"things haven't gone quite like I'd planned."
Just some thoughts:
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 Monday morning. I spent a portion of it at
The Room in the Inn, a 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 to
provide 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 could also 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.
The car window was down so 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 in The Inn mission. Shirley Jones may have
had a line that goes something like, “Oh, what a beautiful morning,
everything’s going my way.” She may have had in song, 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