Jesus Showed Up at a Beer Party

5 07 2020

The one thing I can say about being a Christian is that if you’re willing to be used by theRock _n Lord, you just never know what you’ll be called on to do. There are times I wondered if God chose the right guy for the task at hand. One of those moments came late last year.

A dear friend who was very close to me in my youthful days passed away several months back. During his last two years before that sad moment, we spoke often on the phone and even worked it out to get together on several occasions even though there was a good distance between us. The times of reuniting with this dear man were good as we shared stories of the things we did as kids and where life had taken us now. There were times we laughed, cried, and just enjoyed being in each other’s company, just like it was when we were young. But the one thing that weighed heavily on my heart was the knowledge that his time on earth was drawing short. Two matters were in the forefront of my mind; the first was even though we had many years where we didn’t see each other, I stilled loved this man like a brother. And the second, because I was a Christian I felt if I didn’t share with him what Christ had done for me, and what He could do for him, then I didn’t love him enough. You see I’m a not a preachy type Believer who looks to push my faith and belief off on others every chance I get. I learned a long time ago that method could be a big turnoff to many, so I generally don’t say anything; but hopefully let my life and actions say it for me. I believe that what I have in Christ is incredibly special and that it is a free gift of God to all who put their trust in Him. So, if an opportunity avails itself to tell someone of that special gift and I don’t, then I guess what I have isn’t so special. Amen?

Knowing time was drawing to a close for my friend, I felt God urging me to share with him as often as I could. I imagine we had some 20 conversations on the matter of giving one’s life to Christ. I’m sure he didn’t understand for a time what I was saying, thinking I was pushing some form of religion or moral philosophy, until one day he finally understood two of my favorite Bible passages. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” And Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” My Friend caught on that it’s not what he does, or all the wrong things he’s done in his life; it’s what Jesus did out of love for each of us. The day came when my friend, my brother, called to tell me he had accepted the gift of life through Jesus Christ. And once again, two schoolyard buddies laughed together and cried together.

I remember the Saturday I went to see him and he couldn’t get up from the couch. But we had a good visit, hugged, and said that we loved each other before I left. Twenty-four hours later he was in the hospital; we spoke the following day by phone. He was weak and it was hard for him to speak. I prayed, once again, told him I loved him, and we hung up. Thursday that week he was no longer in pain and his earthly journey had come to an end. It was a sad moment as one would expect. But in my heart, I knew he was okay and that I would see him again. He was now with the Lord.

Now, something I don’t like to advertise, but I am an ordained minister which allows me to perform certain functions; one of those functions is speaker at a funeral or memorial. I told his wife I would be more than happy to perform the service and she was elated that I would do it. As I said, when you’re willing to be used you never quite know what or where God is going to put you. The morning we drove to the location of where we would hold the memorial, we discovered it wasn’t a church; it wasn’t a rented hall or even a graveside service. No, she chose the place where the two of them first met and had many fun times there together in their younger days. This service would be held at an old bar the owner gave permission to use. Oh yeah, this was going to be one I’d never forget. But, Okay.

All the friends and family the two had made began flowing in, many bringing food dishes to be shared after the service. Due to waiting on certain people to arrive from out of town, we were an hour late getting started, so many settled in, talked amongst themselves while enjoying liquid refreshments. Well, this was going to be one for the books! But God put me there so I was going to do my best. When the time came to start the memorial, I shared some stories from the early days and some of the shenanigans the two of us were involved in. I opened the time up for anyone who wanted to share their own memories. There were many crazy stories that kept everyone entertained for well over an hour. When it was time to deliver the message, I was at a loss; for some reason what I had prepared didn’t seem pertinent anymore. So, I shared much of the story I have told you good people today. I told how two old friends laughed, cried, and shared our lives. I then ended with “I know this is a sad time to all who loved him, but I also know one day I will see him again because we both shared Christ as our Savior, just like any of you can. He’s happy, healthy, and living eternally in Heaven. When I finished, there was silence for a bit, tears from different ones. Then it was back to the party.

So, did I do my dear friend and my Lord justice that day? One never knows; I can only hope so. Hudson Taylor said a couple of things that help put it into perspective for me “God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him.” Plus, he said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.” I imagine some of my friends of a more conservative theology might argue that I shouldn’t have gone to such a place to tell about the Lord. But in my thinking, I didn’t just go, I was sent. Perhaps I did little except plant a few seeds. But, oh my, isn’t it wonderful what can come from a few seeds! All I know is on that day, Jesus showed up at a beer party, and I was His escort. Awesome!

Isaiah 6:8, “And then I heard the voice of the Master: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” I spoke up, “I’ll go. Send me!” (The Message Bible)

This wasn’t an easy story to write or to tell; each time I sat down to gather my thoughts my friend’s memory came flooding into my mind. I still have sadness that he is gone, but I know someday, this “Traveler of the Rock Road” will be waiting to greet me on Streets of Gold.

I love you, David!

See ya next time.


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4 responses

9 07 2020
sophialorenabenjamin

Blog posts like these uplift and inspire many. Keep writing. Well done.

9 07 2020
rockroad

Thank you Sophia.
Blessings to you and your loved ones.

John

30 08 2020
Maywyn

Thank you for sharing your experience

30 08 2020
rockroad

Thank you!
Blessings to you and your loved ones.

John

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