My favorite group is Over the Rhine and my favorite song of theirs is “The Last Time I Saw Jesus” The first line of the song goes: The last time I saw Jesus, I was drinking Bloody Marys in the south. In a bar-room in New Orleans, rinsing out a bad taste in my mouth.”
There’s this guy in our congregation. Part of his story is, he remembers standing in the snow with a bottle of beer in his hand, “So drunk I could hardly stand.” And as he stood there in the cold, he was staring at a Church sign across the street that said, “Unless you be born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“I could not make sense of that verse so the next time I was sober I went to ask the Pastor what it meant.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
This guy is as precious as people come. Some think he’s mentally retarded. I think he just never had a proper education. He can read but didn't learn until in his late twenties. His childhood emotionally deprived.
. This guy takes steps daily to become spiritually, mentally, and emotionally clean.
. This guy meets with a small group, an accountability group on a regular basis with other guys who challenge each other toward truth and purity.
. This guy, regardless of victory or defeat is oriented toward his Lord and Saviour.
. This guy freely and openly admits his shortcomings and takes them to Jesus.
. This guy takes risks like asking - in Church - for prayer for a new job because he couldn’t support his family with the job he had - Two weeks later he had a new job with almost double the pay and benefits.
. This guy came to Jesus with nothing - absolutely nothing - no pretense - no education - no riches of any kind and today he gives away love and mercy and grace.
He is light and salt to the world. I want to be like this guy.
The last time I saw Jesus, I looked over my shoulder to the left and there he sat, with his wife and two children, dressed in t-shirt and jeans and so very in love with life. No pretending. Nothing fancy. Just humility and holiness and a longing to grow in love and purity.