OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING
That may be a line from a very famous Broadway play and movie, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.
I had a rather interesting morning this Monday morning. I spent a portion of it at The Room at the Inn, homeless shelter in downtown Nashville.
A few weeks ago, the week before Christmas, a small group from the church where my wife and I attend went to this mission. For the past seven years we have had a musical trio that goes there each year and provides some music and entertainment for them at the holidays. This year my wife and I went with the group, took some food, sat, ate, visited, and shared in the evening with about one hundred of the folks there that night.
Our host that evening was a gentleman by the name of David. David gave us a history of the mission and finished by sharing his own personal street experience and homeless story with our group. We were impressed with him. Today David is one of the directors on staff.
I went to see David today to ask if he would come to our church and speak to our Bible class sometime. I asked him if he would be willing to share the story of the mission, and if it was comfortable for him, to also share his own personal story.
As I said, it was quite a Monday morning; not my usual way to begin a new week. As I got out of my car in the parking lot and made my way to the front door, I was stopped twice and asked, “Hey, you got a cigarette?” “Sorry, no don’t smoke.” Inside, as I sat and waited a bit, it was like watching a fire drill. The noise level was a thousand decibels louder than the cafeteria at one of my grand kids’ school. Believe me; I have been to their school cafeteria. I saw two men in a “discussion,” a stretch of the word, over who was going to read “that” paper. As I left I saw two men in a “debate,” again a stretch of the word, about who was going to stand at a certain place under the overhang of the building.
As I got to my car to leave, I noticed the car next to me had a towel over the back window and I could see that someone was sitting in the front seat. I also could see what looked like some type of bedding in the back seat. I had a cup of coffee in my hand and paused for a bit. I asked the man in the front seat, “Have you had any coffee this morning?” He appeared a bit startled, but he replied, “No.” I told him to wait a bit, and I went back in and got a cup of coffee for him and a few donuts for both of us. He and I stood by my car leaning against the back fender and talked. He told me he had come here from south Alabama with music hopes. I didn’t question him about such. He shared, “Things haven’t gone quite as I planned.” I thought to myself, “I bet."
Later as I left the parking lot I thought that the next time I am having a “bad” morning, I might do well to think of some of these folks down here at the Room at the Inn mission. Shirley Jones may have sung a line that goes something like, “Oh, what a beautiful morning, everything’s going my way.” She may have sung it, but it doesn’t necessarily apply in all cases.
By the way, David agreed to come and speak to our class. Maybe it will help us answer the question, “When did we see you hungry?”
December 30, 2013