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Aug 18, 2017 | The Rev. Mike Besson

I Admired Her Patience

I admired her patience.  
We were in Galveston for a few days this week and, on Monday night, we ate at our favorite place.  It's called the 'Black Pearl."  If you are in Galveston you should try it and when you do you will understand why.  It's just good.  Really good. The place is pretty small and there is usually a wait.  We were told upon entering that it would be over 30-minutes for a table and we were starving; we noticed a few places at the bar so we asked if we could sit there and have our dinner.  When we sat down I noticed the man to my left; I couldn't help but notice him because he'd had waaaaaayyyy to much to drink.  There was one empty bar stool between us but at times I felt like he was right next to me because every time, and I mean EVERY time the bartender would pass by us he would say, "heeeeeey, heeeeeeeeey, heeeeeeeeey."  
He would follow that with something I could never understand.
It got on my nerves from the get go.  Every time.  Heeeeeeeeeey.  She would look over and smile, or she would say something to him with that same smile.  I could tell that she knew him, like, he was a regular.
Heeeeeeeeeeeeey.  Come on dude.  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey.
I admired her patience while at the same time wanting to tell him to stop, to put it nicely. What added to my aggravation was that he had finished his dinner, he had paid his bill, but he just sat there sipping the last of his Coors Light and continuing with "heeeeeey."
When the guy finally stumbled out the door with the help of a friend I said to the bartender; "you have ALOT of patience."
"He's had a hard life", she said.
Sometimes, when I am out in the world, I wonder who the priest in the room really is.
I'm still going to stand by my sense of aggravation over the constant "heeeeeey" just off to my left the other night because it was, well, aggravating.  But I also admire the people I see "out there" who work so hard at serving others.  They may be serving meals to the homeless, they may be checking people into the hotel, or cleaning our rooms, or serving shrimp and oyster po-boys and Coors Light.  They just want you to be happy.  They just want you to be served.  They want you to make sure you have what you need.  They want to make sure that you leave wanting for nothing.  There may be a financial reward for them, or, it may give them job security, but, I think it's more than that.  
They just want to serve you.
It's like when you encounter people who, when you say "thank you" for the coffee or for the extra bread, respond by saying "my pleasure."  Not, "no problem" or "no worries" or "you're welcome".  
My pleasure; that comes only from one with a real servant heart.  It bring me "pleasure" (a feeling of satisfaction or enjoyment) to "serve" (perform duties or services for another) you.
Jesus said that he came "not to be served but to serve."  Not po-boys.  Not Coors Light. He came to serve big helpings of life.  Anything that brought life; Jesus wanted to make sure that we wanted for nothing.  He offered salvation, grace, peace, forgiveness, love.  
For starters.
Thing is, he offered this for everyone.  
He offered life to those dad gum lepers that no one wanted to be around.  A crucified thief.  Prostitutes.  The drunk man at the bar sipping his Coors Light who may be there drinking his past away.
Jesus served life.  With patience.
See, we do not always accept the life that Jesus serves.  Jesus says, "life can be found here" and we say, "no, I think I can find life over there."  Jesus might say, "you will not find life in that" and we say, "oh yes, oh yes I can."  Jesus might even say, "be very careful where you are treading because death and darkness is there" and we say, "no, I will be fine thank you very much."
Life cannot be found where Jesus is not.
When the bartender brought my delicious food (pictured above with one very large bite taken out of it) I was more than happy to accept it.  It made me smile.  I drooled a little. Delicious bite after delicious bite.  Goody goodness.  
When Jesus serves us life, we must take it.  What Jesus offers is always good.  Repeat; what Jesus serves is ALWAYS good.  Thank goodness; Jesus will wait us out for as long as it takes for us to finally receive what he is offering.  Whether we take it right away, or whether it takes us very nearly a lifetime, once we do, once we receive the life that Jesus brings and then give our thanks; Jesus just smiles and says, "my pleasure".
You really have to admire his patience.