Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No words for the title. No words.

OK, what a day! I need some serious prayer for my new "friend" Des'ra.

Some of y'all may remember my outrage yesterday over the girl at the pool in her bra and underwear.
Let me set this scene: the pool at our downtown hotel is on the 3rd floor. High rises are all around us. Point being, they have a good view of the pool. It is a bit awkward for me to be out at the pool in my swimsuit, completely covered up, knowing that in the tall buildings around us are folks working. It's just weird. Plus, I know they are probably cussin' me cause I'm at the pool and they are working.
So, here we are at the pool and out walks girl who proceeded to strip down to her bra and underwear of 90% string.

Ugh. Why me?? Why, Lord, do you do this to me when I am so intolerant of this jazz? Wait. Don't answer that.

I deal with the whispers from my girls until I can't take it any more and we come inside.
Conversations with my girls ensue.
Moving on to today...
Maddy and I are at the pool for about 15 seconds when a mom and 2 boys come to check it out. They head back up to their room to get swimsuits; Maddy is now thrilled at two new prospective friends. While we hang, naked girl comes back out to the pool. Really? Really? Is this going down again??
She turns her chair so that the back is to us, now she is facing the adjacent buildings. Homegirl strips back down to her undies and TAKES OFF HER DADGUM TOP. She is topless, facing the buildings across the street and my kid is in the pool waiting for two 8 year old boys to come back out!!

Dear Jesus, Help me, Lord. I'm not even kidding. 

That's the only clear thought I had. I get Maddy out of the pool and send her inside with my key and phone (I'm not real sure what's about to go down here.) I was scared outside of my mind. I walk over to her.

Me: "Hey, how are you doing? Listen, I just want to let you know that 2 little boys are going to be out here in a minute."
Her: "Ohh, well, I turned around."
"Yah, but you may want to go ahead and at least get your top on."
"Oh, yah. I am. I didn't know there were boys out here."
"Yah, well, I'm going to go ahead and get my daughter inside, because I can't have them out here with you naked."
"Yah, that's why I turned around."
"I understand, and that's great, but I'm also concerned about the wives of the husbands that are working in these buildings around here. I'm sure, Honey, that they wouldn't appreciate it."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean any disrespect."
"I appreciate that."

So, we leave. By the time I get to the hallway, I'm visibly shaking and crying.
Oh, my gosh! What just happened!? I was straight up freaking out!

Oh, my gosh. She needs Jesus. I don't even know her name. What if she has a pimp that is making her get rid of tan lines? She needs Jesus. Is she here with a 'client'? I am in freaking Houston. I don't have my people. She needs Jesus and I am by myself! Oh, my word. What am I gonna do? I want to go tell her she can get out. I want to help her. She needs Jesus. I have to tell the hotel staff. Are they trained to recognized trafficking victims? Do they know? Do they care? I want to have someone come and talk to her, but it has to be a woman. I don't want little Mauricio or Josh or Mark (our little buddies that work here) to go up there and see her. I want to go tell her she can leave. What if I'm nuts and she is just a freak who wants to be naked? Lord, what am I supposed to do? Agghhhh!!! 

I send Maddy up to the room with Meghan. I wait at the elevator to try to catch mom and little boys. I wait and wait and wait. Finally, I go downstairs to the lobby. I am crying and shaking by this point. Pretty sure I'm supposed to talk to naked girl, but I'm scared.

I'm by myself and beside myself.

I told our lobby guy, through tears, what just happened and that naked girl was very respectful and apologetic. I didn't want anyone to go yelling at her, because she could be a victim. I also didn't want a man going out there to be subjected to the inappropriateness. I'm pretty sure my little attendant, Adrian, was freaking out just like a girl, which I found oddly comforting. He was precious.

While he and I are talking about finding a woman to go there, and could I go with her, naked homegirl walks into the lobby. Not even kidding. Now, it's her, me and the lobby attendant.

"Are you the lady from the pool?"
"Yes, Sister. Listen. I totally went momma bear on you, and I walked out of there not knowing your name or your story or why you are out there 'nekked' at the pool! I am so sorry! What is your name? What are you doing? I didn't mean to be ugly."

By this time, Adrian had gotten another female employee and they were just standing there watching and listening to every single word. I was so eternally grateful. Witnesses. Grand.

We spoke for about 15 minutes. She let me get all up in her business. She told me she is a dancer and doesn't like tan lines. She has a 2 year old son staying with a friend's sister in Mississippi. She is from Alabama and Mississippi. Her grandmother and dad don't know about her dancing, but her momma does. Mom is not happy. I asked her if she tricked. She said never. I am pretty sure she is lying. (She had a guy out at the pool with her for a few minutes yesterday and I'm sure she was facing the building for the purpose of gaining some 'clients'.) Somewhere in the course of the conversation I asked her if she had a real bathing suit. She said she did. I told her, "I'm not kidding. If you don't have one, we can go over to Macy's right now and get you one." It's about the tan lines.
I asked her, "If you could be doing anything other than dancing, what would it be? Dream job." She wants to be a nurse. I encouraged her in that. She said she knows she shouldn't be dancing and that her body is a temple.  I let her go on for a minute, then I said, "Let's go back to something. You just told me that your body is a temple. You have a relationship with Jesus?"  By this time, I'm holding her hand.
"Oh, yah. I grew up going to church and church camp."
"Noooo, no. Church and church camp don't make your body a temple. The Holy Spirit inside of you makes your body a temple. What's your relationship like with Jesus?"
"I know he don't like me dancing. I know he's gonna forgive."
"You are right about that. I'm glad you know that. But, for the record, I am not the one that said you shouldn't be doing it. You did."
We laughed a little and she said she would never say that I told her she shouldn't be dancing.
She assured me that she is independent and doesn't have a pimp. I corrected her--they aren't pimps. They are slave-owners. She said she knew that and she would never get mixed up with one. I told her that she never has to dance again if she doesn't want to, that I know people and could get her on the road to nursing school. She said her plan is to save up money from dancing to go to nursing school. I tell her the sooner she gets on that nursing gig the better. She laughed. She knows, she said.

Then, she said she had to go.
I talked to the staff a few more minutes and went to the diner area and had a complete breakdown praying for her. I can count on one hand the times I have truly been broken for someone else like that. My attendant buddy was in disbelief at what he had just seen. Me, too, Dude!

I told him, "I just want to get her. I want to take her."

He said, "I think you really do."

I believe this was ordained by the Lord, but I can tell you, I never would have asked for it. Pray with me for Des'ra, would you?

Jesus, Des'ra needs you. Pierce her heart like they pierced your hands. Make it unmistakeable and undeniable. Please take care of her boy. I pray he grows up to know you. Rescue her. Use me, if that's your will, although it freaks me out to even say that to you. Just get her. Amen.


  1. OH! MELISSA!! SOOO Thankful you have that BOLD spirit God has Blessed you with!! No mistake it was always supposed to be you and Des'ra! After you had attened the Passion confrence so those stories and stats would be fresh. Don't be 'freaked out' that the Lord does use you be 'freaked out' if he doesn't!! What a Testimony! Maddy got to see her devoted mother act in a way that was both protective and concerned. Hotel staff witnessed the chilling effect that conviction can have and that sweet moment of Godly council! Love you and so Proud to have such a fearless friend in Christ!! We will keep Des'ra and her son in our prayers! Your Mission field is ... wherever you are!

  2. I am in tears reading this! This meeting was orchestrated by God and you totally let the Holy Spirit lead. You have no control over the choice she makes, but you do have the choice to be obedient to Christ's call, and that's what you did. Now you pray. We'll join you and plead on her behalf. Love you and your heart.

    1. I'm in tears all over again. Dawn, I can't recall a time when I was more visibly shaken. Literally shaking in my flip flops.

  3. oh my word. I am amazed, God used every single part of who you are to "get her" and at least make an impression on her. He used your strong willed nature, your tenderness, your motherhood, your sincerity, and your knowledge to recognize the signs. Please keep us update...Des'ra is in my prayers!

  4. You were brave and I know the lord is proud of you!!!!! Miss you and your spirit around here!

  5. What an amazing story! God obviously put you there and gave you the right words - you handled the whole thing way better than I would have! Will be praying for Des'ra...and you in case your paths cross again.

  6. I'm in tears all over again, y'all. It was unbelievable.

  7. He continues to amaze us even in our fears...I may know a way for school and a job for the girl in the nursing field. FB message if interested.

  8. What an amazing divine appointment! I love that your heart was tender to her need and you responded courageously IN LOVE. That is how Christ meets us. God bless you in the work you are doing there in Houston loving on those people. THEY are so lucky.