Last night I was reading my Bible in row 10 seat A as I flew from Atlanta to Denver after a video shoot. A flight attendant saw what I was reading and proclaimed loudly, “I LOVE that book! My Daddy wrote that book!” I responded, “He’s my Daddy too!” We both smiled broadly the way two believers who meet each other for the first time often do.
After a few moments I decided to get up and go talk to her in the galley. Grabbing a Dare 2 Share Field Guide from my backpack crammed under the seat in front of me I made my way to the back of the plane. She had just settled into her jump seat and was reading a magazine. I introduced myself to her and said, “Here’s another book for you. This one is a field guide to sharing your faith.”
Her eyes immediately lit up. She told me that it would be helpful to her as she ministered to prostitutes on the streets of Atlanta. That sentence caught me off guard. I was hooked and she could see that I wanted to hear more. She introduced herself to me as Pastor Donna and then told me her story. She herself had been a prostitute for many years. She, like many prostitutes, had become a drug addict in the process. At one point in her life she was incarcerated in a federal prison for ten years on drug charges. But it was in that prison that God touched her heart and she put her trust in Jesus.
She said that it was there that God transformed her. He replaced her desire for drugs with a passion for him. He erased her past and gave her a new heart and a new future. When she was released from prison she was a new person.
Pastor Donna started a ministry in the gritty streets of Atlanta for prostitutes. From 10pm to 4am she wanders the streets of Atlanta looking for prostitutes to engage. She offers them hope, an exit strategy and, most importantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ. To fund her holy habit she became a flight attendant.
Pastor Donna’s eyes lit up when she described her outreach to these girls. Her eyes teared up when she described her own salvation experience, that God could save even someone like her. My eyes teared up too.
Although she was serving coffee, soda and water on the airplane last night, she was serving hope as the main course. And she wasn’t just serving it on the plane, she was serving it in the trenches.
When I looked into Donna’s eyes I saw the woman at the well after her conversion. I saw a “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” kind of spirit. I saw the eyes of Jesus who looked with utter and absolute compassion on those who were hurting the most. I saw the courage of an apostle to go to the most dangerous place to rescue the most hurting people. I saw Mary Magdelene weeping at the feet of Jesus washing his feet with her tears. I saw all of this in the galley of a United flight from Denver to Atlanta.
Pastor Donna is living THE Cause with dirt and grit under her fingernails. She is shining the light while she flies, making the friendly skies friendlier. But she’s also shining the light in the darkest parts of her city. While most Christians are sleeping she is attacking the devil and setting his captives free.
May her tribe increase.
By the way, how are you living THE Cause, both at work and in your free time? Let’s learn from Pastor Donna and step it up.