A stripper pole and a cross

This week I was in Vegas for work. We stayed at a Hotel with a casino (I’m pretty sure that all hotels in Vegas have casinos). After a very long day of walking I decided to do one of my favorite things while vacationing…. people watch. If you love to people watch as much as I do then you MUST go to Vegas! Wow!

The Mezzanine level of the hotel overlooked the casino floor and was dotted with posh couches, the perfect place to rest my feet and indulge my eyes. As I scanned the casino floor lights and sound assaulted me. People were everywhere! From every walk of life. It was chaos.

As I continued to scan the room my eyes landed on something I wasn’t expecting… a dancer and a stripper pole. I immediately averted my eyes, but then I heard a gentle whisper, “Look at her”.

I assure you; I had no desire to look at the girl in the sequined hot pants and push-up bra hanging from a pole. But sure enough I heard it again, “Look at her”.

“God, why on earth would you want me to look at her?”

“Because I love her. Because I think she’s beautiful. I love her just like I love you.”

Just like me. He loves her just like me.

And I tell you, I sat in that casino and cried. Cried for a girl who doesn’t know that someone loves her so much that He chose to be beaten, chose to be mocked and scorned, chose to hang on a bloody cross and die so that she might live.

As I cried for her with the realization of how much the Father wants to cover her with righteousness I noticed others… watching her. A young family man at the slots stealing glances. College co-eds whistling and clapping. A middle aged drunk sloshing his drink all over himself as he glared, glassy eyed.

And I thought God must be mad at them, lusting after his daughter like that. But then I realized… He loves them too. He loves them just like He loves me. Even though they’re lost and broken, searching for something to satisfy them, oblivious to their own depravity.

Jesus bled for them too.

It was midnight. The girl’s shift at the pole was over. I wanted so desperately to talk to her. To tell her about the man who loved her enough to die for her. I tried to find her, to follow her, but she disappeared. Another girl took her place. A new group of college co-eds, drunks, and dads moved closer to the bar. The music continued to play. The moment passed.

But I will always remember that moment, where a stripper pole and a cross met in my heart.

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