f*** the dealer

tonight i rode down to my friend nate’s house – he’s in town for the weekend from chicago where he’s living for the summer. admittedly, when i walked in to see him and two girls playing drinking games in the basement i wondered why i had bothered to come. while i love beer and wine, i’m never been one much for drinking simply to drink. nevertheless i sat down in the empty chair and participated…altering the game slightly by having cake instead of alcohol :).

it was nate’s dad, dave’s, 50th birthday party and the adults had been drinking and talking on the back patio. dave and carol came in to go to bed, but dave’s best friend from college ,bill, stopped to ask the “kids” what they were playing. one of the girls (already drunk at this point) doesn’t even hesitate: “fuck the dealer” she says, and then begins to explain exactly how the game is played and wrapping up with the idea that it’s actually competely mindless and simply used to get trashed. my prudeness had the alarms sounding in my head. “fuck the dealer?! getting trashed?? shut your mouth!!” much to my amazement, bill thinks it’s hillarious and sits down, asks for a beer, and begins to play with us. it’s at this point that i realize that HE is drunk. it’s also at this point, sadly, that i begin to lose respect for him.

anyway, the game continues and bill is an active and enthusiastic participant. conversation loosens and we somehow begin talking about nate’s family…his father’s character, his mother who passed away when nate was 14, nate’s stepmother. bill was around when nate’s father and biological mother met in college. he was there when they found out she had ovarian cancer, when she passed away, and when dave re-married. in his explanations and stories i began to realize this man believed in god. spurred on by the way-too-drunk 19 year old girl and the pretty-darn-drunk 50 year old man, our talk turned to christianity, catholicism, heaven and hell.

and i kid you not, tonight “fuck the dealer” and too much beer brought about one of the most impactful, loving, transparent, christ-like conversations i’ve had in my life. there was no judgement in the room…only love and genuine care for every other person at the table. there was wisdom spoken and truth preached in the most unassuming way possible. bonds were created, people were encouraged and god was glorified. it seemed natural at the time, but then as i was leaving i stopped to realize what had just happened and how it would sound to tell the story to the typical good, upstanding, church-goer. why has western culture fabricated a jesus who is more worried that people were getting drunk and swearing than that people’s hearts are being wounded by the cavern we’ve dug between the church and “all those heathens…”?

i wasn’t even getting drunk, but i was the most sinful of the bunch. my pride almost got in the way of recieving the blessings and lessons god had prepared. i was so loved and so encouraged tonight by a drunk man who loves jesus from the bottom of his heart. i was so challenged by a drunk girl who hasn’t the slightest clue what she believes. i praise god that he cares about me enough to soften my heart enable me to receive any of it.

it’s just another time god’s grace, love, and sovereignty are so good and so big that i can’t help but smile or even laugh aloud (and i guess write it down for other people to read…!). what a god – he loves me despite my greedy, prideful, sinful heart. it really does still amaze me.


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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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