These photos were taken after a party, the photographer felt slightly ashamed that he might be exploiting the woman in her destituteness but the starkness of her plight won out. As he was taking the pictures, her pimps arrived and he had to hightail it inside.
The lurid nature of these pics struck me. If you have ever been involved in working with the homeless, prostitutes or seen the gutter up close and personal...this image isn't new to you. It's a horror that is hard to turn away from...and one that too many of us never see enough of. We live lives that have become desensitized or disconnected from the suffering, addicted, abused, broken and used up. We need some fresh reminders that sin is a viscous cancer...it rapes, erases, steals, demands, destroys, burns up, burns out and steals souls. We need to be present in the stench, depravity, shock and grittiness of lives sacrificed on the altars of depravity. The idols of devilry still drip with crimson and blackened blood...ancient possessions that demand the slow butchering of young and old lives.
We live in a neighborhood where prostitution takes place...just yesterday, I passed a hooker and innocently glanced out my window in turning and caught eyes with the woman; she gave me one of those smiles...the kind that say I am open for business. It's fairly obvious around here...I saw another lady working the beat today...the fake shopping bags, the lingering at all the bus stops, acting like they are waiting for the bus. But the look of hard living is painfully etched in their meth drained faces. Addiction is a cruel master.
Spirit propelled and infused Christian mission is a redemptive war of King Josiah proportions...tearing down the altars in men and women's hearts, uprooting aged old temples of satanic servitude. Digging up the bones of past priests of pleasure and burning them to dust. (2 Kings 23:1-28; 2 Chronicles 34:29-35:19).
The horror though of it all, is that it's in the safe and serene places of American prosperity that we end up looking at pictures of realities that we never will attempt to engage. We grow content to let someone else rise, tear down and burn up...we've not "Found the Book" and been struck deep into the numbing core or our calloused souls. We've not ripped our garments in repentance and purged the temple of our own idolatrous hearts. Instead...we drive by, roll up the window, turn the page, click the mouse....ignoring the cries in our streets and neighborhoods.
We continue living the illusion that there are not young women laying in such vulnerable places...just center pieces for someone's voyeuristic blogish moralisms...