Last week I shared about the anti-trafficking organization, Children of the Night, that confused; okay let’s be real, infuriated me, with its funding starting and continuing from Hefner’s Playboy empire. I shared the email I sent and the response from Lois Lee explaining briefly Hefner’s role in her business.
And I wrestled all week with it even in the wake of the horrendous violence happening in our country.
Death begetting more death.
Kind of like my impression of a pornography enterprise funding an organization rescuing those trafficked into prostitution.
But what kept coming back to me, in a gently convicting kind of way, in spite of my justified, righteous anger, was that I didn’t know this woman’s story. That I needed to pray for, not persecute, her.
I didn’t know why she chose to battle sex-trafficking to begin with. Was she exploited, abused, molested herself? Had she been a victim of sexual predators? I had no idea why she felt that Hefner and his Playboy enterprise was her only option for funding. Or how that relationship came about in the first place.
Jesus reminded me that I didn’t know her story.
We’ve all made choices, good and bad. I’ve made my fair share of terrible ones. Many of which developed out of my own background. When we’re confused and looking for answers, we’ll try whatever seems like the best option at the time, no matter what it is.
Sometimes the worst option looks really good in light of our experiences.
Just as I knew I needed to address concern for what seemed like a hypocritical use of funds to rescue children being exploited by the very same group funding the exploitation, I became convinced that I needed to reach out to Lois Lee and ask,
“What’s your story?”
Because Jesus cares about our story. He cares about how and why we landed where we did, making the choices we did. And more importantly, he forgives them all because of his love and compassion for us. No wrong can ever make him turn away from us.
She responded immediately.
Her email told me the basics of who she is—a doctor, a lawyer, an academic, a Catholic. I won’t share the email because now it’s a personal matter, no longer a letter to an unknown company. She gave me very little detail of what led her to begin except to say she’d been persecuted for her position in wanting to help young women in prostitution. She spoke highly of Hefner, even sounding as if he had been a dear friend.
I thanked her for sharing. I continue to pray for her to be blessed, healed, and loved by Jesus.
And I want to ask you, “what’s your story?” What led you to this place you are in today? What’s your life all about? Do you know Jesus like he knows you?
He cares about every moment of your story. So do I. Without judgment. His grace is enough for all of us—even the worst parts of our story.
And I know he started our story, has a better plot for it, and will keep writing it into something beautiful if we let him. So…
“What’s your story?”