Last weekend my husband and I went out to celebrate our anniversary while on a double date with friends as they celebrated a birthday. We had plans to take the ferry across and eat at one of the restaurants along the harbor side. It had been a beautiful day and taking the ferry across was a great way to start the evening.
After walking around for a bit we chose a nice looking pub style restaurant that had a wide variety menu. As we walked in though, I was surprised to see the crowd. It wasn’t the numbers that caught my eye, it was the noise and the drunken behavior that was so very evident. There were tables banging their glasses up and down for the waitress to bring them another drink, people yelling through the crowd, alcohol was everywhere and it was total chaos.
Now I am not someone who says you cannot drink, and I myself will have a few drinks every now and then but not in excess. The restaurant that night was like a night club and it was only 6:00. It made me sad.
As I turned to leave I realized that there was no part of me that would desire to live that way. I thought about my four beautiful, healthy children and my amazing husband and there was nothing that would make me trade what I have so I could go bang some glasses around yelling at a waitress for more drinks. Yet, here were at least a hundred people doing just that. A crowd full of empty hearts because they don’t realize what they are missing.
God saved my marriage, he restored my children’s health and he has blessed us in many ways. I have leaned on Jesus through grief, joy and trouble and he has always seen me through.
In Matthew 9 it says this:
9As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax booth. “Follow Me,” He told him, and Matthew got up and followed Him.
10Later, as Jesus was dining at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’a For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus would have been in that bar loving those people. He would have went over to the table banging their glass and said, “You want a good drink? I’ve got something that will give you a buzz far beyond what your waitress can bring you.”
Jesus would have sat outside with the homeless person who’s sign read ‘Too honest to steal.’ He would have told him that he could do great things with his life.
In fact as I think more and more about the evening, I realize Jesus would have done a lot of things differently than I did. I had a few opportunities that night to show people Jesus and I didn’t. It takes courage to walk up to strangers and tell them you have something they need. I want to have that kind of courage. I want to be like Jesus!