Yesterday (Saturday 22, 2012) I got to spend much of the day with famed ex-porn star turned Christian evangelist and speaker Shelley Lubben at the XO Ball in San Francisco. Shelley is completely honest, candid, and forthright. Her exuberant enthusiasm for the Lord could be seen as outrageous by some, but I think the world has seen enough of sour and glum-looking Christians. She is fearless and not afraid to reveal the real person behind the glamorous movie image. Many love her for this openness, an equal amount unfairly mock her.
I arrived at the event a little early, and first got to know some of her dedicated volunteers: the beautiful Veronica and her husband, the lovely and talented Heather, Scott, and Ricky. They all shined bright with the light of Christ in an atmosphere of darkness and confusion. Before I even met her, I already knew Shelley must be a great lover of Jesus just from observing the company that she keeps.
When Shelley did arrive, with the perpetually pretty Jennah, her joy and enthusiasm, even in the midst of fighting an illness, immediately uplifted everyone she came in contact with. As impressed as I was with her, I was equally inspired by her humble husband Garrett. He is a very tall man, with a big heart. He has a quiet and certain strength that I always admired, though rarely saw in other men. He doesn’t have to flex, he just is. He is a modern model of Christian masculinity. His steady thoughtfulness is a beautiful counterbalance to her boundless energy.
I found Shelley to be thoroughly courageous, but also vulnerable. During the course of the day, I quickly discovered that one of her favorite expressions goes something like this: people have many layers, such as an onion, and those layers have to be peeled back. Just as those she wishes to help, I think Shelley is also equally complex, but she hides nothing and trusts completely. This leaves her open for big rewards, but also equally big losses. She takes that chance, and she doesn’t give up. I like that.