As we journey to the cross during the season of Lent, I remain convicted by the realities of my own sinfulness, ignorance, arrogance and irreverence. As much as I like to think I offer grace and allow people leave room for God in the story, I don’t always. As I’ve read Meditations on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I reminded of what grace truly is – it’s sweet but salty, spicy but mild and sometimes a little hard to taste.
For a few months now, I have worked to help make sure students get home for a local bar versus them drunk driving, while it is an interesting way to spend my Thursday nights, I will admit that I have experienced grace, laughter, faithfulness and spend the gospel at work in a different light. Some would say my ministry to the drunk is foolish and may be it is, but I do know that I’ve met people that I wouldn’t have met any other way.
Here are a few stories for this past Thursday:
I saw a student I hadn’t seen in a while (I took two weeks off) he was so upset that he hadn’t seen me and he had called me to see where I was one Thursday night. He’s a great guy and likes to have a good time on Thursday nights, but is always respectful and pleasant. I can’t say that I’m making a difference in his life but I’m grateful that I’m part of his journey and that he confides much in me every week.
A 56 year old woman who had probably had several beers to many came set in the van and began talking to us, she told us how she had been an alcoholic her whole life and was at the war with her son and girlfriend. She was deeply troubled and wanted us to pray for her – we did – as she held my hand she squeezed for dear life, she held onto every word that was being said. She ended her time with us by asking for prayer that she would get help. I’m praying for her and I hope you will pray for her as well.
These sacred, hopeful, grace-filled stories have made me reexamine my faithfulness to God and understand what grace really is; while I could sit outside of the bar every week and make judgments about the college students who crowd in, I reminded of my own journey and how the whispers of God came from people I didn’t know. Here’s to hoping that we can hear Gods whispers for ourselves and share the things he whispers to us!
Listen for the still quiet voice!