We arrived downtown at the Marriott hotel. While it would have been really great to be embarking upon a relaxing in-town staycation, that wasn't our reality at all. We were headed there to work. It had been suggested with the assumption that if we all gathered in the lobby with our laptops, we would have the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus with anyone who spoke to us in the lobby.
I wanted to be satisfied with this ministry job. I really did, but the random ideas of one hyperactive overtalking abrasive individual had me feeling more like a subject in a case study to develop the theory of his genius. The closer we got to this big event to be held in the city, the more I was sure I would end up walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in search for cheesecake. I had tried to make some of the workload make sense. This was for God. I had planned events before. Maybe not at this level, but this was that on the job training that I needed, and maybe this was what success really looked like.
After finally finding enough change to use for the parking meter, I had reached my limit. If they had any other meeting place beyond the church house with free parking, I was dismissing myself to use the internet at my own home. The two hours on the parking meter had starting ticking, and I knew that day I would be coming undone if I needed more money for parking. They were dipping into my 4 for 4 money and I was getting pissed. It was getting hard for me to act like this wasn't dumb.
We had sat there on our laptops talking and listening to subpar comedic stories when I noticed a text from him. My him who wasn't fully my him, but I knew would become my him, soon. He was responding to a text I had sent the night prior just asking how things were going with his own event.
"It's going okay for the most part. I still have a lot to do though. I just gotta find the right help."
I wanted nothing more than to help him. I knew what was needed, and I knew how to get it done. Since things were in such limbo with our friendship, relationship, or whatever it was----on top of this time consuming job I had, I wouldn't be of much assistance to him. So, I just closed my phone and continued to work on my to-do list. I scheduled emails. I sent invites to the other local churches in the area. I wrote scripts. I purchased items needed for the events. I worked. There was a vision, and I had to do my part. The more I worked, though, the more I was concerned over what help my man may have needed. Was he stressed over something I could handle in a moment? No matter where we were relationally, I was very invested in seeing him be great with every one of his endeavors.
And just as I tarried over this idea of "help", a conversation between the women of the office caught my attention. I figured a little girl talk would get my mind off of this stupid to-do list and my desire to help this man. Tuning in fully, I listened to the beautiful wife of the one whose bright idea it was to work in the hotel lobby.
"All you have to do with this job is treat it like it's for your man."
"If you imagine you're working for your man's vision, it's easier to do the work."
The inside of my body suddenly felt like the heater that sat in the corner of my grandmother's living room when I was a child. That heater was so hot that it burned my sister's jacket once, and it was that very heat that I felt traveling from my pinky toe to my eyebrows.
While I sat here giving my all to someone's vision who didn't even care if we had money for the parking meter, I was ignoring the vision of someone who had always, despite a few hiccups, looked out for me. Truth be told: He'd even given a subtle warning about what I was now experiencing.
Did she just say what I think she said?
Did she just tell us to work her man's vision like it's our man?
Did she just say this without a chuckle?
Did she just seriously tell some full grown women to work HER man's vision like it's OUR man?
What's that song by Bishop Bullwinkle?
I closed every tab on my laptop that reflected her man's vision. I said a quick prayer, took a deep breath, swallowed some pain from the past, and responded to my man's text message.
"How can I help YOU?"
References: Brooklyn Bridge // Cheesecake Factory https://youtu.be/m6vyBGOQkbE?si=I1XE5sn1MvQppT3H
Bishop Bullwinkle // https://youtu.be/JdKI1wj-JpI?si=fF4Zmrtd4XkH499y