Prostitute Party

Popular Christian professor, author, and speaker Tony Campolo once threw an unusual late night party that well illustrates this point. (While this really happened, he changed the names, setting, and a little of the dialogue.) Campolo flew from the States to Hawaii and found his internal time clock all out of whack. So at 3:30 AM he wandered the streets of Honolulu looking for a place to eat. Finding a sleazy, greasy diner still open, he sat down and ordered a cup of coffee and a donut. About that time, eight or nine prostitutes came in and sat down on either side of him. Campolo suddenly felt an urge to make his exit but decided to stay when he overheard their conversation. A prostitute named Agnes said that she would be thirty-nine the next day. Her ?friend? replied, ?So what do you want from me? A birthday party? What do you want? Ya want me to get you a cake and sing ?Happy Birthday??? Agnes chided her for being so cruel and ends by saying, ?I?ve never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?? After hearing that, Campolo hung around till the women left. Then he asked Harry, the greasy man behind the counter, about them. Upon finding that they came in every night, he suggested that they throw a party for Agnes. Harry loved the idea and called his wife out of the back room to share it with her. She said, ?That?s wonderful! You know Agnes is one of those people who is really nice and kind, and nobody ever does anything nice and kind for her." So early the next morning they did everything up right. Harry baked the cake and Campolo decorated the entire diner, complete with crepe-paper decorations and a sign that read, ?Happy Birthday, Agnes!? Somehow, the word must have gotten out about the party, because by 3:15 AM Campolo found himself in a restaurant packed with prostitutes! When Agnes arrived at 3:30 sharp, they screamed in unison, ?Happy Birthday!? Agnes was so stunned that she could hardly stand up. And when the cake arrived with all the candles lit and the accompanying birthday song that she had probably never heard sung in her honor, she began to weep. She couldn?t bring herself to cut the cake, hesitantly asking if anyone would mind if she just kept it for awhile. Campolo no doubt stunned everyone by offering to lead in a prayer. Afterwards, Harry said, ?Hey! You never told me you were a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to?? He responded, ?I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for whores at 3:30 in the morning.? After a pause, Harry almost sneered his answer. ?No you don?t. There?s no church like that. If there was, I?d join it. I?d join a church like that!?(Condensed from Tony Campolo, The Kingdom of God is a Party, Word Publishing, 1990, pp. 3-9. Used by permission.)

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