgers and lollipops.  The neighborhood that I drove through is one of the more expensive in the city–not a drug-riddled, crime-infested low-income area.  I walk these streets during the day on my way to get an over-priced cup of coffee, during the evening to find myself an over-priced ice-cold beer.

I sit in my ivory tower, yelling about how horrible human trafficking and the sex trade are.  Then, I drive down my street, see it in action, and I don’t know what to do.  I know that I can’t jump out of my car, grab the girls and drive away into the sunrise…but surely there is something that I can do.

My prayer is that God would use me to bring freedom to the captives…those captive to the sex trade; those held prisoner by a pimp who profits from their bodies.  I need God to show me where to begin…because I have absolutely no idea.

Here I am Lord.  Send me.

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