This week the Czech Republic is celebrating their Independence Day. I guess they have two, but this week’s celebration commemorates their first back in 1918 when they declared their independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Titus actually has the first three days of school off this week and the Josiah Venture office here will be closed tomorrow. That’s all well and good, but there’s only problem: all the drunk people.

I don’t know if it’s just the holiday, but I can’t imagine a regular Monday night being a big drinking night for most people. But going to the grocery store was an event tonight. When I pulled in to Tesco where I planned to shop tonight, I saw a guy walking towards the car of an older lady who was putting her groceries in. He was talking to her and she was not responding. I had the kids in the back seat and was just kind of keeping an eye on things as I parked the car. I watched as he kept talking with her and she continued to not respond and he stood behind her car and she tried to back out. Eventually he moved out of the way, but was talking the entire time and finally hit her hood as she was backing out. I don’ think he did any damage, but for me that was enough for me to head to another store. Listen, I’m sure I could take a drunk guy in a fight if I needed to but with two kids you think twice about pulling everyone out of the car with this guy hassling customers in the parking lot.

I drove over to Kaufland (another grocery store) which is just around the corner from Tesco. Things went pretty well for the most part, except the place was just absolutely packed with people. Maybe I don’t shop on Mondays enough, but my goodness, this place was hopping! I only had to grab a few things, and I had Titus and Avery in the cart. Titus wanted to sit where the young kids usually sit so I put Avery in the main part of the cart. As I was checking out the woman at the register was clearly upset at me and kept looking at Avery. “OK Shay… what is she saying to you?” I was thinking to my self. I tried to ignore it and just keep unloading the cart. I’m not trying to be mean, but I just don’t understand enough Czech at this point to figure it out. She said something to me again and I looked at Avery and realized, “Oh… she probably doesn’t want Avery in the cart!” I picked up Avery and put her down and the lady said, “Thank you” in Czech. Whew. Dodged a bullet on that one.

While driving away from Kaufland I noticed a heavier than normal police presence with cops walking around casually in the parking lot. I wonder what that’s all about? I kind of blew it off until I got a little down the road and almost hit a drunk guy walking directly in the middle or the road. That’s true. Turned the corner and….drunk guy, walking sideways with a plastic bag in his hand right in my lane. I slammed on the brakes, he had that drunk guy in headlights look, and maneuvered his way around our car without a scene. Whew. Dodged a drunk guy on that one. I didn’t put it all together, but as we pulled in to the driveway it all clicked: oh yeah, it’s a holiday week and maybe that has some connection with all the craziness I have seen tonight. Honestly, I have no clue if that’s true, but that’s my explanation in this moment and the best I can do!

In all seriousness though, I think it’s all really sad and I genuinely felt compassion for both of the men I saw tonight, especially the second man who just looked really messed up. Both of them are made in the image of God. Both of them are in desperate need of a lot more than alcohol, that is, they need a relationship with Christ. That is not something I take lightly and as I write tonight my heart is heavy for Czech Republic. There are still so many that have never heard the Good News and I pray they will get to hear it and respond in faith before it’s too late.