One of the neatest things happened tonight – actually more than one neat thing. I was out with the group of women that are studying Yancy’s book The Jesus I Never Knew. We had been sitting around discussing the chapter on Revolution of Grace. There were a lot of things we discussed as we wove around what the chapter was saying.
First of all we had to go over what our most special gifts had been at Christmas. All of our best gifts had to do with some very special relationships. I liked V’s story the best. Her mom ended up in hospital with a broken hip and they took her home to Melville on Christmas Day. Since they were all busy with getting her home no arrangements were made for a real Christmas dinner. V just though they would make something a lot simpler to eat since they didn’t feel that they could go through cooking a turkey ahead and taking it with them. And then down came the upstairs neighbor. She told them to come up she had prepared a dinner for all of them. What a gift. Totally unexpected. Sometimes it is a blessing to be in a situation where love is expressed so freely and to be on the receiving end.
So we shared our stories and were getting around to talking about what was in the chapter. We exchanged thoughts on how we had experienced God’s grace and on how we had come to see that we are called on to love the people God puts in our paths – with an unconditional sort of love as shown by Jesus. I think this is what made Jesus so attractive – no judging, no criticizing, just acceptance and love. That kind of love is what drew people to him. They already knew how bad they were – no one had to tell them that.
And then our waiter(the waitress who had started serving us had finished her shift) came over and began to chat. Wondered what book we were reading. Said he had heard of Yancy but had never read any of his books. He told us he had been to Bible School but that now – well he had kind of left the Christian faith and was exploring other things. So we stayed longer and he came by a few times to chat. Told us how he was exploring Buddaism. Told us a little about a bad experience he had at Bible School that turned him off Christianity. I think he was surprised that these women the age of his parents didn’t get all shocked when he told us about his searching in other religions. It was cool talking to him. A searcher. What he doesn’t know is that God works in strange ways and that prayer is a powerful tool. I think we may try to stay in touch. We know some guys his age that he may just relate to.