But one prostitute in Chicago has a completely different take on Christians and the Church.
In his fantastic book What’s So Amazing About Grace?, Philip Yancey opens with a story told to him by a friend who serves the impoverished and addicted in the Windy City. Yancey’s friend said:
A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs and tears, she told me she had been renting out her daughter – two years old! – to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit. I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing, it made me legally liable – I’m required to report cases of child abuse. I had no idea what to say to this woman.
At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naïve shock that crossed her face. “Church!” she cried. “Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.”
Yancey’s point in retelling the story was to show that in Jesus’ day, sinners and vagabonds flocked to Him, not away from Him. These days, the hurting and helpless no longer turn to Jesus’ disciples; in fact, they try to steer clear of His followers.
Since Jesus didn’t make sinners feel worse, neither should His Church.
What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey. Zondervan, 1997, Page 11.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)