It is 10:00 pm on Monday night and I am sitting in the back seat of the #47 bus, on my way home from outreach. I am listening to the Bible (Romans, chapter 8) on my ipod. Sitting directly in front of me is a ladyboy (the preferred term chosen by transgendered people in Thailand – that is, people who are born biologically male but live lives as females). The person in front of me is wearing a blue mini-tank dress with red cherries all over it. My ipod proclaims in my ear: “Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children.” (Romans 8:20,21) The person in front of me begins putting on powder, lipstick and straightening their ponytail. My bus stop is coming so I put my ipod away in my purse and get ready to get off. The person sitting in front of me gathers their things as well, as I had suspected they would. I follow them off of the bus and down the road a block until turning left on my road. I notice them search the faces of the men sitting nearby and then make a suggestive gesture to a man on a passing motorcycle that slowed down to make eye contact. I was coming to this neighborhood because it is my home. The person from the bus was coming to this neighborhood to look for customers. I don’t understand that verse in Romans. I am sure it wasn’t written with Thai ladyboys in mind, but even so I don’t know what to make of the idea of God being the one to make creation “confused”. Putting aside what you or I may believe about sexual and gender identity, there is no denying the truth that confusion runs rampant on our street. Regardless of whether that person in the mini-dress “should” be referred to as a “he” or a “she” or some other term the English language doesn’t afford us, I am certain that God’s heart hurts to see them walking the streets of my neighborhood right now as I write this post – looking for men who will pay money to use their body. The people who come to our neighborhood to buy and sell sex are displaying the confusion in creation – confusion about what real love is, and isn’t…and how to fill the ache inside of all of our hearts for true intimacy and real relationship. What does “glorious freedom” look like? What does it mean to be “set free from decay”? What is our role in this process? How is God calling me to love and share life with the people on our street, with our neighbors and with friends we haven’t met yet? I have many more questions than answers, but sometimes questions are the most honest place to start.