Tea with God
Once there was a man named Mr. Gibbin, who during the fruitful years of his life made merry with money, dreams, and different types of women. It wasn’t until he was older that he began to question what life really had to bring, but who was there to ask about such a thing? There was his broker, his attorney, and even a guy with a so called magical rod, but he thought the best thing to do was ask God.
Now Mr. Gibbin had thought the things of God were absurd. He had seen Him as nothing more than a childish dream or a dirty word. With his old age came some wisdom, as the phrase goes. It was at this point he decided that he and God should stop being foes. A prick in his brain got his thinking in gear. He needed a way to respect God- the best way to avoid any fear.
He thought about sitting under a tree, or a walk by the sea, but his meticulous brain told him to invite God to tea. You should have seen the silly sight: the table dressed neatly, the silver tea pot and two cups with tea made sweetly. But alas the day remained still, God did not come down, which made Gibbin quite ill.
Days went by and nights as well, and the man sat alone in his home under a muggy smell. So by and by he made his way around town, when he happened to meet a trustworthy friend.
“Why the long face, why the slow pace?” said his inquisitive friend. “Have you lost your money or have you lost your honey? Wait, don’t walk away. Can’t you see we have all day?”
The old man sat down reluctantly beside his friend and explained the trouble therein, and his friend listened with a delightful grin.
“I have setup tea and waited patiently, but the One of the heavens has not come to me. I sit and I mope, I fume and complain; the only occurrence I’ve seen is the falling of the rain. Am I doing something wrong? Is it my approach? If my question isn’t answered, He’ll hear my reproach!”
His trustworthy friend could not understand the sudden inclination for religion, but a friend he was; so he paid attention.
“I think I can help- come on, cheer up that face. If you want your question answered you’re at the wrong place. You could talk to those people just down the road there. They don’t steal or drink- they don’t even swear! But be careful around them or they’ll get you to pray. They tried that once with me, but I didn’t give them the time of day.”
Gibbin thanked his friend kindly and continued on his quest. He was walking gangly and looking his best. Now be came to that building, with its white paint and golden cross that sat high upon the roof, and Gibbin made it his resolution to enter in or at least to stay aloof. With a look to his left and a glance to his right, the man knocked on the door almost in fright, but if he was more intuitive he would have known the Sunday was the busiest day as the sign had shown.
“No one here no one there, I didn’t expect anyone to care.”
But just as the man turned to leave, someone opened the door. A short man, around the age of sixty, stood before him with an expression of candor. He was a pastor from what the man could tell, and he put up his guard to avoid any religion he wanted to sell.
“Good day to you sir,” said the pastor with a grin. “It looks like its going to rain, would you like to come in.”
“All right I’ll tell you straight,” said Gibbin, “I didn’t come for a debate. I want an answer and I want it quickly. None of your God this or that,” he said meanly.
The man explained his dilemma from beginning to end. The short pastor laughed with the flick of his grey hair and his head went to a bend.
“You can lay out your linen and you can set out the tea, but you’ll be in trouble if you don’t pray you see. I talk to God daily and he generously replies. All my prayers have been answered from money to my daily supplies. So sir, if you want God to talk to you, just get on your knees – -an idea to behoove.”
Gibbin’s nose wrinkled with such a turn it became red. He crossed his arms and then said,
“My friend told me about your kind, the ones who go out day by day. They do all sorts of things to get people to pray. I reject you and your ideas, what do you say to that,” he said with such strife.
“Then God will not talk to you,” the pastor replied. “Not under that kind of strife.”
“You narrow minded ninny, you absent minded fool,” yelled Mr. Gibbin, ” God will talk to me because, well, I’m so cool!”
Gibbin was in such a fit that he could not express himself straightly. He turned his back to the pastor, kicking some dirt just for spite, and made his way back to his home with all of his might. Ten years went by and the old man was now older. His nerves were shaken and his body grew colder. Now I can’t rightly say why Gibbin returned to that glorious building were people shout and dance. There are strange reasons why people come to church you know, despite the circumstance. That same pastor was there to greet him with a smile: there was no hatred, disrespect, or anything else that was vile.
Mr. Gibbin listened to the pastor for many days to come. He made friends with the people there despite his attempts to know none. One day he decided to give praying a chance, when he finished praying there was no lights or trumpets; he didn’t even dance. But the heart was touched none the less.
The old man continued to prepare for tea; you’ve think he would have given up if you ask me. So he sat and prayed, prayed and sat. He was feeling let down if you’ve gone through something like that. But something amazing happened that doesn’t come around everyday: God showed up for tea at the end of the day.
I can’t rightly tell you why the Lord came to Mr. Gibbin in the morning at two. And I dare not begin to tell God what he can and cannot do. He was there looking at the sleeping man with tea. He rattled the table: one- two- three.
When Gibbin awoke he saw nothing but his humble abode, and decided it was a dream and went to return to his sleepy mode. But a voice startled him and with a fright, he jumped up, got a frying pan, and was ready to fight.
“Who are you or should I say where?”
“It is I, God , the one you invited. Now come, sit down there.”
Mr. Gibbin returned to his seat, poured some tea and went to greet. He cleared his throat for his question as if it was going to be a one sided session. So he asked what he had to say and God listened as always.
“Why are you so concerned about getting a human to follow you? I barely understand since I came to know what’s true. Can’t a person get to you on his own merit, like giving to charity- or doing something that’s a rarity?” he replied taking a sip from his tea. “What’s the big deal, God, can you tell me?”
There was a stillness that made the old man shutter. He was wondering if God would yell, destroy his home, or turn him into the composition of melted butter. But such questions were commonplace: a thought pondered by the human race. God in His wisdom addressed it like many times before. Gibbin listened as the clock struck four.
“When I made man he held me in his heart, I made it that way right from the start. But when he fell from grace, he cast me aside and took something else in my place. What man calls merit, I call disgrace. Here are examples, try to keep up with my pace. Some men donate money with there names for all to see. They are also the same men who beat their wives with glee. There are many who dedicate their lives to a human cause, but on a moments notice would ruin one person without a pause. My creation abuses my name; they use it for silly wars, to justify evil, and to gain only fame. A man’s merit is all for naught you see, want to get to heaven? You’ll have to compare yourself with me.”
“You take this seriously, don’t you?”
“Yes,” God replied breaking the rhyme. He does surprising things you know from time to time.
“So to get to heaven, merit is nothing. All I ask if for you to acknowledge something: My Beloved Son. He is all the merit one needs.”
Mr. Gibbin sat quietly among the half empty tea cup, and slowly raised his head to look up.
“That’s all a person needs?” he said scratching his chin, “No great feats to impress You, not even our will to overcome sin?”
Such a simple notion is hard for the human mind- why God would put Himself on the line. We are told we must work and nothing is for free, and all of that is true you see: for there is always a price; there is always something to pay, it is as relevant as the time of day.
Mr. Gibbin came to understand more and more. I hope you have, and don’t be sore. This story comes to an end, but let me leave you with something my friend. You should try praying at least once in your life for to know God’s Son – -they’ll be no strife. As for Gibbin it will work too, and that’s a promise from me to you.