Saturday, August 13, 2016
Somebody Like Me...
A drunk walked into our little church at 1st Biker's Church in Texarkana, Texas, back when it was in Brother Gary's garage...before we were an actual church.
We had a little kitchen area in the back where everyone congregated before service, getting their coffee (and maybe donuts if someone was gracious enough to bring them...LOL)
The church was growing. Everyone had to wriggle around everyone to get to their seats, or make their way to the bathroom. The drunk made his way through the crowd toward the coffee area, where Brother Gary was coming back from, making his way to the Pulpit. You could smell the alcohol on him as he reached out to shake Brother Gary's hand, as Gary welcomed him.
At that point, a bottle fell out of the man's trenchcoat. It shattered on the floor, the smell of whiskey permeating the room. I know the guy had to feel embarrassed. Brother Gary just looked down at the mess, smiled and said, "Might better clean that up before someone gets hurt."
I remember thinking, "This is definitely my kind of church." All my life, I had looked for a church where everyone else's stench was as nauseating as my own, and the smell of my sin didn't cause them to push me away. Rather, as everyone welcomed that drunk into the congregation, I felt pulled into a family circle that, years later, I am still a part of.
As I tell my friends, we don't necessarily condone the behavior, but we totally understand it.
36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.