“There is no peace, saith the Lord unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22
“There’s a customer asking for you.” Layla pokes her head into my locker. This strikes me as odd; she wasn’t exactly the kind of girl who went out of her way–for anybody.
“Thanks.” Shocked but happy, I quickly pull my garter on.
“No problem. It came from the goodness of my heart.” She flashes her cleavage in my face. A ten-dollar bill is tucked neatly in the middle. We walk through the backstage together.
“He’s sitting to the left of the stage.” Layla points through the curtain at a middle aged grey haired man.
“I see he’s a good tipper. Be careful, I just might start to fall in love…” She winks at the man.
The customer’s eyes are glued to the doorway, anxious for my arrival. My heart sinks a little. I can’t put my finger on it, but something about him makes me uneasy.
“What’s the matter? Not good enough for the picky princess?” Noticing my hesitation, she blows him a kiss.
I push my way through the side curtain. Layla was grating on my last nerve. No matter how annoying that customer may be, at least I was getting paid to deal with him.
“You called for me?” I smile as I approach his table.
“Oh, yes. Remember me from last week?” He nervously smiles.
“Of course. How can I forget the man who insisted that I keep my gown on? I wasn’t sure if I should be impressed or insulted.” The nightclub lights flicker off his potbelly. He was definitely outside of his element. Despite my sequined attire, so was I.
“Sit down, get comfortable.” Carefully pulling out his well-stocked money clip, he pulls out two hundreds and slips them into my garter.
Grabbing the chair next to him, I sit down and relax a bit. At least I didn’t have to worry about hustling the floor to earn back my house fee.
The DJ starts spinning a fresh song. Like a well-trained puppy, I quickly get up and start unzipping the back of my gown.
“No, please, don’t.” The stranger looks impishly down at the floor.
Feeling awkward, I re-zip my dress and sit back down again.
“I’m not really sure what you want me to do.” I held my breath, kind-of expecting what was coming next…there wan’t such a thing as easy money.
“I’d rather just get to know you.” He looks into my eyes; loneliness etched all over the lines his face.
“How about you tell me all about you.” I’m trying to convince him with the stiff smile plastered on my face. But frankly, his story was the last thing in the world I was actually interested in hearing. It was times like these that made me rethink my commitment to remain sober.
The conversation is heavily one-sided. But, that’s no matter to me; as long as he’s the one doing the sharing. The night slowly lumbers on, but my garter is gaining in fullness and that’s just enough to keep me happy. I wasn’t being paid the big bucks to have a good time; just to convince lonely strangers like this that I was.
“Before I go, I need to know something.” He leans forward earnestly.
I nod for him to expound, my interest slightly piqued.
“I’m a good person, right?” He questions me with such desperation I feel as if his very personhood depended on my answer.
A wave of nausea careens over my body. My gut reaction of when I first met him returns. I carefully study his face. Beneath his grey hair and desperate eyes, I see a man hiding a very dark secret.
In Isaiah 48:22 we are told that the sins of the wicked will rob them of their very own peace of mind.
No matter what that man was willing to pay a stranger to say, the truth was: every person is accountable to God. God’s opinion is the only one that actually matters.
Are you seeking approval from mere humans when you should be seeking the approval of the Almighty Himself?
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I have done many things that I am ashamed to admit—even in prayer. But, I ask for the boldness I need to lay it all out on the table to you.
Lord, you said in your word that if we confess our sins, you would be faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I admit that I have been feeling far from you lately.
I know this is not because you have moved away from me. I have gotten lazy in my confessions of sins. Lord, help me to remember that every new day can have a fresh start. I only need to bring my sins to the altar and ask that you wash me clean again.
Help me to let go of the importance I give to the opinions of others. In reality, they are just men; flawed humans, much like myself.
You are the only one who has the power to forgive me and to cleanse me. So, your approval is the only one that matters.
When you look at me, I want you to see someone who makes you smile, Lord. Help me to do everyday until you take me home. In Jesus’ precious name, thank you for another new beginning, Amen.”
Today’s Christian daily devotional
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: Isaiah 48:22
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Author: Julia Shalom Jordan