A white Christian girl walks into a bar

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

It comes in the early-morning dark. An email slips into an inbox. It is the next step, another link in an unlikely chain of events, taking an unlikely girl to an unlikely place on the most unlikely of missions. That will call her out on the waters…

Standing there in the hotel that day, he had no notion. No idea, really, of what he was saying or of who (that’s for sure) he was saying it to. “I think I’ll be leading that trip. I think it will be to Thailand, and we’ll be going into the bars, looking for women in the sex trade.”

And like that, the bricks, they fell. Right on me.

I was raised in a lily-white culture. On the hot, windblown Plains, in a small, country church, there were very few people, if any, of color. I went to school with the kids from my church. And other churches, then worked with the same at the restaurant all through high school.

We were taught how to sing acapella. That was good. We sang hymns on those hard, wooden benches, legs swinging. It was good. We learned Bible verses by the chapter, by the score, earning prizes. And that was, of course, very good. Brought blessing.

Above the pulpit hung a picture of Christ in Gethsemane, scene of His blood-and-sweat struggle. We passed furtive notes, did we girls, beneath His watchful eye. Not so good. Evangelists came, preached of sin, preached revival. Then “Just as I Am,” and we’d come as we were. All repenting.

We were taught many things that were good in that culture. We learned how to work; learned that well. We learned about sin, about do’s and the don’ts. Like drinking and smoking and dance. That was sinning.

Odd, what you see, looking back. That some sins were taboo, like the drinking. But some were, well, socially acceptable. Like gossip. Like bitterness, and judging. Those were hidden. But perhaps the biggest taboo was on sex.

But of course.

Some families, I noted, addressed it more freely. I envied the children in those homes; I had questions. The messages, though, by the church in general and by those close to me was this: “No! You can’t! You should not. It is bad.” Until you get married, then you do it. So confusing.

For those who transgressed, guilt and shame. Condemnation. Shocked gasps, pointing fingers, disapproval…for the guilty. But “do it once you get married. A lot.”

For a child anywhere, it was confusing. Shame producing. And then came a loving husband, healing journey, kind Father. And girl’s walking.

That was a lot of years ago. Since then, my heavenly Father has been teaching me much about grace.And that’s healing.

He’s showing me just Who He is, and His intentions. I’m seeing at last His heart’s shape and size, both for me and for others imperfect. That’s freeing!

Ironic, is it not, that Father would pick a wounded girl riddled with fear, marked by shame, a girl who once doubted and distrusted? He’d pick her out, catch her up, heal her sores with His love and then call her out upon waters? To the wounded? To those of a different color and profession?

It is simply no accident. No great, cosmic mistake that He would pick The Girl, pick The Boy for the loving. To break down our barriers, old judgmental walls, to carry His love to the bleeding. Yes, in bars. In a far-away country called Thailand.

Lord willing, in April 2016, Mr. Schrock and I will set out on what is called the Parent Vision Trip. For six days, we will work alongside our World Racer and his team, being the hands and feet of Friend Jesus. Lord, bring the shaking! Bring the healing. Let it come.

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