BB’s was standing room only Saturday night. So the 6 of us fought our way to the back corner, found a small table and were waiting for another to open up. The table next to ours was occupied by a partially drunk man, his date (I think), and another woman who smoked like a chimney. They were all over 50.
They offered us their table when they were done – they were waiting to check out. In that short 5 minutes we talked about the Rolling Stones, Little Rock, the Fed-Ex Forum, The Pyramid, and London, England.
I liked him. He was friendly, engaging, and fun. I think he liked me too.
And that got me thinking – 8 years ago I would not have liked him. I would have judged him. I would have told you that the biggest problem in his life was alcohol…maybe smoking…maybe listening to the Rolling Stones. Now, only 1 of those 3 really bother me.
(Sorry, just not a big Stones fan. I don’t get ’em. Plus the fact that one of them is going to die on national television during the Super Bowl Halftime show is really disturbing me.)
In fact, 8 years ago, I wouldn’t have even been in a position to talk to him. Last week I went to the Bridge and met some other guys (and girl) that I like. I would not elevate my life as the model of transformation…far from it. I take to long to allow God to work.
But He is working. I’m getting a taste of what it means to minister out of compassion and calling as opposed to guilt and duty. I’m getting a taste of what it means to taste and see that God is good.
As Jesus has demanded a re-evalution of my previously held values over the last few years, He painfully pointed out a shocking absence from them.
And that 5 minute conversation with a half-drunk man on Beale Street reminded me that God’s not through with anybody…even me.