TITLE: Embracing Truth
By Crista Darr
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by Crista L. Darr
"Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you." (Matthew 21:31)
Was that the sound of ravenous wolves scratching at my door or just the light rapping of a knocking hand?
Swinging the door open, two men and a woman stood before me. "Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?" the woman of the group inquired. My heart danced with joy at the very thought of God's servants taking the gospel door to door.
With great enthusiasm I leaped into the testimony of my recent salvation. In my excitement I reached out to hug the woman speaking with me. Drawing near to her the Word of Scripture rushed through my memory, "Lay hands on no man suddenly." (1 Timothy 5:22)
Being unlearned in discernment, I hugged her anyway and was completely unnerved by the icy chill that raced down my spine, commanding all my hairs to stand on end. What manner of woman and what devilish spirit was this? I shuddered. Was this "religious" woman one of whom Jesus spoke saying, "So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." (Matthew 23:28)
Still puzzling over this strange encounter, my ever-teaching Savior had yet another hug awaiting me on a dark street corner in a neighborhood plagued with prostitution.
Our missionary church, standing as a beacon of light in the midst of this darkness, makes every effort to share the love of Jesus with these troubled and hurting women.
Walking to the church one evening I saw her. She stood in the shadows of the dimly lit sidewalk waiting to sell herself for the desire of any predator driving by. She was not a stranger to this corner and I had spoken with her many times before.
My heart sank as she stepped out of the shadows. Gruesomely beaten, her face was distorted by a myriad of dark bruises and swellings. Only one of her eyes remained open, revealing the worst of her brokenness. Peering out at me was a bruised soul blackened by despair and hopelessness.
Longing to comfort her, I carefully wrapped my arms around her battered body. No warnings of Scripture and no icy chills accompanied this hug. Instead, a stone slipped from her hardened heart like a breach in a dam. Her tears escaped, gently flowing from a deep well of heartache. And in the arms of this most tender embrace, I wept too.
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