A Long and Winding Road
The journey of tonight into the adult entertainment industry of Portland began decades ago….it began in a dimly lit club in Columbus, Ohio. It began with a young woman, seeking the approval of her love, seeking money, seeking acceptance. A young woman who shyly stepped onto a stage and wiggled out of her dress…and was then engulfed in a world of money and power.
That young woman left the industry but the industry lived on in her heart. A feeling of being “less than” invaded her soul. She worried that if ever her secret came out, people in her social circle would look at her differently. Because exotic dancers, strippers, pole girls, they just aren’t the same as everyone else. Or so she felt others believed.
Isn’t that what society says? Good moms and good wives may fantasize about dancing…they might even take a pole dancing exercise class. But they don’t ever, ever, “sell their souls” for a few dollars stuck into their hands in a dark, dank club. And so the secret was buried, hidden away where it was safe. Her spouse knew, but no one else could know that inside the mom who pretended to be able to dance so her kids wouldn’t ever have any idea, lived a girl who had used every curve of her body to lure men to pay her well.
Then one night, while ministering to the late night crowd, she found herself right in front of a gentleman’s club, hugging a woman in a wheelchair who sobbed because her husband was in the club, being fawned over by women in the profession. The woman’s heart broke for her. It broke for the girls in the club whose jobs are physically demanding with long hours and many clients who are less than kind. It broke for the men looking for perfection that doesn’t exist, and for love they could never find in that place.
And so, that journey led her back–back into the dressing room of the place she swore she would never tell anyone about. Back to let the women in the industry know that their profession doesn’t matter. They are valued. They are loved. They are of so much worth and yes, that Jesus does love strippers. He doesn’t care about your job.
For you see, the most supposedly “upright citizen,” the Intel employee, the lawyer, the teacher, they all have dark secrets. And though they may believe otherwise, their value comes not from their jobs. Jesus really doesn’t care about their jobs. He cares about them because he created them. And he feels exactly the same about those in the adult industry. It’s not about your job. It’s about YOU. The you who He created perfectly, and for whom He stretched out his arms to die. He loves you. You may know that already. But in case there are some in the clubs who don’t get to hear it enough, we want to express it by giving, not by taking.
So from Looking Kool to the Runway, Casa Diablo and Xpose…the road has been a winding one. And that road returns us to the beginning. Into familiar surroundings. To say: We love you.