This last weekend I had the opportunity to get away for some solitude, study and prayer. The Lord met me. I was grateful.
On my last evening there I drove for 25 minutes down a back country road in to a small town for dinner. As I entered this quaint restaurant on main street I was asked if I’d be willing to eat at the bar, since I was alone. I said, “Sure.”
As I sat down I was greeted by a woman my age behind the bar with a menu. As she served me some iced tea, another woman came in and sat down two stools from me. The woman behind the bar greeted her as well and asked how her night was going.
The bartender rolled her eyes and said, “I grew up Catholic too, but I had a child out of wedlock and the church was done with me.”
The female customer responded, “Yep, that’ll do it.”
I could tell there was some hurt in this bartender’s eyes, but she just tried to push past it.
I sat there hurting for her.
As I picked at my food, I realized I needed to speak up and say something. I waited anxiously for her to make her way back down to my end of the bar. By now the other woman had gotten her drink and walked away. When the bartender finally came back over to put some glasses away, I leaned forward and said quietly , “Do you mind if I share something with you?”.
She put the glasses down and said, “Sure, what’s up?”
“A moment ago you told the lady next to me that you had been kicked out of the church because you had a child outside of marriage.”
“Yeah, I’m not too proud of that”, she said nervously as she picked up a dry glass and began to dry it again.
“I understand. But, here’s what I wanted to say to you. God loves you very much.”
I let those words hang in the air for a moment.
I continued, “His love was so strong for you that He sent His son Jesus to pay the penalty for both of our sins, that anyone that would put their faith in Him would be forgiven….would be saved. God doesn’t want to kick us out for our mistakes he wants to save us from them.”
She was speechless so I jumped back in, “I just didn’t want you leaving here tonight thinking that you’re not loved by God, because you are. There are many Christian churches that will welcome you with open arms. I know mine would.”
She smiled and said, “Thank you. I really need to do that.”
“You absolutely should”, I said knowing our time was wrapping up.
I paid my bill (tipped her well) and left.
Key Take Away: Never turn down an opportunity to correct someone’s misguided view of God’s love for them. You might be the only person that ever tells them the truth.