Yeah, that's right. The day of love this year wasn't celebrated on a romantic date with my wife. Instead, we went to all five strip clubs in our wonderful city of Grand Rapids. I didn't actually go inside any clubs, but Heidi did. See, we came up with the idea to give flowers to all of the exotic dancers in town on Valentine's Day.
I've had a few different jobs over the past few years, and some of those jobs involved managing apartment complexes. You meet a lot of different types of people when you work in the apartment business, and I had the privelage of meeting no less than three strippers throughout my time in the apartment biz. Each one was very different. There were two that were lesbians and fit the party mentality pretty well. They were constantly getting high and wasted. They would wear clothes that you might expect a stripper to wear...I remember one of them had a shirt that said, "I stop traffic." The other one that I knew didn't really like people to know what she did. She had two children, she was soft spoken, and pretended like she had it all together. Once I was talking to her, though, and you could see this look in her eyes that said she wished she could do something else, but didn't know how to make the money she would need to in order to provide for her children. I also knew a few of the servers at one of the strip clubs here in town. They were very nice girls, and when they found out I had never been in a strip club, they were blown away. To my surprise, they didn't seem to think I was a prude, but they seemed to have more respect for me. So, all of this led me to do an outreach to the strippers of Grand Rapids.
A team of seven women from our church came together, we travelled to all of the strip clubs in GR, and went inside to give them flowers. When the night was over, we had about 20-30 roses left over, so we stopped by Mel Trotter to give the rest to the women in the homeless shelter and rehab program. I think it was good for the ladies from our church to get outside of their comfort zones and go into a place that is dark. On that note, it's good for us as Christians to go places where we are pushed out of comfort and into the unknown...where we have to rely on God as opposed to choosing to when it's convenient. It's good to go to the people that the Church is currently not reaching...to go to the place where they are at...to show Christ's love...to reach out. The Gospel of Christ reaches into the depths of our hearts, no matter where we stand.
So, five strip clubs, one homeless shelter/rehab clinic, and 60 roses later, we all went our seperate ways having more compassion for those who are not like us.
Oh, and on Friday I took my wife to Via Maria in Holland to give her the Valentine's Day she deserved.