Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stranger in the Night

Recently I traveled with my husband's baseball team (He coaches 17 and 18 year olds.) to Tennessee for a tournament. We arrived in Nashville in the afternoon and spent our first evening at the Wild Horse Saloon (which sounds like a terrible place to take a group of adolsecents!) a popular tourist destination with a huge dance floor, performance stage, line-dance lessons, and lots of good food -- really a family atmosphere.

At the end of the night while waiting for our groups' cars to pick us up, another coach's wife and I noticed this young man who was dressed in gangsta style (baggy shorts, basketball jersey, lots of bling bling, shaved hair) who had Jesus in a crown of thorns tattooed on the back of his head and another tattoo on the top of his head that we couldn't see. He was smoking a cigarette and talking non-stop to the saloon's security guard who was politely nodding and smiling.

I couldn't take my eyes off that tattoo and became so curious, I had to talk to him. So, I (little Miss Priss, straight-as-an-arr0w conservative) interrupted the one-sided conversation and asked him why he had that Jesus tattoo. He told me he was a Christian and then revealed the outside of his arms which were tattooed with "Amazing Grace."

He was pretty amazed that I had been bold enough to approach him and even more surprised when I told him that I was also a Christian. Then he asked me a question "Do you think it is okay not to attend church?" I could tell from his tone and expression that mainstream congregations (who look like me) had probably hurt him, but I didn't have time to answer, as my ride pulled to the curb. I really wanted to finish our conversation and was tempted to ask the driver of the van to cruise around the block a couple of times. But not wanting to be inconsiderate, I, instead, asked him if he had a business card. He didn't, and I didn't, so I hugged him goodbye. He thanked me for talking to him and expressed how encouraged he was by my friendliness.

I have thought about him several times and expressed regret to friends at home that I now have no way to reach him. BUT they have reminded me that God has a way -- so I pray that any wounds he may have suffered at the hands of Christians who were perhaps self-righteous and judgmental will be softened by the happy memory of our chance encounter.

Still, I would really like to talk to him again because I forgot to ask him about the tattoo on the top of his head!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lydia Suzanne

It has been a month since Lydia Suzanne made her appearance at 2 a.m. on May 30th. Dark complected with lots of dark hair, she looks like her big sisters, especially Kara.

Jeff and Krista have always thought carefully about choosing their children's names. Lydia is mentioned in Acts 16:14-15 as a woman whose heart was opened when Paul shared the good news of Jesus Christ. She was baptized and invited Paul and his fellow travelers to stay in her home while they were in Thyatira.

Suzanne is Krista's and her mother's middle name, and as Kara has my mother's and my middle name of Jean, I love that the tradition has been carried on for Krista's side of the family.

We are so blessed to have three beautiful granddaughters and look forward to getting to know Lydia!