"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." -2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV)
After several weeks of hearing and facing evil, this verse was exactly what I needed to read this morning. The past few weeks at Cafe Neustart, I have heard prostituted women talk crudely about God and the Bible; heard them share tid-bits of their relationships with customers, seemingly proud of their ability to draw men in to sexual activities; and have heard women share of their connections with and pursuit of various "energies" and "spirits". Recently, we also found out that the young woman who expressed her hatred toward God and the Bible was a part of a Satanic cult in Poland, her country of origin.
As I sit with these women in conversation and hear these various lies and evils, my soul and spirit are stirred. During conversation, I pray and pray and pray and listen to the Holy Spirit, asking Him what truth I should share, what questions I can ask to point her to Him, what I should do. But oftentimes, I walk away from such conversations completely broken and feeling defeated....my soul weeping and crying out that each woman may know Jesus and the truth found in him. I begin to question myself---I begin thinking that their delving into these evils is because of me....that I am not doing enough, not being persistent enough in combatting their words with truth, for example. But oh...what sweet assurance we have....God is the one who grants repentance that may lead to a knowledge of the truth. Yes, these women are in the snare of the devil, and it is so hard to watch that first hand---like the neck of a young antelope trapped in the jaws of a lion...---but my part, our part, is to not be quarrelsome, but kind, to teach, to be patient, to ENDURE EVIL, and to correct with gentleness. Endure evil...there is a time that we are called to fight against evil, but what we must realize is that fighting evil also means patiently enduring it, not conforming to it and keeping ourselves pure, sharing the truth (our sword), and fighting on our knees in prayer, calling on the ONLY One who can reach and change their hearts.
***Photo is from A21's "Walk for Freedom", hosted in Berlin and various cities around the world on October 18th, that I and other members of Neustart were participants of. Marching silently for freedom for women who are trapped in the evils of human-trafficking.***