Ferenc Visky – God Is My Waiter

Rev. Ferenc Visky


In 1980 we were free from prison but had another house search one day when we were having breakfast. Five people entered, secret police from Bucharest. One was an important officer; it was a very distinguished group. After they entered, they showed us their permit to search. I said, OK, and we continued having breakfast. We asked them to have a seat in another room because there was no place for them to sit in our breakfast room. They declined and instead chose to stand in the room with us.

So, we continued with our breakfast. I could see that they were uncomfortable with the situation, standing and watching us calmly eating. We should have been the uncomfortable and anxious ones, but they were. This was good. Then we started to talk and I told them that I had known that they were coming that morning because I had read Psalm 23 in my Bible that said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing. Even if I am in the valley of the shadow of death etc. etc. etc. I told them that this was a treasured psalm for me.

The officer  looked startled and asked me how I knew. I didn’t need to be asked twice, so I began to explain. It meant a great deal to me, I said, that in the Word you can read, ‘You make the table for me in the presence of my enemies. My cup is full and I have no fear even in the valley of death because I know you are with me and your hand holds my hand.’ I told the officer, Usually in a situation like we are in, the appetite of the man about to be arrested is always gone, but now you brought my appetite instead.

They looked puzzled, so I had to tell them that I had a good appetite because the text says that God is the one who prepares my table. So, I continued, God is my waiter today or I should say, host. Please understand that God is very near to us, but he doesn’t always put on the table the sort of meal that I really like. For instance, presently, I do not really like what you officers are going to do with us after a few moments, but I’m not looking at the things that are on the table. I’m looking at Him who put you on my table, and this is why I have a good appetite. And this is important to me, that I can be liberated this way at such a moment. This is the message of Psalm 23.

(Source, Journey with Psalms, the blog of Beth Lantinga.)

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NOTE: I am sure that some will find surprising, if not even offensive, the title of this post. If this is the case, I assure you this is one of the mildest ways of saying surprising things, by Feri bacsi. I remember that once, as we were around his table, in Paleu village, near Oradea, the text used for the usual table talks there was about Rahab. I  will never forget when he said that he hoped his house will be like Rahab’s house. When we asked what he means by that, he said: ‘nobody was asked who they are and what they wanted when entering that house’, and I have witnessed that this was true for the house of Ferenc Visky.  May his memory be blessed forever!


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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