Bernie's Backyard Bash
A few years back we sold a home to a guy by the name of Bernie who loved to entertain people with big parties. That’s why he needed a bigger home. After Bernie settled into his new home, he celebrated with a big backyard bash and we were invited. I didn’t want to go, but our sales manager, who is also my husband, said: “We’re going.”
When we arrived, Bernie gave us a big hug and whooshed Dice into the den where he pointed to his computer that had big problems. I suppose I could have hunkered down there bored out of my mind while my husband played tech genius, but I strolled toward the backyard to mingle with about 30 people I’ve never seen before in my life and it was pretty scary. I passed clusters of women huddled together puffing on cigarettes, a whole bunch of folks accumulating at the makeshift bar, and a circle of cowboys tuning their guitars and drinking beer. Umm, who among these party folks should I strike up a conversation with? The answer was no one.
I went into the big white tent where all the food was displayed and filled my plate with roasted corn on the cob, grilled sausage, beans from the crock pot, cornbread, and a relish salad. It felt lonely to eat by myself until a friendly voice asked me if I would like some dessert. Ross offered me a choice of about six varieties from a tray of goodies he waved in front of me. He sat down to join me after bringing me a cup of coffee with cream just the way I like it. He talked endlessly about himself while I finished eating. I silently prayed that my husband would find me and rescue me from this man’s interest. No such luck. It felt like hours passed and Ross was still chatting away. Ross knew I was the agent who sold Bernie his home and I repeatedly mentioned I was here with my husband who was ….somewhere. I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to evangelize Ross. Maybe if Ross knew how much I loved Jesus and enjoyed things like going to church and worshipping God, he would think I was spooky and leave me alone.
My plan backfired. Ross loved hearing about Jesus. He told me he had just lost his mom. She adored Jesus and comforted him when he almost died in a motorcycle accident. I found myself listening to Ross’ words but now with less judgment. “I may not attend church like my mother use to, but one thing I never do is crawl into bed at night until I get on my knees and ask God to forgive me if I hurt anyone that day,” he exclaimed.
Dice and I talked a lot on the drive home that night, and I thanked him for dragging me to the party. Then I said: “What do you think about praying together before we go to bed at night similarly to the way we do when we begin our day?”
This is the kind of thing that happens when you bring Jesus to the party.
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