Recently I went to a Mexican Restaurant with a bar here in El Paso. I like to go there every few weeks to play in a free poker tournament. It’s something I enjoy doing and I am intentionally working my way into a community of people we would call “unchurched”. The thing is, I just see them as people who have normal concerns, pain and a longing for happiness in their life.
They are no different than me accept most of them have no relationship with their Creator. One particular person stands out from the crowd. She is an amazingly warm and friendly woman I’ll call Virginia. Virginia is 63 years old. Looking at Virginia you would not think of your typical grandmotherly type. She is completely covered in tattoos, she is not afraid to hug every man in the bar and will talk about absolutely anything with just about anyone. She has befriended me over the past couple months and introduced me to several regulars.
The last time I went to play I got to sit next to Virginia and I started asking about her tattoos. She told me about the next one she wants to get and showed me a necklace that it would be copied from. She asked if I knew what it said or meant. I had no clue.
As she began to explain the symbol for slaves she asked if I knew anything about Dominatrix. Me, a little in shock, said no. She procedes to tell me about her current “Slave” relationship with a retired high ranking military man. She grew up inside the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. She said her mom was a slave to her father and so this lifestyle is really all she has known. She is basically the property of this man and has to submit to pretty much whatever he tells her to do. It is quite fascinating and frightening all at the same time.
Virginia asked if I was freaked about what she was telling me. Inside, I was a little freaked out but I told her I wasn’t. It became crystal clear to me in that moment that I am speaking to someone who has lived in dark captivity her whole life and she doesn’t even know it. Satan has so deceived her since she was a little child that she now believes this is a totally acceptable lifestyle. I silently prayed for her to be released from satan’s bondage and to know what God’s freedom feels like. The conversation died for a while and I just pondered the things she had revealed to me. I felt honored to be given this opportunity to know so much about her and to know that I am able to show her what a relationship with my Savior looks like.
Eventually I asked her what it was like to be inside the Hells Angels. She said all the “myths” that I have heard are not myths at all. It is not a friendly organization. She went on to tell me some more things that were hard to fathom. She also told me that she has had experiences with ghosts or spirits. Early in our conversation I sensed that she was in severe spiritual bondage and the more she shared the more her spiritual captivity became apparent.
In my past I would have written Virginia off as a weirdo and moved on. Now, her situation really bothers me. I truly want to help her find freedom in Christ. The thing I know is I have to show her the power of God. She has to have some desire to be set free. These things will only happen if I show her unconditional love and acceptance.
How do I do that?
Honestly, I don’t have a clear answer yet. At this point all I can do is spend time where she hangs and continually pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our conversations and give me insight. Please join me in praying for the Virginia and the many other hurting people in El Paso.