His words were terse and, presumably, direct in nature. The befuddled look on his face a clear sign of misunderstanding, he took the shrugs of his would-be sexual partners personally and with more than slight indignation.
I had hopped the U-line in Berlin on my way back to the YWAM base. On this particular Saturday morning I was noticing that the usual throngs of young underdressed girls were also adorned with some form of glitter on their faces.
After asking a few questions of some of my older co-passengers, I found out that that the annual “Carnival of Cultures” was taking place in Berlin this particular weekend. I would later find out that this event is held yearly to celebrate the “diversity of cultures” that are on display in Berlin. How fitting that it was this festival that brought this brief drama into view.
The man was Middle-Eastern. The young girls were decidedly Western and quite young. I tried to listen and understand as I looked on, ready to intervene if needed. I could not understand what either side was saying. However, body language is universal. And as he stepped back off the train, jilted as he was, I couldn’t help but feel that I had been treated to a story within a story.
As the train moved on, the young ladies resumed their buoyant chat, as if nothing had happened. I don’t know if it was cultural naiveté or calloused hearts that kept them from even caring about the exchange, but I was left to wonder.
How will a society that has such conservative dress codes and misogynistic attitudes ever be able to integrate into the hedonistic culture of a place like Berlin? How can the authorities control a population that grew up being taught that women with makeup on in public view are harlots in a city where prostitution is legal and promoted?
On one side, we see the abuse of women in Islamic countries. This is well documented. On the other side, we have the exploitation of women by the West. Encouraged by their culture to be provocative as a rule, the girls in this story are already victims. Coming out of a male-dominated society, this young man has been cultivated to be an abuser.
What madness is the Berlin of 2016! We need prayer as we try and bring the love of Jesus to both sides of this dire situation.