or My Night with Three Haitian Whores
This story, shared by Tony Compolo via my friend Mark Hollingsworth, reminds me not to lose heart because I can't do more. To remember that there is great beauty and power in each of us giving what we can.
One time when I was in Haiti, I checked into a modern hotel in the afternoon before I was to leave. There’s only one Holiday Inn in that wreck of a country, and I stay overnight there to shower, shave, and get cleaned up so I’m fit for the plane ride home in the morning.
After I’d gone down the block to get some dinner as I returned to the hotel entrance, 3 little girls intercepted me. I call them girls, because they couldn’t have been more than 12 or 13. They had painted some lipstick on and were trying to look sexy. But it’s hard to look sexy when you’re 13 and hungry.
The one in the middle boldly said “Mister, for $10 dollars I’ll do anything you want me to all night long.”
And I cringed.
I looked at the one next to her and I said, “How about you…can I have you for $10?”
She said “Oui.”
I asked the third, “What about you?”
The third girl said in her broken English , “Yes, you can have me for $10, too.”
I said “I’ve got $30…I want all three of you all night long. I’m in room 210, and I want you up there in a half hour.”
Rushing up to the room, I called the concierge desk and asked “I notice that you have videos for rent for the VCR’s in the room, right? Send up every Disney video that you have that is translated into Creole.” Then I called room service: “I want 4 huge dishes of chocolate ice cream. Please cover them with nuts, strawberry sauce, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and cherries on top of each one. Make them big and beautiful. And I would like them up here in exactly a half hour.”
Right on time the little ladies knocked timidly on my door, and I ushered them in, where they sat down frightened on the edge of the bed. Shortly thereafter was another knock on the door and in came the videos and the ice cream…and these girls sat there wide-eyed, but still having no idea what was happening. So I put on Finding Nemo, and we ate the ice cream, and we started to laugh and joke and giggle, prompted by these strange images on the screen. When one was video was done, we’d start another. I ordered up a sandwich plates and lemonades at 11 o’clock. And we ate and watched cartoons and laughed some more.
By 2 AM, each of them had fallen asleep on the bed. As I sat there on the chair looking across at those 3 lovely, innocent whores, I thought “Greater works shall you do because I go unto my Father.”
I didn’t solve their problem. The next day they would be out on the streets again selling their little bodies. There would always be filthy johns around waiting to buy them. I didn’t know enough Creole to tell them about Jesus, or to lead them to Him. Everything was the same…nothing had changed.
Except this: for one night…just for one night, they were allowed to be little girls again.
And if you say “Big deal…what did it matter?” you don’t understand what Jesus was talking about when He essentially said “Do you think walking on water is something? Do you think feeding 5,000 was something? It’s nothing compared to the expression of love in simple, and almost unnoticeable ways that you can do in my name.”
Let's go and do likewise.
Scott McCracken, a friend , left this insightful comment on Facebook, which I'd like to share with those who read this blog also: " Thanks for sharing that story, My opinion is there is very little by Anthony Campolo that is not worth sharing. Almost everything he says is a jewel from the Lord. The other benefit to what he did is SAVE THEM from what could have happened to them on that one night. And who knows, he may very well have even saved their lives, and planted a seed that will bear more obvious fruit later. The other thing he did was show us how "saving our own reputations" is so unimportant when we are truly doing the right thing."