Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lost Ones

Atlanta is a famous city and word is spreading fast around the globe. No, it's not because Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics or because of its rich history for being the birthplace of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It's not because Atlanta is home to many celebrities like Usher and Elton John, Fortune 500 companies and the like. Its most important claim to fame in this day and age is sex. That's right, sex. Word is spreading like wildfire that Atlanta is the place to go for sex.

If I had not learned about Atlanta's dirty little secret a year ago and seen it with my own eyes a few weeks ago, I would have been like the majority of the people that live here that have no clue. I would have been ignorant to the fact that Atlanta is one of the top cities in the country for sex trafficking of children. Yes, children. Men are paying to have sex with children every day. Right now.

Atlanta is also known as a sex tourist city, thanks to another claim to fame, Hartsfield Jackson Airport, the world's busiest airport. A husband browses through a catalog of young girls on the internet and place his order online while his wife is preparing breakfast for the family. He kisses his children goodbye before boarding a plan to Atlanta "for business." He touches down in our great city and checks into his airport hotel room right before lunch. As he makes himself comfortable,he thinks back to the years of pornography that he had placed in front of his eyes. When the images on the pages and on the screen were no longer enough, he sought out the real thing. Having one affair after another was too complicated because women became emotional, wanted him to leave his family. He decided to pursue a less complicated route, sex with anonymous young girls. They catered to his fantasies, did not ask questions and were gone by the time the money hit her hand. A knock on the door, brings him back to reality; his online purchase had arrived. He will spend the next few hours paying to have sex with a child that could easily pass for his own teenage daughter. After the transaction is over, he boards a plane back home, usually in time for a late dinner with the family. Sounds simple enough, right. That's because it is.

On any given night, a young girl dresses herself up in a short skirt, a tight shirt, and heels to go to work. No amount of makeup can mask the pain and emptiness in her eyes. She thinks back to the troubled home of abuse she left a few years ago, in search of someone to care for her. A man approached her as she was alone in the mall and offered to give her a place to stay, to love her and provide for her. He said everything she needed to hear, words of affection and love she did not receive at home. In exchange for his love, she has to have sex with strangers every night for money. Her boyfriend takes care of all of her needs so showing her devotion to him in that way didn't seem like that big of a deal. She had never been taught her worth or how to be loved. This was all she knew and that was all he asked. She brings herself back to the present time, 5 years later with her boyfriend/pimp who still requires that she show her love on a nightly basis. He keeps a close eye on her from a parked car, alleyway, or behind bushes. He maintains an invisible leash on his property. The pretty young girl walks the tracks of Fulton Industrial Boulevard or Metropolitan Avenue in search of as many dates as she can score so she meets her boyfriend's nightly quota. The number of dates she has determines whether or not he will welcome her back with open arms or an open hand slap across the face.

As the pimp sits back and watches his young worker drive off on yet another date, he thinks about on how he got to where he is. He grew up in fatherless home, with a mother who was involved in one abusive relationship after another. Left to fend for himself most days, his only example of how a relationship was supposed to work was watching his mother work everyday, while her boyfriends played house. On Fridays, he watched his mother spend her earnings lavishing her boyfriend with nice clothes and shoes. He was lucky to get a meal. His mother seemed happy since she would never try to leave such a dysfunctional relationship. Her boyfriends gave her attention in exchange for her money. Topped off with the media's glorifying men who objectify women, he was left with a distorted way of viewing women that no one bothered to correct. He learned that women should cater to him and lavish him with whatever his heart desires, no matter how she had to get the money. He soon learns that sex sells, in more ways that one. He encountered a young girl in the mall five years ago, alone and helpless, and decided to see if he could sweet talk her into being his girl. The helpless girl wasted no time sharing her story and he wasted no time filling her head with promises. They walked out of the mall together and began a cycle of love for sex and sex for love.

A husband, a young girl, and a pimp. These are the lost ones. They are lost right here in Atlanta. They are lost in a world where they are seeking love and satisfaction in ways that will never be enough. These are the lost ones who do not know the love of the Father, a love that is sustaining, never failing, a love that covers a multitude of sins. A love and a devotion that redeems broken lives and saves souls. A love that heals scars, mends hearts, and pieces together broken dreams.

These are God's lost one. They are searching for Him and don't even know it. He is waiting for them with open arms. He has equipped His army of believers on Earth to help show them the way, the truth and the life. God has given us enough love to share with that co-worker who is struggling with pornography; with that friend that lives in the troubled home that is desperate for love; with that fatherless young man who needs to know the love of the Father.

These are God's lost ones. And He is waiting for us to help them home.

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