When I first began attending a small local college, I heard stories of a huge woman who was the product of a sex-change surgery, but as the months passed without so much as a glimpse of her, even though she supposedly spent much time on campus, I began to wonder if she was one of those stories for incoming freshman only. Yet any time I questioned her existence, regardless of to whom I was speaking, I was always assured that she was very real and was simply told, “You’ll know her when you see her.” How true that statement proved to be, for the very first moment my eyes rested upon her face, which happened to be at my first musical recital, I knew it was her. My nerves were already tied up in knots, but now, to see this football player sized woman dressed up in an evening gown, shook the very foundation of all I considered decent. All I remember of that night was praying, “Lord, please get me through this!”
Two weeks later, as I sat at a stop light in the historic downtown area, I was once again privileged to see her—and what a sight she was to behold. This time she was strutting along the sidewalk wearing red-hot mini shorts, a red-hot summer shirt, red-hot knee high socks, red-hot high-heeled shoes, a red-hot hat, and had a red-hot purse draped over her brawny football player shoulder. I was appalled. Who in their right mind would ever wear such a ridiculous outfit?
That’s when that “still, small voice” began speaking to my spirit. My eyes drifted toward the scattered groups of people standing nearby. Some of them gawked at her openly, while others burst into hysterical laughter while pointing without shame. Several men made obviously snide remarks or filthy innuendoes, while others, me included, silently took it all in. I suddenly realized that her presence probably evoked this same kind of reaction no matter where she went. My heart ached. What kind of upbringing would push a person to do such an extreme thing to their own body?
The traffic light turned green and I proceeded slowly forward, although my mind stayed fixed on her. I recalled the laughter centered on her after that first night of recitals and guilt flooded in. Why had I been so cruel? At one time this individual had been somebody’s baby . . . somebody’s son. He had likes, dislikes, dreams, emotions, and feelings the same as the rest of us; but most importantly he was a deeply hurting soul whom Jesus came to save.
Realizing my behavior toward her wasn’t all that different from those who didn’t claim to be Christians, I felt ashamed. Why had I marred my Christian testimony by not loving my neighbor as myself? No, I hadn’t laughed in her presence; yet I was still guilty. I was guilty of judging and criticizing a hurting soul; and most of all, I was guilty of not praying for her salvation.
Yes, the Bible teaches that the lifestyle she was living was wicked, yet Jesus gave his life so that she could be forgiven. And what had I done? I had acted as though she were a freak—a freak too wicked to ever come to Christ. In John chapter eight when the woman caught in the “very act of adultery” was brought to Jesus, He protected her from the religious, self-righteous hypocrites. He forgave her, but then said, “Go and sin no more.” More than anything else . . . hurting people need Jesus.