Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Crossing of the Bar ?

My wife and I moved to Houston in 1994. We both had new jobs and soon were settled into our new community
One day, my brother-in-law called from Fort Worth. He and his wife and three kids were planning a trip to Galveston during the coming weekend. They were hoping to stopover and spend that Friday night with us. Also, they wanted me and my wife to accompany them to Galveston beach on that Saturday. This was fine with us and we agreed to the plan.

Early on that Friday evening, I received a phone call from the Education Director at my church. He asked me to substitute teach in one of the Sunday morning adult classes. I responded that I didn’t know when I would have time to study the lesson because we had company coming in for the weekend. He pleaded so finally I agreed. He told me that the class was studying Habbakuk, the minor prophet in the Old Testament.

Saturday morning, we all loaded up in my brother-in-law’s van and headed to Galveston. After eating lunch, we parked the van alongside the seawall. They all proceeded down to the beach. I stayed in the van to study my Sunday morning lesson.
Soon, it became too hot to sit in the van. I didn’t want to run the motor with the air-conditioner and waste gasoline. So, I took my Bible and a couple of reference books and walked across the street to a Mexican restaurant. It was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon and no customers were in the place. I asked the manager if I could sit at one of the tables and do some reading. He replied that he could not allow me to block one of the tables. Then, as an afterthought, he suggested, “Now, you can sit at the bar if you like.” So I sat on a bar stool at the bar and opened my Bible and reference books and began to study. I was the only “patron” sitting at the bar.
The bartender came over and asked, “What’cha drinking?” I replied that I did not drink that I just needed some study space. He looked at the books and said, “Is that a Bible?” I told him that indeed it was a Bible and that I was scheduled to teach a class on the upcoming Sunday.

He said, “No one has ever read a Bible at the bar before. What are you going to teach about?” I said that I was going to teach from the Old Testament about Habbakuk. He asked, “Habba who?” I explained, “Habbakuk, the minor prophet.” “How young was he?” asked the bartender. Again I explained that he was an older man but did not write a lengthy book so he was called, “minor,” but that his message was “major.” The bartender stared at me for a few moments then went on to other things.

Soon a man sat at the bar. He sipped on his drink and asked me, “Is that a Bible?” I acknowledged that it was and that I was studying about Habbakuk. The man asked, “Wasn’t he that Hun”? I explained to the man about the minor prophets.
A few minutes later another patron stopped and asked, “How come you’re reading a Bible at a bar?” I told him my story of how this came to be. He replied, “Well, it looks odd. A bar and a Bible just don’t look right.” I agreed and went on with my studying.

Isn’t it ironic that I spurred more Bible discussion at the bar than I did in my Sunday morning class?

There’s a lesson in there somewhere …

Winston Hamby


Post a Comment

<< Home