Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

My mom got up at 1:30am this morning so she could be at work when the doors opened at 4am.
My husband left this morning before I had finished my breakfast so he could help his parents Christmasfy their house (and then some).
My friend shopped all day and bought her husband a way awesome Christmas present.
My brother is visiting his girlfriend in Texas... I have no idea what he was doing today, but I'm sure it involved some sort of caffeine overdose and cute craft (because his girlfriend is so dang cute and crafty).
I got lost downtown in what is lovingly refered to as "the hole." And I almost ran out of gas in said hole. I should explain. Let me start at the beginning.

Meet Luke (he's the one on the left in the gray coat).

Luke is a college student at MBU and he lives in our dorm. He's a little bit of a smart alec. Just a smidge, but I like that. Two exciting things happened to Luke this summer. 1). he spent quite a bit of time on a mission trip in Africa and 2). he saw "The Pursuit of Happyness." Missions is where his heart is and instead of waiting till he graduates or until his next overseas mission trip, he decided to do something now. Since the school year started, he's been going downtown a few times a month to bring food to the people living on the streets of downtown St. Louis. More importantly, though, he listens to them. They've all got a story to tell, and Luke wants to hear it.

So he organized a day-after-thanksgiving feast and asked some of his fellow college students to help him out. And I decided to tag along. I was so intrigued by this whole thing. Luke and his friends didn't wait until the school or the church organized a food drive. They did it all on their own. It wasn't part of any program. And that impressed me. Who says there's no hope for this generation. wow.

I arrived at a church in Soulard where all the food was being prepared. The students preparing the food had already been there for about 4 hours by the time I arrived. That was partly because I took a very wrong turn. Well, two very wrong turns. Yikes.

I think there were like 8 turkeys and tons or green beans and corn,

plus some extra yummy looking mashed potatos (it was all I could do to not dive into them with a spoon and spend the day gorging myself). And the desserts. Oh wow.

And of course there was some fun. I mean, when you have 4 people trying to carve 8 turkeys with only one knife, how could it not be fun!

My mom was little (a lot) nervous that I was going downtown to hang out with homeless people. But really, there was no reason to be scared. Everyone was so nice. I mean really nice. and Thankful. Really thankful. I chatted with one guy about sports and my love for the Kansas City teams (go Chiefs!), and I talked with another lady about how hard it was to try to get into a shelter.

This guy told me he thought I looked like Jennifer Love-Hewitt. I heart him.

And this couple was really in love. They've been married for three years.

Another guy I talked to - Rico was his name - asked me to pray for him. Right then. He said his wife was in the hospital and he just wanted to be with her. He cried a little. And so did I. Please ask for God's blessings, he said softly through his tears. I stopped my job at the water station for a moment to pray with him. I put my arm around him and was shocked by how thin his arms felt. Pray for Rico if you think about it.

After I left, I just couldn't get warm. I turned on my heater full-blast and flipped on my seat heater to get my leather seats a little toasty. I still wasn't very warm, so I sat there to let my car warm up while I played for a while on my iPhone. Still cold. I started driving west and decided to stop at a starbucks in west county for an over-priced latte. But I still couldn't shake the cold.

And I guess that taught me something. It really is cold out there and the longer you're outside, the harder it is to get warm. I was only there for about 2 or 3 hours. More than anything, I guess I got a little more thankful. I thought I was pretty thankful yesterday on Thanksgiving, but when the seats in my car finally warmed up, I started to get a little teary eyed. Rico and his friends don't have cars, let alone leather seats with heaters in them. And an iPone? Yeah, no way. I started fealing a little bad when I handed over my four dollars for a white peppermint mocah, but the point of the day was not to feel guilty. It's not wrong. There's nothing sinful about a car with seat heaters or an iPhone or Starbucks. I guess they are just thing to be thankful for. Really really thankful.


kate11385 said...

Lisa, Luke, and gang:

I'm thankful that ya'll are doing this, what a blessing!! (and what a way to go aganist culture) I'll say a prayer for you!

Jennifer said...

Good stuff, Lisa. Thanks for sharing!

Charity Craig said...

Very cool!

Tanya said...

Sounds like a great way to share the love of Jesus.


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