Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
A few years back I wrote a blog about getting a road sign put up in Knoxville to honor my friend Maxine Raines who is the founder of Lost Sheep Ministry. I was telling Jason about the night the city council voted on whether or not to do it and he said I should write about it in my blog.
It took me a year to get the sign approved. I had to pay a non-refundable fee. Every time I called someone to ask about it, they sent me somewhere else. I ended up coming back to the first person I contacted and he finally helped me push it through,
There are several signs in Knoxville to honor certain people. Sometimes they are brown rather than green. Her's is green. The street where I wanted Maxine's sign to go is a very short street (McGee Ave.) that ends up under the bridge where 100-300 homeless people are fed a hot meal every Wednesday night. In the 35 years that Lost Sheep has been doing this, they have never missed a Wednesday night. I thought some sort of sign should mark that street.
The night the city council met to vote on whether or not to place a sign there, I decided to go to the meeting. I parked down the hill off the main street, and walked to the court house. I went to the only court house I knew as a child growing up in Knoxville. It was completely dark!
I started walking down the sidewalk in the dark (there were no street lights) and all of a sudden I saw two people sitting on a bench. It was two of the homeless people we feed underneath the 640 bridge every Wednesday night! I stopped to talk and told them why I was there. They, of course, were excited since they knew and loved Maxine.
They pointed me to a new building further down the sidewalk and told me that all the city council meetings took place in the new building.
I went to the meeting, the sign was approved and it now stands at the top of the road leading underneath the bridge.
How appropriate that two of the homeless whom Maxine loved and served, pointed the way for me to be at a meeting that had a very important agenda.....honoring Maxine.