AMSTERDAM RLD

She was on the second floor, not one of the lucky ones on the street-level. I could see smudges on the window left behind from her attempts to capture the attention of men below. I could hear her knocking on the glass. I could see her dancing in the window. But I couldn’t see her eyes because she wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I stood and watched this particular woman for quite some time. I think there was something about the fact she wasn’t down with the others. She was a little more isolated and the men didn’t seem to respond to her attempts to lure them upstairs. She intrigued me because she had to work harder than the rest.

She was like hundreds of other women we saw. They were provocatively posed behind glass doors. Some looking more interested in this whole gig than others, but all working hard to get a client.

Thousands of men were carelessly “window shopping” for a woman to pleasure them. There were men of all ages, shapes, sizes, and races. You could tell the majority were nervous, slightly unsure, but ready to give it a whirl as soon as they found the perfect woman.

Live porn shows, sex shops, “coffee shops” (aka weed cafes), bars, and strip clubs - everything imaginable lined these streets. Everything one would need to fill a desire or to make he or she brave enough to act on it was in sight.

And then there were the churches.

Nestled in the heart of the red light district, closed. Now a tourist attraction or some sort of business, but the beautiful, old buildings were in sight and a reminder of what once was. These beautiful, old buildings are in the women’s direct line of sight. It’s what they see when they look out their glass doors – a closed church. A beautiful, old building representing what once was.

I want to know where the people went? Where did the church go? Why did they abandon an area like this?

As we walked through the narrow streets, I could only utter “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” for the longest time. These women looked like my friends and people I know, which was a little shocking. As we walked by and time passed, I began to find the words to speak to God. I also took my hand and ran it across their doors because even if they wouldn’t look at me, I wanted them to know I saw them.

They were so beautiful and I wanted nothing more than to cup their face in my hands and tell them how much they’re worth. I wanted to speak life and value over their hearts and their souls. I knew I couldn’t so I asked God to do that as we walked by. I don’t know their stories. I’m not sure if they are there by force or by choice, but I know one thing: they were created for more.  

These women of the night were created to be women of The Light.

I’d love to go back to this quaint little city where beauty abounds and the darkness overshadows. I know Jesus is there. He’s working. He’s moving. He’s redeeming. He’s restoring. I want to partner with Him in it all.  

I can’t get this city off my heart. I can’t get these beautiful women out of my mind - especially the one on the second floor who was working harder than the rest. So, I’m praying and waiting with a longing heart and curious mind, asking God to give me direction and open doors to be involved. 

They need to know how valuable they are. They have to know.