Friday, June 29, 2007

B.K. Spanitics

Last night after punching out I got in a conversation about religion with one of the guys who works in the kitchen.
  • Just a shout-out really quick, people who work in the kitchens of restaraunts are outstandingly hard workers-I'm sure that doesn't apply to every single person who has ever had a cooking job, but the staff at Flo's busts their butts each and every night and I appreciate that.
    Anyhow he was taking out the trash when I was getting out of the building and he started up a conversation. We have a habit of poking fun at eachother and other people in spanish, cussing and trying to figure out new ways to get the dishes done faster. He told me that as Christians we should be setting an example for other people and that we shouldn't use "malas palabras," and then he started to hold me accountable as an older person (I think he's 19) saying that I have an even greater duty to be an upstanding Christian of morals and decency and should consider my actions in front of even him. I responded by shoddily quoting Timothy 4:12, pertaining to his role as a young person to continue setting an example even though he doesn't have the, what, credibility(?) that older people have. We went back and forth about the responsibility of being a Christian and the relevance of being an example through ones actions in terms of stereotypical conservative behavior (Abstaining from alcohol) versus stereotypical liberal behavior (Radical love for others and dispreservation of one's self).
    I told him that I believe it is our responsibility as Christians to reconcile everyone to God, not for the sake of winning souls to Christ but to establish a relationship to the Father through our own love. I asked him how we should do that and he responded by saying that we must first establish a friendship with that person so that they will take a vested interest in what we have to say; we must construct a sincere friendship that will create conversation. We then started to talk about the hypothetical male friend (because this model gets a little complicated if we incorporate a female) who wanted to go out for a drink and whether or not we would continue building that friendship in a liberal sense by earnestly going with him or removing ourselves in the conservative fashion by being a model of Christian excellence. He told me that he would go with the friend for the sake of establishing that friendship, that commonality for something greater down the road. He quoted Paul who said that he became weak for the weak and strong for the strong and told me that he could do no better.

    This was big for me considering the fact that the majority of my kitchen staff does not seem to enjoy alcohol a great deal. When offered drinks by Debbie after one particularly strenuous night the majority of them opted for virgin pinapple slushies. My friend at one point earlier on in the job became frustrated with me because I bought a case of beer for some of the head chefs for all their hard work, he said that I was leading them to vice and corruption. You know when I think about it, a gift of beer may not have been the best idea when I didn't even know the people that well. My friend said to me that it would have been better to become something of friends with him first and then consider having a drink with them rather than just shoving alcohol in their faces.

    All of this, ladies and gentlemen, happened in very broken spanish...but none the less did happen across the language boundry with passion, concern, and even a high-five at the end.