Something that I have always loved about God is how He knows us and our hearts better than we do. He knows what we need, when we need it, and he knows what to say and when to say it. Being human, what is on our hearts can change weekly, daily, or even moment by moment, but God is never surprised. God longs to encounter us by our hearts, He longs to let His kids know that He sees us and is with us, even in the most intimate or fearful parts of ourselves. And, sometimes when He encounters us it is nothing like we think we need; however, it’s everything He knows we need, and it’s always more perfect than anything we could ask for. If I have learned anything about going out to the streets this past year, it is that every night out we go out, Jesus encounters those streets like He encounters our hearts. Radically and specific to what is needed in that moment. Each night we go out is different and unexpected to us, yet each night God knows what those girls need and He meets His daughters right where they are at. And, this weekend He reminded me of that.
At 3 a.m. Saturday morning God led us into a series of encounters where He knew exactly what His daughters needed to hear. When you meet girl after girl it can be so easy to fall into a routine or even just repeat the same words every time, but when you ask God for His heart for His daughters, these beautifully specific words just begin pouring out and you just know that they cannot be from anyone but Him. God encountered every girl who we gave a gift to last night; however, there were three specific girls that God really placed on my heart. The first girl we will call “M”. M was a 40 year old mom who opened up to us about her two beautiful children. They were taken from her and she was trying everything she could to get them back. You could just see the hurt on her face and the disappointment in her eyes. In that moment God wanted to affirm her as a mother and we got to pray for her and her two children right there on the street. Praying we felt God wanting her to know the He is proud of her and longs for her just as she longs for her children.
The next girl we will call “A”. We approached her and she was so kind and so beautiful, but you could see the pain behind her gilded smiled. We gave her a gift, talked with her for a bit, and then we all prayed together. Just after we had said good night and were walking away God told me to stop and to tell her just how loved she is one more time. So, a few feet away I turned and said, “Hey “A”, I want you to know and never doubt how loved are.” In that moment her eyes filled with tears. God knew that she just needed to know in that moment that she is loved. There is something so truly beautiful about seeing someone believe for even one second that they are loved by their Father.
The last girl we will call “L”. She was the last girl we met. We gave her the gift, spoke and laughed together, and finally prayed for her. About to leave she looked up at us and just said, “So, you guys are just out here handing out gifts? Why?” and God said tell her why I have you out here and He gave me these words. “We just want to love you, and we want you know that you matter, and that you deserve gifts and love.” She simply smiled, thanked us, and walked to a bench nearby. We got back into the car and sat there to pray for her, and as we looked back to see her before we left she was looking down at her gift bag reading the card inside with tear streaming down her face. We knew she was in God’s hands and believing what He says about her. Too often these girls just get categorized as “prostitutes”, but God knows what each and every one of these girls need. If it was up to us, sure we could give them a gift bag, ask how they are, and maybe even say something that was semi impactful, but instead we ask God what He wants to say because these girls have a better chance of encountering Him if we let Him meet them instead of us. God is doing beautiful things on dark streets. Please keep praying that walls will be broken down as God is using us to bring His love and light to LA.