Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Mom and Her Kids Walk Into A Bar...

My daughters love Natalie Stovall and the Drive!  I mean, they are fan girl, adorable, giddy, excited girl when it comes to her!  So, for Valentine's Day we got them tickets to see her in Nashville, the only catch was the show was at a place that is known as a bar. It was all ages, they don't smoke in there, and Natalie Stovall doesn't draw a rowdy crowd so we felt like it'd be okay to take them, and it was.  To be clear though, it was no different than any other restaurant that has a bar in it, and there were plenty of other kids there! 

The show was great, Natalie and her band were amazing, my daughters had the most amazing night, and I got to be the cool mom for awhile!  My girls sang along with every single song and despite the fact that they were exhausted from school and dance they had a blast!

Lydia got so sleepy, during the show, that we offered to take her home. Keith and I had driven separate cars so we told her we'd take her when she was ready. Bless her heart, she was so tired she could barely hold herself up. I took her out of the show to try to convince her to go home and she asked if she could just step outside in the cold air and see if she could wake herself up. She wanted to stay til the end of the show because she knew she'd get to meet Natalie if she could hang in there. 

She and I stepped outside, into the cold and rainy air and we were talking. I saw her looking so I wanted to see what caught her eye.  There was a homeless man standing nearby. She pleaded with her eyes for me to do something. I explained to her that I didn't have anything to give him because I'd left my stuff inside. 

That's when she said, "mommy, can we pray wth him?"

I sighed. I really didn't want to approach a homeless man and stand in the rain and cold with him, and I do know how horrible that sounds but I try to always be honest, and it's the truth. 

Again, she pleaded with those eyes!  I sighed again and said, half heartedly, "do you really want to?"

"Please mom, we need to."

I sighed again...and said yes. 

So we walked over to this gentleman and I said, "sir, I don't have anything I can give you but we'd like to know if we could spend some time with you and pray."

He nodded, humbly, and said yes and I immediately knew why Lydia wanted us to approach him.

We all introduced ourselves, his name was Frank and I stood there nervous, knowing they were both expecting me to pray. 

In my head, I said "God, could you throw me a bone here?  I'm trying..."  

That's when I remembered reading an article, in The Guardian, the magazine written and sold by the homeless in Nashville. The man who wrote it was homeless and said that the part of being homeless that had been the hardest on him was not mattering anymore. He said people would ignore him, no one would speak to him, and people never made eye contact with him.  It was like he was no longer a human and he didn't exist. 

So, I stood in the cold rain holding hands with a homeless man and my 8 year old and I prayed, "Heavenly Father, please be with Frank and let him know that he matters. Please let him know that he's loved and he is important, he is a child of the King and whatever hardships this world may have, You are with him.  I ask that you wrap your loving arms around him and keep him warm on this cold night and help him always know he is LOVED, this we pray in Jesus holy name," then I hugged Frank and Lydia and I went back inside. 

Frank may never think of us again, but I hope he always remembers God's love, and I will never forget the night that Jesus met us outside of a bar in Nashville. 

Now, of course the story doesn't end there, in a sweet sentiments moment!  We went inside and Keith asked what was up, I gave him the cliff notes version and he said "did you wash your hands?"  Of course. 

Then he said, "how'd Frank take it?" 

I said, "well....I think he was surprised..."

Keith asked "Because you were praying outside of a bar, or because you had your 8 year old with you at the bar?"

"Both...maybe?" I shrugged?