Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
We have a Bible study group that meets in our home each week. For some reason, it ended up being all boys except for me and Kathryn, a friend we met in summer theater in N.C. She lives in Knoxville now, and is faithful to come each week.
Our boys range in age from 14 to the early 20's. We have been together for almost 2 years now, so are a very tight knit group. When we have prayer time, someone always says something in their prayer about how we are family. This last week illustrated that in a funny...really, hilarious way.
I happened to notice when I was out in the yard the other day, that "my" boys had been shooting the BB gun (my grand daughter's BB gun that is here at the house) at my wind chime! When they got here last night I "lit" into them.
As soon as they walked into the house, I said "I have a bone to pick with you boys!" They all ducked their heads waiting. I said, "You have been shooting BB's at my wind chime." Immediately they all started pointing a finger at each other and saying, "it wasn't me, it was him!" One of the boys was late getting there, so they all decided that it was Thadd who did it.
When Thadd got there, I started in on him. Of course it wasn't him, it was all of the other boys! Finally I yelled...you are all lying...it was all of you. Zykeese then said "I admit it...I shot it....once!"
We all ended up yelling at each other, then laughing our heads off. Just like family! I love these boys!
I wrote a success story recently. Today is one of the non success.
I met Sam about 10 years ago. We had gone down under the bridge on a Saturday morning to clean all the debris and used needles left by the people who live down there. Sam came over with a big smile and asked if he could help. We let him! For awhile, every Saturday he helped us clean. Then, he disappeared.
We found out (from his wife, who lived on the street with him) that he had been taken to jail. SHE said, it was for beating her up. Knowing both of them, I have a feeling he was defending himself from her, but of course the police believe the woman most of the time.
He was gone for a long time. In the meantime, we had moved away and come back. One night we were serving dessert under the bridge and Sam came up to me. "Remember me?" he said, with a big grin. After hugging me we caught up. His wife left him, and he was with another woman. Bad news.
Sam kept coming on Wednesday night for our meal under the bridge. However, slowly in the next two years I have watched him deteriorate. He has gone from a nice looking, friendly young man to a tragic, never smiling, knife yielding (a big one!) young man. Last night, if a person had not seen him in awhile, he would be unrecognizable.
He is very thin. His front two teeth are gone. He has a wild look in his eyes. He is filthy. He always comes straight to me to hug me, and last night was no exception. After the hug he starting a big long narrative about his troubles. His arms were flailing the whole time and I could understand very few words. What I did understand was a "she done me wrong" rant. I told him he needed to leave women alone.
After about 10 minutes of his incoherent raving, he went back to his table. The last time I saw him last night he was staggering down a gravel road that runs along a creek behind the area where we serve food on Wednesday night. He was pushing a big rolly dumpster he had found somewhere. Our new boarder, Chris, asked me why he was pushing a can of garbage. I told him that was Sam's "stuff".
As I watched him go, it occurred to me that it might be the last time I see him. I love this boy. I asked the guys if they would go with me to find him today, if we can. Maybe he has "come down" enough, from whatever he had been putting into his body, that we can talk. I look at him like Jesus looked over Jerusalem and I weep.