What do you think when you think "drunk?"
In high school, I had a job because of drunks. I was a bartender from 14 until age 19. If we had a disagreement with them, we could blow off any argument or complaint, because they were a drunk. If all was well, and we went out to drink with them, they were a customer or friend and we were socializing. They too had their own definition and scale of measuring a drunk. The establishment had a liquor store on one side, beer store with open container license on the other, and a see through window between. The people sitting on a bar stool drinking Bud-light and wine-coolers, would judge the ones drinking hard liquor, by their frequency of visits and size of bottle. You had the social drinker, or occasional drunk that would come in the liquor store and see the same faces on bar stools and shake their head in disapproval and ask, "Do they ever go home?"
My devotional today led me to thinking about drunks. Now, my morning devotionals start with reading psalms, proverbs and after reflection, reading on my current topic of study or focus. Currently, I am focusing on shepherding, and came to John 10, but I backtracked and read why Jesus was talking about the shepherd.
John 9 does not refer to the man Jesus healed, as a drunk. The text tells us he was a blind beggar. I have been in the camp that thinks the person that asked for money, is going to buy a bottle. Many people make wrong assumptions towards someone that is a pan handler. Statistics show the percentage of homeless that are addicts, is not as high as many think.
I still will consider the man we find in John 9, as a drunk. He had a life transforming moment, and was drunk happy he was given sight.
The Occasional Drunk
The drunk had junk in his trunk.
It didn't take his spunk.
He was blind and they wanted to know why
Was it his sins or his folk's?
This was the psychological cloak
Cast blame; glaze over hope
Stay in the past and ask:
"What is the history of this sinful mystery?
He had a bad childhood, that's why he's a beggar and no good.
He was a rebel and chose friends that took him to the hood.
Maybe had he been hugged more, abuse and hate wouldn't have made his eye sore."
The disciples planned to walk on by, all the while, asking WHY?
Was it his parents sin, or his that took his sight?
Jesus said, It's not WHY it's NOW, and I am the Light.
So, he gave salve for the man that was blind.
He said, "Go wash and be clean."
Not, "I'm sorry your parents were mean." Nor,
"You knew right from wrong; you should have seen."
He went and washed. He was made clean and could see.
This seeing man, was drunk happy.
He came back seeing and the religious were seething.
They were drunk mad and asking WHY?
Their opinions were deep, divided, and strong.
But,this beggar was singing a new song.
Yes, I was blind from birth.
But, I find worth in Jesus' actions and words
For, I was blind and now I see.
His parents were afraid of the "right" church thing to say.
They stayed in the middle and would not sway.
He was alone, without a doubt.
He did not deny he was blind as a kid and did not doubt what Jesus did.
He was given the boot by religious hootie toots.
It must have been sad for this blind man that could see.
Kicked out by angry Pharisees.
Shunned by the place filled with opinions, divided and deep.
They were afraid of being outside and lived in spiritual sleep.
They just agreed with the opinion most "right."
It was the blind leading the blind with no spiritual sight.
The man found Jesus outside the why-wall built sanctuary.
Jesus said "Now you have heard and seen.
Do you believe?
It's not being blind that makes you guilty.
It's refusing to admit that you can't see."
Maybe he was a drunk, with junk in his trunk,
But the man once blind, could now see,
So he bent his knee, and said , "I believe."
Today, many people justify their actions on their childhood. Statistics show us how children from single parents do compared to both parents. The studies are endless, and there is a whole profession based on digging into the "why?" There are conferences, and how-to books with checklists to help you find all the why?'s
There are third world countries that do not have access to the Christian media, that has saturated the American market. Where does the addict, or alcoholic go to be free from those chains? Are people not officially delivered unless they go through a licensed counselor? What does a sinner need to do to be forgiven?
Some people have a strict formula that if you check all the right boxes and deal with all the why's, it will ensure success. John 9, shows a man that had not asked forgiveness, or done the abc's of salvation (mind you, this was before the crucifixion), and he was blind. Jesus healed him. and did not put a requirement on this miracle. He said his blindness was going to glorify God. He said while it is day, we are to work. God would have been glorified even if the man had not worshipped Jesus and declared his belief. People were talking about what Jesus did. But because Jesus was obedient to his Father, and acted, God was not only glorified, but a man found salvation. Jesus didn't protect this man after his healing from the religious hypocrites. He endured suffering, but it did not deter his faith. Are you outside the church walls? Have you been church hurt? Don't let that deter you from Jesus. He isn't asking you to have all your boxes checked. He has healing for you. Healing by the strange and beautiful power of his Spirit.
It's not being a drunk or addict, or fornicator that makes you guilty, it's not believing that you are...
Do you believe?
drunk happy? That is me. Drunk in the spirit? often, but not enough
I was 18 unwed, and pregnant working in a bar when a sweet Baptist lady came in asking for directions to a a church. I did not tell her what I was expecting, but she blessed me with a smile and kind words after I gave her instructions. She said "HE is going to be a blessing." Seven words changed my understanding of Christians and God. She did not think she was too good to come in a honky tonk, or I was too far gone to be eligible for love. I have found many on this road of life that have been a living example of Jesus to me.
We would love to hear your story in the comments below.