On a recent night of ministry I had the opportunity to talk to one particular man whom we will call “Peter”. Peter is an expatriate who comes from Europe, is divorced (several times) and has a child. Peter, like many men we encounter, is not your typical stereotype of a man in a red-light district, but then again many men do not fit that stereotype.
Many topics were covered during our 1+ hour with Peter but there were several points that stuck with me throughout our conversation. It became quite clear early on that Peter had been hurt and betrayed by his first wife whom he loved dearly. Peter shared that he had suspected infidelity at one point in their marriage and when he asked his wife about it she denied it, only for him to find out the truth later – that indeed his wife was cheating on him. He also shared that there were a few times that he bought women, not for intimate acts but rather just for an opportunity to be close and feel warmth. In essence, love and intimacy. The one thing he had, he lost, and now he is searching for it again.
Does his story excuse any immoral behavior that Peter may choose to engage in? No, not in the least. It does show me though that all individuals, men and women alike, long for love, intimacy and emotional fulfillment. All to often, however, men believe that the search for these things can be found in a red-light district, somewhere. How beautiful it is then when we can share with Peter, or any man, that what they are looking for is out there, and that they can have it because we have it and it is available to all. We ended our night by hugging one another. May the love and warmth he felt through that simple act be a small taste in his heart of what the Father longs to give him everyday of his life.
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