Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Keith Immitation

Hello, friends.

Tonight I will be playing the role of Keith.  As I attempt to tell a witty story with a tangible point, follow me through a few tangents.

In the last months, I have been working with some people in Anderson, Indiana.  We started with a condemned church, added some paint and some hope, and now, we are opening up what we call the Newman Arts and Event Center to some programs.  We plan for much more.

The place is incredible.  It still needs more work.  Two-story, peeling white pillars in the front.  A grand entryway, complete with fireplace, chandeliers, and tiled floors.

The stairs in the entry lead up into a two-story sanctuary, with fresh black carpet and mauve paint, and a tremendous stage with elaborate framing and buttressing.  The original wooden seats in the balcony oversee everything.

It's out of a 1920s, classy party.  You can almost imagine some men strutting around in top hats and women gliding across the room in shimmering dresses.

The Newman Center houses a coffee shop for community connections and a teen recovery group in the format of Celebrate Recovery.

Enough with the advertisement.

The setting is almost established for my story.  I haven't told you that this is a fairly rough neighborhood.  One of the volunteers had his car stollen from the back of his church.  One Friday night taking a smoke break between cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors, I saw a man skip across the street with all the happiness and freedom and un-selfconsciousness a young child can feel.

I can't imagine he wasn't under some influence.

Another woman walked into the center drunk.  She told me so.  It was a Saturday morning.

Setting set?

Tonight, I went to help with the teen recovery meeting.  I don't do much.  I stand around and hang out, serve pizza, hand out raffle tickets.  One of the gals asked me to help with the computer tonight.  No problem.  Five different PowerPoints, two videos, all running slowly, on a Mac, sound quirks.  I can make this work.  No problem.

During the beginning of the music, a car alarm started to sound.  I didn't think much of it until one of the other volunteers came back inside and said it might be my car.

After going back out and checking on my car, I realized, yes, it was my car.  Someone had broken into it.

But before I could do much investigating, the people inside needed to know that I wouldn't be able to hold up my end of the computer stuff.  I told one of the volunteers at the door that something came up.  I would try to come back but needed to take care of some things.

Back at my car, I went through the motions.  My car was locked.  I'm a little nuts about this.  I learned to drive in New Jersey, and this is one of the first habits you learn there, even before you remember to buckle your seat belt.  I always lock my car.  When Nick (BF) drives my car, I ask him if he locked my car and he hits the lock about five times (with the horn), to prove to me that he has locked it.

I always lock my car.

My wallet was gone.

Did I have my wallet?  Yes, I stopped for gas this morning.  Thank God.  I won't have any money for awhile, but at least I have gas.  My wallet was on the front seat.  Maybe I dropped it somewhere.  Maybe it's on the floor.  Maybe it's between the seats.  Maybe I'm just being foolish.

One of the other guys shows up.  I must look a little stunned.  "I think my car got broken into."

"Oh, no," he says.

Time for a cigarette.

Cigarettes are gone.

This is for real.  The cigarettes can't possibly gone with my wallet.  I no longer doubted that this was a robbery.

Funny, after I called my bank and reordered a debit card, and after I figured out that I cannot order a driver's license online but must go to the awesome BMV to get a new driver's license, I don't really care.  I'm bummed that I don't have any of my Christmas shopping done (and debit cards take 5-7 business days to arrive), but mostly, Christmas will be low-key this year.  Not much shopping with no ATM card.

And that's okay.  Where does it say in the Bible that we are supposed to celebrate Christ by buying each other presents?  How does this stress and materialism do us any good?

Loosing a wallet is nothing.  Loosing a little shopping stress this year is good.

Maybe we all should loose our wallets before we do our Christmas shopping.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry for your problems up there. Thanks for the tip to me, although I didn't take your wallet, lol. Somehow, I have a feeling, in the end, the pluses of what you are doing there will be rewarded to you many times over to make up for what happened. Hang in there and keep the faith of the season in your heart as it was meant to be.