When we go down to the red-light districts there are many men down there whom we seek to strike up a conversation with. Men ranging from young to old, well-dressed to casual, walking with purpose or just strolling about. It is easy to be so focused on one group of men that it can be easy to overlook the one who needs someone to care right there and now. Yet, that is exactly the kind of man I met a few weeks ago. Someone with no place to go and no answer for the situation he finds himself in. That particular night we were led to a group of men whom my friend pointed out to us. There were several of them sitting around talking and drinking and we simply walked up and introduced ourselves and thus began a conversation and a friendship with ‘Gary’.
Gary is similar in age to myself and I found it easy to connect with him. The more time we spent together the easier it was to see that here was someone that had plans and desires for his future yet somewhere along the road of life he got derailed. Was his life easy? Not from what he told me. Did he cope well with what circumstances he went through? Not at all. But the more he shared the more it became clear to me that before me stood a man who had experienced hurt and loss earlier in his life. This caused confusion and ultimately led him on a path that brought him to that particular street, where on that particular night, we talked about moments that were dear to his heart. I remember that at one point Gary’s eyes began to swell up and tears began to form. It is an image that is contrary to what you would expect in a red-light district and it is an image that is hard to forget. But it will always confirm in my heart that some men are harboring moments in their lives that have caused great pain and hurt. Unfortunately it is that pain and hurt that can never be dealt with by a coping mechanism but only by the healing hand of Him who loves us.
I saw Gary once or twice more after that first night before he moved on somewhere else. It is my hope that he would never forget the few individuals who showed compassion and love in action. May he always remember that there is a new road that can be traveled. A road that leads to no more suffering and no more pain. A road that leads to His arms.
End of article.