Navy Seaman Apprentice Curtis Jacobsen was a generous sailor. Ask him for a dollar for a can of pop or to gamble on the lottery and he would give to the person asking. When another sailor wanted to purchase a $250.00 iPod, he went to Seaman Apprentice Jacobsen who promptly gave the sailor $200. Though Seaman Apprentice Jacobsen serious drinking problem, no one paid him much attention. In fact, members of Seaman Apprentice Jacobsen’s ship were careful to avoid him when he came aboard ship following one of his “adventures”. Then one day Kristine Pattison invited him to join the ship’s little prayer group that generally met once a week.
“Will you come?” Seaman Apprentice Pattison asked.
Seaman Apprentice Jacobsen hesitated, “But I can’t come to a God-meeting smelling…like…like…whiskey. What would the others think of me?”
Seaman Apprentice Pattison smiled and replied, “Gosh, all of us smell of something. One of us has a problem with eating too much. Another criticizes members of their unit all of the time. And another has a problem with unforgiveness. God knows exactly how had we all ‘smell’, if you will ‘stink’ but He still He loves us unconditionally anyhow. So won’t you come? How ‘bout it!”
The stunned young sailor understood. He began to laugh even while crying a little. “You bet! Ah, yes. I’ll come! Are you sure I can come?”
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much!” as he turned and walked away.
The little prayer group was uncomfortable with Seaman Apprentice Jacobsen at first. But the more members opened themselves up to their new participant; each member came to love him. Oh, Seaman Apprentice, Jacobsen still had some very tough problems to deal with and overcome. But wasn’t he a great deal like the rest of us in the church family?