Nashvegas, YAM, & Cheryl
September 9, 2010
Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Oops.
Taylor and I had somewhat of a sibling reunion this past weekend with his two sisters and brother-in-law in Nashville. It was quite possibly the funnest weekend we’ve had in a while. His middle sister and her husband are going to Chile in January, so we had a Labor Day festival at his oldest sisters’ house.
We went to vineyards, ice cream shops, lounges, church, Mexican food…I recommend you look at my album on Facebook. I’m not gonna lie – we’re pretty fun.
YAMs at The Hills
A new ministry started at our church – the Young Adults Ministry (YAM!). I’m pretty excited about the group and the opportunity we have within Tarrant – and maybe even Dallas – county. We have about 120ish young adults coming every week to our Sunday morning class. Taylor and I are part of the leadership team, and it’s fun to envision and work towards what the ministry could look like in 1, 5, and 10 years, and how we get there.
Most importantly, we’ve been brainstorming a good name for the group. YAM just isn’t working for me or for anyone else on the leadership team. Ideas….Refuge? Oasis? Sanctuary? I threw out other ideas to match our newly renamed church (now “The Hills” from “Richland Hills”), since we’re going with reality tv show theme… The Real World: Tarrant County? The Real Young Adults of Tarrant County? I’m here all week.
Out of the YAM has also come a small group that meets at our apartment on Tuesday nights. We’re currently talking about Rob Bell’s book “Jesus Wants to Save Christians”. It’s good stuff, and we have great discussions. Everyone should either show up, or Skype in.
Short story long, I wasn’t feeling good today, so I stayed home from work. A random torrential rainstorm came through Euless and flooded most streets around my apartment so, naturally, I went driving around to see all the damage.
As I was pulling a u-ey under the interstate to go back home, I see a 50ish year old lady walking in the pouring down rain so I pull over to offer a ride. She gets in and asks where she can put all of her bags, which I immediately think is weird. Who carries around 5 bags in the pouring rain? She smelled really good (odd detail to remember) and her hair was fixed…very non-threatening.
I ask where she is headed and she tells me she needs to go to Central and Hwy-183 to meet up with some friends. I ask why she’s walking in the rain and she’s sketchy about the details, but something about she forgot money for the cab ride back from Walmart. I ask her several other questions and she was extremely appreciative and very sweet, but very hesitant to give me all the facts. Slowly throughout the course of our conversation, I begin to piece together that my new friend, Cheryl, is homeless.
Cheryl tells me very minimal details about her past or how she got into her current situation. What she does tell me is that she doesn’t panhandle, she loves coffee, and she walks with God – who always provides for her. She occasionally sleeps at Super 8 if she can afford it; otherwise, a very nice waitress lets Cheryl sleep in her truck while she’s on shift.
Before I drop Cheryl off at McDonalds to meet her acquaintances, I ask her if I can pray with her, I ask if I can give her a couple bucks for a coffee, and I give her my number. She thanks me profusely for my kindness, tells me she hopes I get to feeling better, and gets out of the car.
It was about a millisecond after the door shut that I began to sob.
When we think of “homeless” or “destitute” people, we often think of stinky, old men with cardboard signs who panhandle for money that may or may not be used for whiskey the second we leave. I don’t know about you, but I don’t often picture sweet, intelligent, good-smelling, God-fearing women. I think I saw a different side of Jesus today, and it just so happened that I saw him in a homeless woman named Cheryl.
I hope that you meet Jesus this week in an unorthodox way.