The hardest part of travel for me is being away from my girls. While I was excited to see some friends from the other end of the country and to take a look at all kinds of outdoor and survival gear, even before I went to bed the first night in my hotel, I was already looking forward to seeing Jenny and Stella again.
One thing that made it even more challenging to be away from Jenny and Stella was the way women are treated in Las Vegas. When you walk down the streets, you see what look like newspaper boxes, but in reality they are stacks upon stacks of small magazines offering you the woman of your choice. As you stroll to the convention center, men and women stand on the sidewalks offering you business-sized cards telling you how to have women delivered directly to your home or hotel room. Small pick-up trucks drive by with photos on scantily-clad women on them - again advertising young women as" available".
It's one thing to talk about men who view women in magazines or on the Internet and saying that this is treating women as merely objects and not as human beings. I whole-heartedly agree - it is. But Las Vegas took this commodification of women to an entirely new level. Here are the questions that came to my mind as I grieved this reality:
1. What does it take to be a woman who ends up thinking that selling one's own body is not only an option but possibly a good option? How broken must this kind of woman's self-image be? Where did her family or her community or her church or her husband fall short in telling her that she is beautiful and made in God's image?
2. What does it take to be a young woman standing on the sidewalk handing out the escort service's advertising to passers-by? How does one reach the point where she thinks that promoting the sale of her fellow females is justifiable?
3. What must it be like to be the mayor of Las Vegas? The darkness that pervades this town is what makes it tick, it is its very life-blood. How does one go home at night thinking that you are a "public servant" when your political machine promotes what it does?
As I walked to the convention center each morning, I prayed for the women who were caught up in this sick and self-destructive industry. I prayed for the local churches that they would be a beacon of light in a dark city. I cannot express how thankful I am to have my wife and daughter in my life and also how this trip re-emphasized my call to guide and protect my family in the ways of God.