“It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.”—Ecclesiastes 7:18 (Message)
It’s becoming more and more rare…
But sometimes, I still get challenged on my “Well, you asked” approach…to my testimony. I have mentioned on more than one ocassion that when I heard someone (the name of the person escapes me at present) say, “Tell your own business before someone else exaggerates it”, I gravitated to that quite well. In many ways, it’s now my mantra. Although, on this side of abstinence, I’m learning how to have a *personal life* (my testimony) and a *private life* (a place where only my future Beloved and my Lord should abide). There’s truth and then…there’s talking too much (LOL). I’m pretty sure my future husband must have been praying about that as of late because that “flashing warning sign” has been before me for a few months now (“I hear you, Honey. I’m preparing!”)
Anyway, I’m saying this to say that whenever people challenge me on my candidness, I usually share with them the Scripture that I personally believe freed me up to be that way:
“Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody. Look well to yourself [to your own personality] and to [your] teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”—I Timothy 4:14-16 (AMP)
Do you think that the Liar (John 8:44) hasn’t read this before? Why do you think Satan wants people to be caught up in the guilt and shame that usually surrounds who they used to be…or who they’re trying not to be anymore? Cause he knows that confession brings about healing (CONFESSION DOES THAT-James 5:16). He also knows that sharing your story, in the effort to help others, can produce a profound-and-spiritually-progressive boomerang effect: IT CAN SAVE BOTH YOU *AND* THEM. Simultaneously.
That’s *immediately* what I thought about when I read an article by Charlotte Shane (pen name) on Salon.com last week entitled, “To all the girls who envy my life“. What is she? She’s an escort.
In my first book, “Inside of Me: Lessons of Lust, Love and Redemption”, there is a poem featured entitled, “Why Not the Prostitute?” It basically talks about how much we tend to “non-righteously judge” (John 7:24) what they get paid to do when many of us are doing *the exact same thing*…for free. Again, as a surrogate grandmother of mine used to say, many of us are, “Sitting on a million dollars and giving it away for a Happy Meal”. Hmph. I wonder if sometimes we are harder on the sex industry because we know that when we participate in illicit sex, it’s *just as bad* and often we have even less to show for it (or more, depending on how you look at it. Anyone check out that possible promiscuous oral sex/cancer link article this week? Interesting.). Yeah. Jealousy can manifest in many cryptic ways.
Yet, on this side of forgiveness (cause when you *really believe* you’ve been forgiven, you see yourself and the world *much differently*), this is why when I read Charlotte’s article, I actually felt some deep-rooted respect for her. 1) I know that it’s like to *write your way into revelations* (which is something that I believe she is doing) and 2) I appreciate that she’s *making the time* to not glamorize such a spiritually (and sexually and emotionally and mentally and relationally and legally) compromising profession/lifestyle/mentality.
Here are some excerpts:
“I never disclose my rates and I don’t claim every encounter ends in mind-blowing orgasms — or any orgasm at all. That type of sensationalistic hype is really only good for selling books or selling face time on TV shows, neither of which I’m interested in.”
“While I often write about clients whose company I enjoy, I also share my occasional fear, revulsion, violation and sadness. So why would some women want to duplicate my circumstances?”
“The girls who e-mail me are not lacking internal resources. They’re educated, sensitive, observant, and they have the complex sentences and insightful wording to prove it. But they are living in a world where a woman’s worth is constantly equated with her sex appeal. Is it any wonder that many women might find it compelling to take that equation to its logical end?”
“These women are also often insecure, which I recognize because I was (and am) insecure, too.”
“Practically speaking, envying someone for prostituting is like envying someone for eating at McDonald’s. There are no bars to entry. You don’t have to be beautiful, young or sexually skilled. Those aspects might help, but there’s no entrance exam when it comes to sex work. You don’t have to prove yourself to do it, and doing it proves nothing about you as a sexual being.”
Ain’t nothin’ like the Titus 2 Mama wisdom. You see how Mickey D’s came up? *Again?* Fast food. Fast sex. Both can bring about an instant sense of some level of gratification. Both, as you get healthier, you tend to regret in the long run.
And the thing is, in many ways, I can relate to Charlotte. I was never a prostitute. If I was really honest, I had gigolos, though. Paying for men’s clothes. Paying for men’s rent. Paying for our dates. Paying for abortions for chicks I knew nothing about…until months later. PAYING FOR SEX. So who I am to be RME (y’all do SMH, I do Rolling My Eyes-LOL) at Charlotte as if she’s beneath me? She’s Adonai’s child too and no one is below mercy and grace. If anything, I just wish she would have someone come and show her how to fully break out of that “Matrix” because the Lord’s Word is sure (because the Lord’s Word is him-John 1:1) and the Word tells us all that unless he builds the house, *we labor in vain* (Psalm 127:1). And having sex with random guys for money? Don’t let the porn tapes fool you. THAT IS HARD LABOR.
So what does this have to do with you? You would know better than I would. I’m just flowing with where the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) wanted me to (Luke 12:12). Either way, what I’m hoping it did was “escort you” into your own reality. That if you are living in any kind of sexual compromise and refusing to bring some closure to the matter, because the wages of sin is death (Romans 10:23), as one of my love brothers often says and I have shared before, “It’s gonna end. It’s just not gonna end…well.”
Sex was never supposed to be a void-filler. Only love can do that and God is love (I John 4:16). He’s the best kind of security blanket there is.
Leave those sheets (whether they’re “Charlotte sheets” or “Shellie sheets”)…alone.