What comes to mind when you hear the following terms:
Sex Industry Worker”,
These are words of description. They are ugly titles. They are not names. Our culture uses them all the time. They are used so much that there is no shock-value left in any of them. Some are even used as jokes. These words all do one thing to the person to which they are ascribed. They dehumanize them. They steal from them the one thing that could bring about compassion and love. It makes them no longer a living, breathing, love-worthy person. They deprive an individual of all human-related positive qualities. The whore steals husbands. The prostitute sells her body. The dancer has no self-respect. The sex industry worker and human trafficking victim have no power.
How do we make people human again?
We lose the labels. We present ourselves in vulnerability so we can be let into lives that are locked up tight. We create relationship. It takes time…lots and lots of time. It takes no pay-back interactions. Expect no return on your investment type relationships in which you have no expectation of anything. It takes sacrifice.
Did you know that the ladies working in clubs have stage names and fake “real” names? It’s hard to lose labels when you don’t even know someone’s name. But the cost of giving the name they received at birth is too hogh. The multiple names serve a purpose. They do so as a means of protecting their personal lives. Do you know it is super uncool to ask a dancer her real name? If she gives you anything other than her stage name you should feel honored. Don’t count it as an insult if the name she gives is not who she is outside of the building in which she performs. She is disconnecting from her profession. She NEEDS to disconnect. Research related to the long term toll of exotic dancing indicates that dancers feel like objects…..they feel dehumanized.
How do we humanize someone with no name? We trust that God knows the names. He knows ALL the names. He has them engraved on the palms of his hands. He agonizes over the names of those who have been lost in a profession that steals from them their very identity, their humanity.
You are reading this telling yourself you do not dehumanize others. But I’d bet you really do. We do this by minimizing someone’s hurt or pain. We do this when we judge other’s choices. We do this when we misunderstand the reasons for these decisions. We do this when we only think from our perspective. We do this when we observe the lives of others from own our safe little worlds. We do this when we define others by external definitions. We do this when we only think of ourselves. We do this when we remove ourselves from a community where people with ugly labels reside.
Changing all this is Jesus stuff. It would mean making yourself vulnerable. It would mean going into uncomfortable places and interacting with people who can’t even trust you with their real names. It would mean letting go of all the dehumanizing thoughts those first several words conjured up when you read them. It would mean becoming Jesus in places where some people say Jesus wouldn’t ever go. He went. He goes into all those places because he goes everywhere. He knows. He knows all the broken places and broken hearts. He wants us to go with him. He wants us to go and see lives transformed back to places where they can have names.
He wants you to call them by THESE names,
“Child of God”
“Daughter of the King”
Jesus, help us recognize the human in all of us. Help us see the real of everyone around us.
Please join with Priceless Ministries as they seek to help women in the sex industry find their real names, the name that God has for them. Join with us in prayer, practice and provision.