Aunt Bethany: What’s that sound? Uncle Lewis: You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.

Where to begin…

Well today was one of those days where keeping your mouth shut is the hardest thing to do. Our church helped out this single mom a few weeks ago, when she called on a Friday afternoon and said her and her four kids were going to be evicted if she didn’t pay her landlord by the end of the day. Nothing like coming to the church for financial help at the eleventh hour, especially when we haven’t seen her in a few months. Anyways… we’re a church and it’s our job to help those in need. However, I was reminded of some sr. philosophy reading back in the day, gimpel the fool. The question of the story is, is it better to be a fool and know it and or be a fool and not know it. Here’s the rest of the story…

So one of our guys got a call yesterday afternoon asking for help to move her from one apt to another. Evidently she qualified for low income housing, but that meant she had to move from her apt to another smaller one across the complex this weekend. I’m not going to criticize her for not having her stuff packed up since this was such a rush, but I do have a few things that really got under my skin today. First, she had more stuff in her apt than my family accumulated in nearly a decade of living in seattle. Her kids alone had more toys than my sister and I had growing up combined. Her pantries were full, and this was odd since she asked the church to help her out with groceries. She had more clothes in her closets (3) than could fit in mine and the cuz’s closets combined. Plus, her bathtub was piled three feet high with clothes. I’m not even going to begin to wonder why the clothes were in there. So here we are, myself, three parents and a dozen or so youth groupers helping move her stuff, and she’s on her cell phone the whole time. Aggravating doesn’t begin to describe the feeling… then she starts going off about how her rent is $1300 a month and she only gets $1500 a month in income. This as I’m hauling huge bags full of toys and clothes. Then I realize she’s on the phone with the cable company getting her cable and internet switched to the new place. Did I mention she said she claimed to only have $200 extra to spend a month and she’s asking the church for financial help? Then there’s the topper… we’ve got a bunch of teenagers around, and her four kids all under nine years of age, and some of their friends hanging around, when one of our kids finds some soft-core porn in her bedroom. Now I have to try and urge the kids to look past this and focus on getting the moving done, and try and do it with a decent attitude, all the while this mom isn’t lifting a finger. Aggravation has turned to frustration, to flat out anger over being taken advantage of. Needless to say I let our eldership know about the movies just in case some of the kids say something to their families, and they need to know anyways because they’re supposed to be counseling her soon as well. That and she had this psycho cat that kept attacking the kid, and got my allergies all revved up.

So the question is how should I feel about all of this? Obviously this lady needs help. She can’t budget her money, her kids are running rampant, she has four kids from three dads, and she comes to us for help, then pretty much abuses our generosity. I seriously hoped I could look back at this later and find some good in today.

Well, I guess I didn’t have to look too far. Thanks God. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again gladly. I have an awesome group of church leaders. I came in unprepared for my youth budget meeting, and without any paperwork or exact numbers. I ended up having to ask them to hold back with the money so I could properly plan on how to use it. They were offering way too much to help me out with my new computer, and telling me to take more days off than I have available. Basically, they were going out of their way to help the youth group out financially, and me personally. The big thing is they said to take as much time off as I wanted to spend with my family for christmas, even though I only have two days of vacation after this thanksgiving weekend. Yeah, these guys are getting a nice fat christmas card from me. So here I am worrying about all of this stuff, and these guys are being nothing but nice. I seriously don’t know any of my youth ministry compadres that get treated as well as I do by my elders.

There was another thing that got me revved up this weekend. My cousin found out that kutless and third day were performing at the billy graham crusade at the rose bowl. So we decided to head out there last night to catch the bands and stay for the message, and see what all the hype was about. First, the cuz’s friends ran about an hour late for when we needed to leave, then picked a restaurant that was def going to take too long to get out of. This is why some women should never be allowed to make plans. By the time we get to the rose bowl, and get out of the parking lot, and get to our seats, we caught the last half of a verse from third day and completely missed kutless. Salgoode at this point, at least we’ll get a moving message from billy graham. Not exactly. He spoke for less than ten minutes, and I’ve heard more moving words from jr high kids in my youth group. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt due to his age and medical condition, but that doesn’t explain how thousands of people felt moved enough to come forward at the rose bowl. That, and in his writings and interviews he’s proclaimed the need for baptism, but that was noticeably missing from his message. He’s got the repent part down, but forgot to mention the baptism part of the scripture. Needless to say the six hours worth of time committed to the less than ten minutes of mediocre speaking would have been the low point of the weekend if not for the moving today.

But I’m all about the positive. The kids and I are starting to hang out more often, and I feel like we’re getting relationships set in stone already. That, and I think there are some kids on the fringe that may start to show interest. I can’t wait for the rest of my job. These kids are a blast and we are having fun already, now that the more spiritual groundwork has been laid. Our Thursday roots with the high school was a blast. Friday afternoon two kids playing hookey form school invited me to lunch, then some of us went to see a movie. today we managed to sneak some laughs in while moving and then to top it off, some kids invited themselves over to hang out tonite at the apt.

and to top it off, I talked to topgun girl for a while this week. And it looks like I’m taking her to disneyland for a christmas present. Ok, so that’s more a present for myself, but regardless… I’m stoked. So christmas comes a few weeks early for me, but hopefully she’s as much a sucker for xmas cheer as I am. Ho ho ho.

One love and one heart.

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Author: djiverson

I am a Christian, son, brother, artist and friend. I am blessed to be the Youth & Family Minister at New Vintage Church in San Diego. Know You Are Loved.

5 thoughts on “Aunt Bethany: What’s that sound? Uncle Lewis: You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.”

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