In all my gallivanting this past weekend, I ended up going out to a late dinner, and an even later, but cheap, movie with a friend of mine.
Before I get into what I am about to get into, I wanted to say that we have a Dollar Theater in our area and it is SUCH an awesome thing. In the time between when a movie leaves the regular theater, until it's released on DVD, it's in the good ol' Dollar Theater. And guess what? The reason it's called the Dollar Theater is because it only costs a mere dollar to see a movie that only weeks before would have cost you $8. How much does that rock? So we went to see Baby Mama and oh my dear good gracious I laughed. And it wasn't filthy or anything, so that's good....because even the funniest movie is ruined in my world if it's filthy.
Ok, but on to what I wanted to say. Friend and I made the executive decision to go to IHOP to eat because we were too late for the earlier movie, but obviously way to early for the late one. We needed a place to hang out, that was low key, and offered some beverage of the java variety in order to keep this Mama awake past her bedtime.
As we were being seated, I quickly noticed a large group of older people who, I assume, were fresh from the evening service at their church. There were probably 14-16 of them and they were engaged in some pretty strong conversation.
We sat there long enough to get our deeply loved beverages when a group of teenagers, dressed in some serious goth came in and were seated in between us and the elderly church-people. Naturally, the old folks looked a little disgusted and they probably said a few things that I couldn't hear.
The older group, because of the increased noise level, I guess, ended up talking at an increased volume which allowed Friend and I to hear every word pretty clearly. I will briefly pause here to say that I have deep value for a friend who you can just be quiet with. Someone who understands the importance of eavesdropping, and strives to perfect it, because at that point, we share a strong bond. ;)
So the older group proceeds to discuss everything and everyone that is wrong within their church. They were gossipping and being downright hateful. Then they started to discuss how they had nominated some of the men that were present to be in leadership and I was also able to pick up that many of them there were already serving in that capacity. After a little more debate and complaint, they filled up their bellies and headed out the door. I remarked to Friend that I sure would hate to be a part of that church, as I purposefully tore in to my Chicken Fajita Omelet.
It wasn't until a few minutes later that I realized the magnitude of the damage that had been done. The only girl that was in the party of teenagers declared that it was because of that kind of thing that she hated church and that she would never go. She went on to say that she didn't believe that there even was a God, and that she only believed in the devil. Both Friend and I stopped eating and just listened, sick to our stomachs. She couldn't have been more than 16 and she was adamant.
We were stunned and thrilled when one of the boys (who was facing me) worked up the courage to pipe up in between bites and confess that he is a Christian. He stood up to his 3 friends (really 2 because one of them was so completely high that he was barely coherant).
Now this kid is obviously struggling right now (I heard some of the things he is involved in...), but he went on to have an intelligent debate with this girl, and her boyfriend, for the Lord. He didn't cave, not even once. I leaned out, at one point, to catch his eye so that I could give him the silent encouragement of a thumbs up, just to let him know that we were hearing him and we were on his side, praying hard within ourselves. He saw me, and he gave me a quick wink. It continued on for a few minutes, and before you knew it it was over.
We sat there for a few minutes in stone cold silence, only this time not listening, just processing. The kids got up to leave and an overwhelming sadness smacked both of us right there in the middle of IHOP.
Do you see the paradox here? Do you see what we all should learn from this? There is just so much. But I want to see what stands out to you the most on this Monday morning. I don't want to preach so tell me.... What do YOU take away from this? No thought is insignificant.