Friday, July 22, 2011

Robert & Lisa

Two people. Both transformed.

I met Lisa at a food pantry. She was beautiful - not by the world's standard, but by the light of hope in her eyes. She had graduated the drug rehab program recently, and was moving on to complete her GED. During our time there, she told us the story of how she was in her thirties with nine kids, one-third of whom are adopted out. "I always look at people like you and think you have a perfect life," she said. "But I know you all have hardships, too." She wipes her eyes and smiles. "Keep making good choices, you all are going places."

At the "hippie" church Sunday (one of the few remaining communes from the, what, '80s?), we met Robert. Robert was the epitome of a punk rocker. At 40 years old, he could somehow pull off tattoo sleeves, gauges, and a mohawk with ease. He was full of Jesus. In a coffee-skate shop (weird combo, I know), he explained his gothic art and graffiti covering the walls. After studying them for a bit under his explanation, I learned they were his interpretation of the book of Revelation. An ex-gang member who had run away from home to "experience life" on the streets of Hollywood, Robert learned to appreciate the Christians who developed a relationship with him on the streets. Coming with a girlfriend to church on a bet, he was introduced to both Jesus and his future wife.

Transformation: that which brings joy.

-Kara, CSM Chicago Summer 2011 City Host

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