It’s amazing how quickly a drunk guy can ruin a pleasant evening. Last Monday night I went down to Pittsburgh to see The Police in concert – a concert I was eagerly looking forward to. Halfway into the opening act (who happened to be Elvis Costello) a guy sat down directly behind me and began screaming and cheering at ear-shattering levels. I have to confess, my first response was sinful. I wanted to turn around and politely ask him to shut up and sit down. Then I realized that he was about 6′ 4″, 240 lbs, with more muscles in his pinky than I have in my entire body. The fact that he was drunk (at least I think he was) made me even more nervous about any sort of confrontation.
Several other, bolder people did ask him to calm down, but he refused to consider anyone else. He was determined to have a good time at this concert, no matter what the collateral damage.
As the night went on something unusual began to take place in my heart: I began praying for Mr. Loud Drunk. Yes, there were several more times when my sinful heart rose up in colossal irritation. But by God’s grace, I was able to pray for the guy behind me. I prayed that he would come to know Jesus.
Why the change of heart? What prompted me to pray for a drunk guy who seemed intent on ruining everybody’s night? I realized that he couldn’t help himself. I realized that he was a spiritually dead slave of sin. He was blind to his folly, and even delighted in it. He had no spiritual life in him, no reason to consider anybody else, no reason to be sober. The only difference between me and Mr. Drunk is the mercy of God. I would be a loud, obnoxious drunk if it weren’t for divine intervention. For reasons only known to God himself, he reached down and saved me.
Yesterday I read Titus 3:3-5, which says:
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy…
I’m so grateful for the goodness and loving kindness of God my Savior. Apart from it I wouldn’t care one bit about anybody else. Now, by his grace, I’m praying for drunkards.
Do you remember when the goodness and loving kindness of God appeared in your life?
+photo by scottfeldstein