How do we forgive the perpetrator?
It's 8:00 on a Wednesday night, and I head down the main street in the Red Light District of Amsterdam with a friend.
On my right, girls lean against doors under the red overhead light in their black and neon lingerie, a blasé look on their faces.
We walk past couples, boys, men on their own, men in herds. I see a guy chatting with a prostitute; his friend eggs him on, a playful push for courage and "Go on, mate!"
We stop and chat with two Irishmen.
“Have you ever been with a prostitute?”
These guys are up for being honest, and we are just curious:
“Have you ever thought about the girls’ side of it?”
“Can't say I have.”
“Have you ever thought about how they feel, how they ended up there?”
“Can't be that bad. They obviously make loads of money.”
Afterwards, I couldn’t forget the encounter. I was overwhelmed by the depravity of man. A friend told me she felt the same way after watching the film 12 Years a Slave. It's this feeling of being surrounded by people who are thinking only of themselves.
As I felt a sort of hatred swelling up inside me, I finally understood: It can only be by Christ working completely in and through us that we can love not only the horrible, “depraved” men, but also anyone at all.
Only by Christ can we be saved from our sin.
Only by Christ will they turn from their evil ways.
And only by Christ can I finally look at them through His eyes of love.
Katie spent a year in the Middle East doing photography and is currently living in the UK working with OM. She loves people and the interactions that street photography allows her to have with them, as well as the many opportunities it gives her to share Jesus.