Here's a nice story I found on another site. Notice it's a story "heard several years ago"Religious Story
Sounds to me like just more religious advertizing to me.
Did bring tears to my eyes, however
I guess we all have little wishes or unfulfilled desires that we would like to have assuaged. Unfortunatly, the reality is that people can't read minds. So unless these desires or "needs" are communicated in some fashion, they remain unfulfilled.
And, most liklely, if communicated, to be contested rather than sympathized with.
Notice, too the difference in social hierarchy. The storyteller is this saintly religious type who is the only one sensitive enough to recognise Agnes' pain.
Would he care if she was at some other social level. Would he care if she was the human resource director of the Seattle Symphony for instance?
I think, realistically, that it's just as likely that a reasonably intelligent prostitute would take pity on a religious fool.
But, that's just me. I would like to be able to care for every one of you.
The only trouble I've had is from the religious. It's like they have copyrighted
human compassion, and get vicious if you try to practice without thier permission.
Anyway, here's the story. Anyone who reads regularly or goes to movies, or watches television will recognise it as fiction.
I't s still a nice story.
When I reflect on God’s Prodigal Love I am reminded of a story I heard several years ago, told by Tony Campolo, noted author, pastor, professor of sociology at Eastern College, and an advocate for gay rights. This experience took place during a visit to Honolulu for a Christian Conference. On his first night there, due to time zone differences, he awoke around three a.m. and left the hotel in search of a place to get something to eat. Eventually he found a tiny coffee shop, with one man behind the bar who served him coffee and a doughnut. Tony was the only customer until, quite suddenly, the coffee shop was filled with girls. Some sat at small tables, others at the counter near Tony. From their conversation he learned an astonishing amount about Honolulu’s night life, for the girls were discussing their night’s work and their male clients. These girls were prostitutes. He tells the story:
“I overheard the woman sitting beside me say, “Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m going to be thirty-nine.”
Her friend responded in a nasty tone, “So what do you want from me? A birthday party? What do you want? Ya want me to get you a cake and sing ‘Happy Birthday?’”
“Come on!” said the woman sitting next to me. “Why do you have to be so mean? I was just telling you, that’s all. Why do you have to put me down? I was just telling you it was my birthday. I don’t want anything from you. I mean, why should you give me a birthday party? I’ve never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?”
When I heard that, I made a decision. I sat and waited until the women had left. Then I called over the guy behind the counter and I asked him, “Do they come in here every night?”
“Yeah!” he answered.
“The one right next to me, does she come here every night?”
“Yeah,” he said. “That’s Agnes. Yeah, she comes in here every night. Why d’ya wanta know?”
“Because I heard her say that tomorrow is her birthday. What do you think about us throwing a birthday party for her right here tomorrow night? If it’s OK with you, I’ll get back here tomorrow morning about 2:30 and decorate the place. I’ll even get a birthday cake!”
“No way,” said Harry, “The birthday cake’s my thing. I’ll make the cake.”
At 2:30 the next morning, I was back at the diner. I had picked up some crepe-paper decorations at the store and had made a sign out of big pieces of cardboard that read, “Happy Birthday, Agnes!” I decorated the diner from one end to the other. I had that diner looking good. Harry had invited some of the early morning regulars, telling them it was surprise, so the place was packed.
At 3:30 on the dot, the door of the diner swung open and in came Agnes and her friend. When they came in we all screamed, “Happy birthday!” Never have I seen a person so flabbergasted…so stunned…so shaken. Her mouth fell open. As she was led to sit on one of the stools along the counter we all sang “Happy Birthday” to her. As we came to the end of our singing with “happy birthday dear Agnes, happy birthday to you,” her eyes moistened, when the birthday cake with all the candles on it was carried out, she burst into tears.
Harry mumbled, “Blow out the candles, Agnes! Come on! Blow out the candles! If you don’t blow out the candles, I’m gonna blow out the candles.” And, after an endless few seconds, he did. Then he handed her a knife and told her, “Cut the cake, Agnes, we all want some cake.”
Agnes looked down at the cake. Then without taking her eyes off it, she slowly and softly said, “Look Harry, is it all right with you if I….is it OK if keep the cake a little while? I mean is it all right if we don’t eat it right away?”
Harry shrugged and answered, “Sure! It’s O.K If you want to keep the cake, keep the cake. Take it home if you want to.”
“Can I,” she asked. Then looking at me she said, “I live just down the street a couple of doors. I want to take the cake home, OK? I’ll be right back. Honest!”
She got off the stool picked up the cake, and, carrying it like it was the Holy Grail walked slowly toward the door.
As we all just stood there motionless, she left. When the door closed there was a stunned silence in the place. Not knowing what else to do, I broke the silence by saying, “What do you say we pray?”
I prayed for Agnes. I prayed for her salvation. I prayed that her life would be changed and that God would be good to her. When I finished, Harry leaned over the counter and with a trace of hostility in his voice, he said “Hay! You never told me you were a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to?”
In one of those moments when just the right words came, I answered, “I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for whores at 3:30 in the morning.”
Harry waited a moment and then almost sneered as he answered, “No you don’t. There’s no church like that. If there was, I’d join it. I’d join a church like that!”
Today, may we let the message in Jesus’ parables speak to us of God’s Prodigal love that always meets us where we are and calls us home to the heart of God.
Could be an Opera? Probably is already somewhere.
Let us pray…
Labels: lies, religion, Sex