Chicago (Gift Cards #26 and 27)

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End May 24, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Thursday, January 20, 2011

I prayed that our show would run smoothly today without interruptions. It's embarrassing and stressful when discs skip or something.

God chose to answer the spirit of that prayer, but not the letter! During the assembly today, the fire alarm went off twice! The first one happened right after the first assembly was over (good timing), and so we all had to go outside and wait in the freezing cold North Chicago air. The second one happened mere minutes into the second show. We didn't have to wait as long outside, since the firemen were still there from the first one!

So... the shows ran smoothly, but we had quite our share of interruptions! The school was very apologetic, but we told them it was really no problem for us. This was their first time having Camfel--in fact, this was their first school assembly in four years, period! They loved it--hopefully they'll have us back!

After school, we had to get to South Chicago for school the next day. Passing through the city, we met up with Eric, a good friend from college, who is currently in an acting conservatory. He had some time between classes, so we met up for tea.

Meanwhile, the parking garage ate our food reimbursement... a good hour and a half of conversation and $32 later, we were pulling out of town. Ouch! But worth it. Connections with friends, however brief, always take ultimate priority.

Another ultimate priority? Making connections with those who are sitting below your line of sight on the busy city streets. We passed two homeless men as we walked the streets of Chicago (likely more, but two within immediate vicinity). Kelsey fortunately had two gift cards in her coat pocket. Each man received $10 toward McDonald's.

It always interests me to watch the reaction on their faces when a homeless person on the street receives something from a passer-by. It's not surprise that they're being offered something. It's more relief that they're even noticed.

Admittedly, Kelsey and I don't give out money to every needy person we see on the streets. But to the best of our ability, we do try to at least make eye contact with them and smile and wave. That can be just as encouraging, if not more, than a hand-out. Being treated like a person is far more valuable than being treated like a disposal for spare change.

Think of it--what would be worse--being hungry? or being treated as if you don't exist?

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