(a blog post at DISCOVERY INN & SUITES by Timothy J. Verret)
I must say as a front desk clerk, I am given many opportunities to ask myself the question when encountering a troubled guest, “What would Jesus do?” I’m going to write about such an opportunity I had recently and since I work at DISCOVERY INN & SUITES, I’m going to make this blog post a hotel question: “What would an “inn and suites” Jesus do?” The answer lies in wanting to help someone but wanting to help someone with Jesus’ reservations (pun intended).
This particular guest was a very friendly man yet a very troubled soul. Ironically, he kind of looks like the man with Jesus in the above picture. When he was a guest, I talked to this man and after hearing his plight, I wanted to help as best I could as Jesus could. But from the very beginning of wanting to help this man, I had some personal motives and some personal pay-offs that were at play. I made these all known to this man I was helping right from the get-go. As far as “inn” goes as Jesus would do, I did let this person “in” my home for a couple of days when he said he had no place to go. As “inn” as I was willing to be with this man, this “inn” came with some “outs.” I told this man that in no way did I want him using drugs or alcohol “in” my home (“out” of my home would have been okay, I guess) and, more than anything, an “out” I told him was that if he hurt my dog, Blue, or my cat, Conrad, I would kill him. That “out” was a little harsh, I know, but hurting the ones (Blue and Conrad) that I love was “in” no way going to allow this man to stay “inn” my home. He would be most definitely “out.”
Speaking of “suites,” I was as sweet as I possibly could be (Jesus could do so, I know) in talking to this man honestly and sharing honestly with this man about my own experiences I found very relatable to his troubled story. His troubles reminded me so much of when I had so many troubles. That said, troubles can’t be resolved in any relationship of any kind when one person is being honest, as I was, and the other person is being dishonest, as he was. As honest as I was with this man, he kept being dishonest with me, though he didn’t believe so. Honesty and dishonesty are very inappropriate bedfellows (not sure I wanted to admit that is a pun intended). I don’t think an “inn and suites Jesus” could possibly have a relationship with anyone where lies existed. Jesus would help anyone who came to Him for help, for sure, but if lies were at the Hem of Jesus’ Garment, Jesus would have picked up His Hem and moved on to find another who was of the truth.
It all culminated in a lot of unnecessary drama and while I confess I can be a major “drama queen,” there are limits to what kind of drama I care to play a part in. I’m an onstage actor but care not to be an offstage actor. And it all culminated in a night when I had to stop what I was doing with this man, as I deemed Jesus would have stopped doing what I was doing, as well. This man was active in his addiction, bless his heart, and it all culminated in him wanting me to take him to a “crack house.” This, for me, was when I stopped doing what I wanted to do and started doing what an “inn and suites Jesus” would do. Jesus would NOT have taken this man to a “crack house,” and yet I was doing just that. I stopped the car when I knew Jesus had enough of me having enough, and I told the man this was as far as I was willing to go with him. “It is finished because Jesus has finished it.” I took out the man’s suitcase and told him this was the end of the road for me with him. He called me a “drama queen,” which was so ironic as this man’s entire life that I had in so short a time with him was nothing BUT drama. And I think “drama” is key here, because for there to be any kind of drama onstage or offstage, all the actors have to play their parts. Shakespeare got this when he wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” (As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII Line 139). What I refused to do at that dramatic moment with this man was be a player in this man’s dramatic play. The drama was over for me and “drama queen” or not, I looked to the King Jesus of Healthy Drama and knew this drama with this man was “finished.”
When I got home that night, I felt bad because as a recovering codependent, I felt that I failed this man. But it was more important for me at that moment to NOT fail Jesus. With all my good intentions and my Good Samaritan “acts,” it was essential to me that I live in reality by not sending this man to his death. While that right there might be a very dramatic statement, it could very well be a very true statement for this man. This man didn’t know that he was going down a path and a spiral that very well could spell his death, but Jesus had me see that I was indeed helping this man go to this depth of death. Jesus had me stop that car (literally and figuratively) at that moment, because the relationship with this man was up to that point a “drive and put on the brakes” relationship and while this person’s death was possibly imminent with so much starting and stopping, so was my own death imminent. That right there was way too high a price to pay for me helping this man.
My lessons learned? Help someone in a healthy way who really wants healthy help. Healthy help is not possible if one person doesn’t want healthy help. That can easily be spotted when that one person you are trying to help tells one lie after another. Always be “inn and suites” as Jesus would do with one needing help but, at the same time, always surrender to God what God would have one do in helping another. When I knew this man I was trying to help was taking me down a very dark and twisting and turning path to destruction, I prayed to God to PLEASE tell me what to do because while this man was spiraling down, so was I and I didn’t want to go down that deadly spiral with this man. It was God who answered my prayer when I stopped the car, told the man to get out with his suitcase, and that I could do this helping (hurting) him no more. Helping someone in need is EXACTLY what an “inn and suites” Jesus would do but once again comes with reservations (pun intended). These reservations are you can’t help anyone who is not wanting to be helped in a healthy way. Taking this man to a “crack house” was NOT helping this man at all, and it certainly wasn’t helping Jesus to help this man at all. Please dance the “suites” dance of compassion with anyone who needs your help UNLESS that anyone is not looking to “suites” dance but rather die a slow and painful dance of death.
And how could I possibly know any of this? Because I used to die a slow and painful dance of death.
Love and Blessings Always,
Timothy J. Verret, Front Desk Clerk and Creative Marketing Rep
DISCOVERY INN & SUITES
PS (Post “Stupidity”): It has been brought to my attention that many at my workplace discovered what I attempted to do in helping the man of this blog post. The consensus so far has been, “what were you thinking, Timothy?” which, of course, translates to “Timothy, we really do care about you!” That is indeed what an “inn & suites” Jesus would say and do!