Lady of the Night, Part II
“They kept demanding an answer, so he [Jesus] stood up again and said, 'All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!'”1
Continuing our series on “Lady of the Night” … I was saying how, when traveling out East, I was approached by a young lady in the lobby of a large hotel whose name was Toni (not her real name).
After asking her various questions about her background, Toni seemed to get suspicious and blurted out, "Hey, Dick, wait a minute. Nobody in my whole life has ever talked to me like this before. By the way, who are you? What do you do?"
Oh, no, I thought to myself, if I tell her who I am and what I do, she'll really clam up and that'll be the end of our conversation.
I didn't want to answer Toni’s question so I stood there and grinned rather foolishly. I probably learned that technique early in life in order to disarm my mother when she was mad at me. It used to work then. It didn’t now. I decided to tell Toni the truth.
"You'll never believe me," I finally replied, "but I'm a minister of religion," to which I fully expected her to give some lame excuse and leave.
But Toni never batted an eyelid. As quick as a flash she responded, "You mean you believe in the Lord?"
"Yes," I said, relieved that my reply didn’t make her turn and run.
"So do I," she said positively, and continued, "I often pray in the shower and ask God to forgive my sins."
Interesting, I thought to myself. That's pretty common. Like Pilate of old who washed his hands after he had Jesus condemned to be crucified, people still try to wash away their guilt—which neither water nor the symbolic act of washing can do. Only God can take and wash our guilt away.
But Toni didn't give me a chance to reply again. She just opened up to me. She told me all about her family and her work, how much she despised what she was doing, how unhappy she had always been, how she felt that her father had rejected and deserted her and moved a thousand miles away. She hadn't seen him since she was a little girl. She had been deeply hurt by him. She also told me in no uncertain terms how much she hated her mother.
And then came the "crunch" line. I knew there would be one, but wasn't sure what it would be. "Dick," she said with tears brimming in her eyes, "in my whole life I have never ever felt that anyone ever loved me. I am terribly lonely all of the time."
I got a little watery-eyed myself. "I can understand how you feel," I genuinely said. "I came from a broken home too. My parents were divorced. And I hated my father because I felt that he rejected me. I know what it's like to feel lonely—like you're all alone in the world and nobody loves you or even cares that you exist. I know exactly what that feels like—only too well."
To be concluded…
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please deliver me from ‘casting stones’ at those whom I feel aren’t living up to ‘my’ standards. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. John 8:7 (NLT).