Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Encounter

"And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples."  Matthew 9:10

As Gana and I had a romantic picnic on the Seine, we had a Jesus Encounter.

We feasted on bread, fruit, cheese, sausage and a bottle of Champagne (a gift from Gana's brother!).  We were relaxing and enjoying each other in our own little universe when Jesus stood at the door and knocked, so to speak.

A homeless man who was collecting bottles asked us if we were finished with our bottle.  No, in fact, we weren't.  And then, out of no where the words came out of Gana's mouth, "Would you like to have a glass of Champagne with us?"  The man looked pleasantly surprised!  Oui monsieur.  Introductions were made and glasses were poured. 

As we toasted one another,  À la vôtre!, it was a moment of true equality.  It was a moment of acknowledging the humanity of another.  Yes, you may not only have the empty bottle, you may share the wine with us.

 C`est bien said our new friend and handed back our glass.  Gana asked him if he knew of a place nearby where we could purchase a cigar.  Cigare?  Naturellement!  And out he pulled a cigar from the inner pocket of his jacket.  Gana offered to pay for it and the man looked almost offended.  Well, we may as well sit a spell.  Gana and the homeless man lit up French cigars together.  The man then gave us a lecture (through charades and French, which we did not understand through words, but through intonation) about taking care of one another, loving and appreciating each other. 

Even though we could not understand one another, we were sure to bless him in Jesus' Name.

What would have been a 5 second interaction ("May I have the bottle?" "No, we aren't finished." The End.) became something much longer and much more significant.  A highlight of our European trip.

Then these Christian tourists will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you looking for bottles to turn into spare change and give ours to you? Or thirsty and share with you our best? When did we see you a stranger and invite you into our circle of friendship, or needing connection and connect with you?  When did we ever see you when you thought you were invisible?'

And the Lord will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

Matthew 25:37-40 Gombojav Paraphrase


Starr said...

Love this post!!! Inspired me. I'm sharing the link on Facebook and Twitter!

Claire said...

That is so cool. You made me cry.

Joy said...

This is great. I'm glad you shared it. I know he will remember you all always as you will remember him.
♥ Joy

Mrs. C said...

Wow. You guys are living a life that is truly full.

Linda said...

Thank you so much for including us in this blessing. You are living the word.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Completely awesome! Your example urges me more and more to "be that person". I love you guys!

Melinda said...

That is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I may get blasted for this but, I'm confused how this is a enlightened event. I don't get the connection of being at a picnic and sharing alcohol and cigar with a homeless man created a religious interaction. Maybe if I understood more of what transpired from the homeless man I might understand the enlightenment. Instead of the sharing of the alcohol and cigar (both harmful to the body and to testimonies as well) why not the sharing of the food? Please don't be offended, I just don't understand the blog.
But I do wish you blessings.

Gombojav Tribe said...


I wish you would have been brave enough to show your name and own your opinions! I'm not in the least offended by the differing opinion, in fact, I actually expected more differing opinions.

From Gana:

If my consumption offended you, I'm sorry. Our goal was not to offend.

Clearly, we do not feel the same that consuming alcohol or smoking a cigar is damaging to one's testimony.

By blogging this, we were not making a doctrinal or theological thesis on the value or correctness of consuming alcohol or cigars.

Not everything is about enlightenment or a sermon illustration. Sometimes God just asks us, "Will you just enjoy the simple thing I put in front of you?" It was an encounter with a simple local man and we made a connection that most tourists would never make. One of my passions is respecting the homeless. And the fact that a homeless man blessed me with his very best moved me very much. HE was the focus of the post--not the champagne and not the cigar.

As for the rest, the Bible has a lot to say about the twin virtues of moderation and liberty. Maybe there is another post to come about that. :-)

Anonymous said...

And again.. both of you give a shining example in your response to "anonymous". I love you two!

Alexandra Dominique Strauss said...

Daja... you are the best!

This post is what its all about!!!!

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