Are there certain people from the past that really stick out in your mind? You know, ones that have made such an impression on you that you can’t help but go a week without being reminded of them in some way? I have someone like that. His name is Joe.
I will start posting things about this man now and then because he is etched on my memory. I learned a lot from him. A lot of it was very good. Some of it was not so good. Some of it was just odd. The most important thing about him to me is that he was the instrument God used to tell me of His great salvation. He was not saved himself until he was 37 years old. He had many years to develop some very strong opinions and strange conduct. Sometimes, I think as Christians we have a difficulty shaking off odd things from our personality; sometimes we are stubborn. Joe was that; he was really quite an eccentric character. I met him when he was 41. He was kind of like a father to me.
I am sorry to say that at the present time and for the last 13 years, he has not really been friendly or fatherly. I haven’t talked to him for about 10 years. I hope that one day our friendship will be restored, but this post is not about that. This post is about a phrase that he used all the time: Third Partying.
Third Partying is when you are having a conversation with one person, like in a restaurant, and your real intent is for a “third party” to hear what you are saying. It would seem as though you are talking to one person, but you are really talking to a person that is not sitting there with you and that you are not directly addressing.
Is this a valid form of communication? Joe used to go around to many restaurants and drink coffee. If you haven’t already read about how I met him and the details of him witnessing to me, there is a small bit of it in “My Testimony” in the sidebar. I was actually a waitress at one of these restaurants serving him the coffee. When he told me of Christ, he looked me straight in the eye … there was no “third-partying.” However, over the few years that he and I were friends, he would use this tactic to “evangelize” and “convict people of sin.” It was really rather annoying and strange ... and even embarrassing at times. I thank God for him anyway. What a creative fellow?!