In a follow-up to the post below, here's a great "gutter" story.
"One morning, early, the phone rang. I picked it up and it was Dave, calling me to tell me what happened to him the night before. He said his wife, Allison, had gone to bed, so he decided to take some photographs of the city at night. Since his camera bag was in the car, he headed over to the alley where the car was parked and began searching for the bag in the trunk. He then heard a young male voice behind him, 'Hey, I couldn't help but notice how cute you are. You want to party with me?' Dave had never been hit on by another man, and he was a bit stunned.
"'I declined, and found ti funny when he drove off kind of irritated,' Dave said. But then he began to realize he'd blown a great opportunity to get into the gutter - an open invitation, even. 'As I was walking back to my place, I thought to myself,' What would've happened if I'd said, 'okay,' and gotten into the car with him? What would we have said to each other, how awkward would it have been? Or would it have been awkward at all? Could I have found myself in a bar at 2 AM, with a complete stranger whom I know had very different beliefs from me? Would I have been able to offer him a love he wasn't expecting? A genuine love of persons, the tpe of love Christ would have offered?"
"Bold, gutter-defying notions.
"Dave continued, 'I realized I might have missed an opportunity not just to witness but to engage a person's life in a way that would have given him hope and a memory of somone who loved him as he was.' As he examined his own heart about this encounter with the guter, he began to realize fear is what kept him out of it that night.
"Okay, I can't even imagine coming in at 2 a.m. after hanging out with a guy in a bar all night. What would I say to my wife? How would I explain it? What if I saw people I knew? These questions and a zillion others went through my mind (and they're probably going through yours) - and they're all perfectly legitimate reasons why I would not have done it. I probably would have jokingly told the story to my friends about getting hit on by another man.
"Not Dave. He told me the story that next morning, and yes, we laughed and I gave him a hard time about it. But through it all, I could hear that he genuinely wished he could start that night over again so he could go to the gutter."