Thursday, December 07, 2006

A few months ago, I flew to Philadelphia for my brother's wedding. I'd gotten this great deal on Priceline for a hotel there--the Sheraton Society Hill. It was a beautiful place, but the minute we walked in the door, I knew we were in trouble. (Why were you in trouble, you might ask?) Well, let's just say there were an awful lot of people wearing black leather checking in at the front desk. And did I mention the huge metal studs in the leather and the pink hair? How about the bald man in the black leather skirt?

Yes, it was true . . . the hotel I had booked for the weekend was hosting a Gay/Lesbian S & M Convention (and that doesn't stand for sweet and mellow). Let me tell you, I wish I'd had a blindfold handy for my 14 year old daughter. My sister and mother were with me, too, and it was quite an experience for all of us.

In retrospect, I still can't believe that people live this way. Display rooms full of equipment straight from the Middle Ages (no, I didn't go into the den of iniquity--just peeked in as we walked by); whip marks deliberately displayed on their bodies . . . yes, really.

And the Sheraton welcomed every single one of them.

There was a time when this would have been shameful . . . a time when people would have been embarassed to admit to such behavior, instead of openly flaunting it. There was a world (long gone) when people would have been disgusted by this, and said so. There was a time when a hotel like the Sheraton would have shuddered and asked these people to please get dressed.

Our world is changing . . . has changed. We are in Rome once more, where anything goes and crowds of people watch and cheer.

The Bible teaches these are the last times, and everywhere I looked that weekend I was reminded of it. In retrospect, I wish I'd had some tracks or some CDs to give away. I wish I could have said or done something that might have made a difference in someone's life. I regret that now. Yes, I was disgusted and yes, I was appalled, but I wish I could have looked past that for just a few moments. As I look back, I am saddened because every one of those people will spend eternity separated from God--if they continue in their sin. And for what? Whipping and being whipped. It boggles the mind. An eternity without God . . . unimaginable.

If I could do it again, I would do things differently. I would complain about the lack of clothing and the public displays of affection to the front desk, and I would leave tracks all over the lobby (and maybe even in the den of iniquity). I might even walk up to the bald man in the leather skirt and tell him Jesus loves you . . . yes, really.

Jesus came to save the sick . . . the ones who needed saving. These people are truly sick and truly need saving. If there ever is a next time, I hope I do a better job.

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."
Matthew 5:14


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