Uptown

20 May 2019

The Walk Home

By |2019-05-20T11:34:52-05:00May 20th, 2019|General|0 Comments

Encountering 3 Beautiful Souls on Wilson Ave.

I was walking home from work when I ran into three beautiful souls on Wilson Ave. I had a quick chat with each one, and they each gave me permission to post their pics.

#1 Beautiful Soul. Meet Thomas.

Thomas is a man that I’ve known for a few years. He’s frequented our food pantry and soup kitchen. He always seems to have a smile on his face, and he’s always so grateful for anything that Cornerstone is able to give him.

Thomas says he believes in God . . . and I believe him.

 

#2 Beautiful Soul. Meet David.

 

David is someone that I hadn’t met before. (But then I can’t be certain of that, my “recall” cannot be trusted anymore.) Still, I introduced myself, and he quickly responded with “Chris, hey, you know that’s my son’s name.” And I said, “Oh yeah, that’s cool.”

We chatted for a few moments, and he told me that he was definitely a believer in God. And he said it with such calm, conviction that nothing more needed to be said.

As I turning to go he said, “Hey, you want to know how my son got his name?”

“Yeah, sure,” I said.

Then he went to tell me about the first girl that he had a crush on in Junior High School. “Her name was Chris,” he said with a smile. “So I thought you might find that interesting.”

“Oh yeah, that is interesting,” I responded, and wished him well.

 

#3 Beautiful Soul. Meet A.J.

Then I ran into A.J. sitting against our local convenience store building next to his bicycle.

A.J. told me he was 58, and that he no longer ran the streets like he used to. He said he used to drink a lot and live the life of a gigolo.

But then one day he got so wasted that he nearly died. The doctors told him that he had three times the amount of alcohol of a normal “drunk” person in his system.

After that encounter, he said that the Lord had a “serious” talk with him. He decided to get some help and in 2004 he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. He also started going to Uptown Baptist Church from time to time.

“The Lord’s been good to me,” he said. “He’s really taken care of me.”

So on a casual walk home I met three beautiful souls. And all it required was slowing down and engaging these folks for a few moments.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 May 2019

Unexpected Prayer Warrior

By |2019-05-01T09:59:13-05:00May 1st, 2019|General|0 Comments

You never know where a prayer warrior may be found!

I was out walking about Uptown doing a couple of errands when I noticed a friend of mine through the window of one of our neighborhoods classic grills. I waved at Kathy, and then I ventured into the restaurant to say hi. She was glad to see me. “I haven’t been able to make it to Cornerstone lately,” she said. “My husband’s health has taken a turn for the worse . . . so I’ve had to take care of him a lot more.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” I responded.
“Yeah, things have been a little rough lately,” she said.
I then turned to her friend, who was sitting quietly across from Kathy.  “Hi, I’m Chris, from Cornerstone. What’s your name?”
“Hi, I’m Heather, nice to meet you,” she said.
We then got into a conversation and Heather told me that she’d lived in Uptown for about 7 years, but she didn’t go to church because of some health issues.  And she went on to tell me that we all need to be witnesses for Jesus.  And one of her ways of sharing her faith was to make crosses out of yarn and give them out for free.
“Wow, that’s really cool,” I said.
“‘Cause you know, we’re a part of the bride of Christ, and Jesus is the groom,” she continued.  “And Jesus wants us to be praying for all the folks we come in contact with. Jesus wants us to pray against the power of Satan. He wants us to ask Him to remove the problems that are in the person’s life we’re praying for. I know, because I’ve been a prayer warrior since I was 13.”
We chatted a little more, and then I told Heather and Kathy that I was blessed to talk with them, if only for a few minutes. And I continued to complete my errands.
You just never know when or where you might meet someone pretty special.  I guess you just have to have “ears” that can truly hear, and “eyes” that truly see.
And I’m not saying that I always do have those kind of ears and eyes.  Because I know I do not.
Thanks for stopping by.
Chris
15 Mar 2019

Everyone Has a Story to Tell . . .

By |2019-03-15T09:48:30-05:00March 15th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

And everyone has a story to live.

The question is: Where are Dave and his friends going to live?

Now if I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying, “There’s goes the neighborhood!”  Of course, this is referring to “those” folks who are now moving into “our” neighborhood.   And it’s primarily understood to carry a negative implication.  It usually involves those of a lower economic bracket moving into a step or two up from their previous neighborhood.

But how about when the roles are reversed?  How about when some upscale developers come into a much “lower-income” area and build a very, fancy high-rise condo building right across the street from the local MacDonald’s and Uptown Baptist Church?  Well, that’s what’s happening in our part of the Uptown neighborhood.  And as you can see, the developers wish to attract buyers who are ready to “Live Their Stories.”

Nothing wrong with that, right?  Aren’t we all free to prosper and dream and earn the right to purchase a nice condo if we can afford to?  Don’t we all have the right to “live our stories?”  Surely, this sounds good to most of us.  But there is a downside  to this “right.”  How about the man, Dave, standing next to the sign?  Although, he tells me he has a nice “spot” (adequate housing) for now, there’s just no telling where he and so many others are going to live out their stories?

From where I sit, less than 1 block away from this brand-new development, it’s apparent that I’ll be having some “new” neighbors soon.  And they won’t be looking like so many of Uptown’s long-time residents . . . folks like Dave.  But I’ll do my best to adapt because it won’t be impacting me “personally” for the moment.  But I do have to wonder (no, I don’t have to wonder!) how it has already impacted a number of my former neighbors.

So the question is—what story will those folks who have been or will soon be “priced out” of this neighborhood have to tell?  And will there be anyone listening?

Take care,

Chris