What today may bring...
Well, yesterday, I got to play with our softball team since I was off work. I missed last weeks game, and we lost for the first time this season :( I think missing that week might've had some ill effects on me though, cause I struck out swinging 3 x's in slow pitch softball (that's one strikeout with 3 swings to keep things straight...lol)!!! I couldn't figure it out. I was watching it all the way through, I was just swinging over it. I somewhat guessed that it was a combination of some things, one of which (in a sarcastic macho-manly voice) is cause I've been working out a lot, so I was way ahead of it...so I got a heavier bat and hit well after that... (end macho voice...LOL). Anyway, we ended up losing...even with me there...oh well. Kind of a mid-season slump I think. I'll tell you though, win or lose, I really look forward to our games every week. I've played on different sports teams since I was younger, and I can't say I've ever enjoyed the team aspect of things as much. We are very priveledged to be able to have an all Christian team made up from guys of various churches around the community. It gives us a great chance to have fellowship with other guys outside of our usual circle, and it's been a good witnessing tool to some of the guys around the community as well. It's just simply a good time.
On another note...
Back at my favorite place again...This morning, I was sitting and reading, and an older gentelmen kinda stumbled over and started talking with me. I couldn't really tell if he was drunk right then, or if this was just consequence of years of drinking, but either way, conversation commensed. His name was "Quinn, always a friend, betch ya'll never forget that name again." Quinn announced as I'm sure he had declared a thousand times before. He looked at me reading and underlining in Ephesians, and said that's one thing I'd never find him doing again...studying that is. I think Quinn was oblivious to the fact it was a Bible, which is fine. He asked what I was doing, as I think I've invaded the territory of most of the downtown drunks, and I told him how I liked to come out here and sit and read and meet new people. Quinn questioned if I lived in the run down apartments two doors down from the church, and I told him I actually lived in the Church, and sorta worked there as well as the fire deptarment. He said he was familiar with our church, in fact, he had come last Monday night for the free meal the ladies prepare for the 30-40 people that come every week.
I asked what Quinn did, and he told me he babysits 3 kids, and then begun to pour out his life story of how his mother died when he was 10, and he didn't really say much about his father, except he passed away a long time ago. Quinn is quite proud of his 4 children, one of which notified him at 1 am this morning that he was a grandpa, and another of his girls was pregnant. He was now looking for some work, so he could buy a beer in a celebration. I somewhat assumed he'd be looking for one regardless. Quinn was not shy about the fact that he was an alchoholic, and really wasn't looking to change. He said it was too late for him, and the he enjoyed his beer, and had decided long ago that he wasn't going to change. I told him it was never too late, to which he didn't really acknowledge my words. Quinn said it kept him motivated, and got him through the day. However, he had cut back from how he used to drink. He was looking for a job though, and said if I knew of anything to let him know. He just wants somewhere to sweep and mop, and nothing else
I really didn't know exactly what to say to Quinn. I wanted him to know that he could change, and life could improve, and that there was hope, but didn't want to come across judgemental at all. So, I mostly just listened, and tried to encourage him all the while remaining loving. I told him I'd look out for a job for him where he could sweep and mop, and was within walking distance of his house, but I'm really not sure if something did come up that he'd be able to keep it, but I guess you never really know.
I told Quinn if he wasn't busy Sunday morning, that he's always welcome in church. Once again, it felt like one of those moments where he wasn't even aware I was speaking. He walked off and said he see me again, and I said maybe next monday at the meal, and that was the end of that.
I've had a several of these incidents since I took residence on that park bench, and really am not sure if anything is coming of our conversations, but I guess will just leave it in God's hands, and see what happens. One of the guys (Douglas), has been attending church almost more regularly than half the congregation. He used to come in drunk, but hasn't in quite some time. Actually, he came up to me a couple hours after Quinn did, and said he was on his way to an AA meeting. Douglas is really a nice guy, but I think much like Quinn, the effects of so many years of drinking has left it's mark, even when he's sober. I really like seeing him around though. It seems he's improved a lot over the last 8 months or so.
So, if you think of it, please pray for Quinn and Douglas, and the guy who lives in the run down apt.'s who's name I haven't found out yet. Pray for Quinn that he'll find a job where he can sweep and mop within walking range, and that God will free him from his addiction. Pray for Douglas that God will continue to release him from his past, provide steady work, and that he'll come to an understanding of what Christ did for him (he's been in church, but I don't know if he really understands). And pray for the other guy that God will open up doors for me to talk with him and share the love of Jesus.