Friday, June 4, 2010

Experiencing Greatness

On Sunday, Elizabeth and I decided to surprise Mrs. Shalom. She was leading a small group that morning, it was fantastic! Mrs. Shalom had put together a miniature replica of the tabernacle. It was complete with slaughtered sheep on the alter.

After that, we headed over to North Point for the service, and youʼll never guess what happened to me! We got to the church with ample time. I figured that getting there early would get us better seating than the ones we had last time. To my surprise, we walked into the sanctuary that was already almost full! I had talked with the couple that lives in the Mr. and Mrs Shalomʼs basement and told them I was coming. They offered to save me a spot, but when we found them among the mass of people, I realized I forgot to tell them I was bringing Elizabeth. As we stood there looking around like big dumb idiots, an usher noticed that we looked aimless and hopeless and asked if we were visitors. We told him no, we were in fact secondtimers. Apparently, that qualified us for a closer seats. He asked if weʼd like to sit "up front." When most people say "front," they are refering to the front third of the building. We didnʼt realize that he meant THE FRONT ROW. He seated us in the front row, center section. It was ideal for “The North Point Experience” meaning, it was up close and personal for all the action.

A few minutes into the service, a girl walked to the seat beside me wearing a headset and looking very in charge. Next to her, was HIM. Yes, the Andy Stanley. He sat not next to me, but in the seat next to the seat next to me. We were practically touching.. I leaned over and elbowed Elizabeth. She looked back at me with a knowing smirk. She knew that I was currently living a childhood fantasy. As the music started I glanced through my peripherals and noticed that he was singing along. I elbowed Elizabeth to inform her of the fact. He even moved his body slightly back and forth, I think I saw his arms swinging slightly. I was very excited about that. At the part of the service where you do the obligatory “meet and greet” Elizabeth encouraged me to ask Andy to sign my bible or at the very least get a picture with him taken by my phone. I told her I wasnʼt too excited about her heresy and that she could go blaspheme somewhere else. I think what I most admired about him that day was how excited he seemed to be about what he did. When it was his cue to go up on stage to do something he would jump from his seat and like run up there. I love being a part of his ministry knowing that he loves doing what he does. It is a huge encouragement to me. Iʼd like to say that I actually talked to him, but I was too chicken. So... thatʼs my Andy Stanley story.

So Iʼll tell you a date night story... I got an idea from my friend to take her to an event called “Screen on the Green.” Basically, they set up an enormous screen and projector out in a beautiful park. So, I took Elizabeth (thus, we call it "date night"). This, in my mind, was intended to be a romantic evening. On a Thursday night, I didnʼt expect there to be very many people. We arrived half an hour before the show started and there were already throngs of people. It was crazy. When we finally found a place to put a blanket, it was less than ideal. It was loud, crowded and muggy. So we improvised by people watching and making fun of the crazy rednecks. As the sun set and it became dark enough to see the screen without a glare,the movie began. Approximately fifteen minutes later, a group behind us began cheering loudly. I immediately realized what they were doing so I explained to Elizabeth that they were trying to get as many people as possible to cheer at absolutely nothing. They tried this again with the happy birthday song. It was obvious that it wasnʼt anyoneʼs birthday. The point was to get the crowd to join in. Throughout the movie, people were noisy, rambunctious, and walking back and forth in front of the screen. It was quite the cultural experience, Georgians...

For Memorial Day weekend, I spent my time watching Elizabethʼs little sister playing tennis in a tournament. Vani is freaking ridiculously good. In the mornings I warmed her up and then we drove her to the tennis courts. Watching her rekindled a passion for me to play tennis again. It awakened a deep longing within me to restart my tennis career. So that was fun.

If you ever wondered what it would be like to live with a 95 year old, itʼs a new experience every day. On Memorial day, Elizabethʼs family came over for a cookout. During dessert, Grammy began to explain to us how to do the ballroom dance, the two step. Because Elizabeth is a punk, she told Grammy that I didnʼt dance with her because I donʼt know how and I wonʼt just wing it. She manipulated the situation in order to have some fun (did I mention how much I hate her sometimes?) and coyly asked Grammy if she could show me how. I looked at Elizabeth with horror in my eyes. Without allowing for a response, Grammy got up, grabbed my hands, and pulled me to the open space in the kitchen floor. Everyone got involved. Mrs. Shalom and Vani turned on good oldies music to dance to while everyone else watched as Grammy two stepped me around the room. After a few minutes, She asked, “do you got it?” I nodded a yes and she explained to me, “When ya dance, one of the two of ya has got to lead...” I knew from the look on her face that I needed to pick up my game. I did the best I could and we only tripped a few times. Then, my sweet girlfriend cut in and I wooed her with my new skills. She was smitten. Have I mentioned how charming I can be. She is totally infatuated with me. I like her even though she is a brat.
So... that's all... stay tuned.


Steve said...

I liked your blog/story/life in Georgia chronology very much. Almost as entertaining as skype with Derek and ZZ. A little like watch'n "the Waltons" on TV too (that's a seventies family type program for you younger folks). Take care. Looking forward to the next North Point installment. Say hey to Elizabeth for us.

kari j said...

ha ha ha, i totally wish i could've been a fly on the wall while that dance lesson was going on ~ i bet it was VERY entertaining! i like elizabeth more and more all the time and i haven't even met her in person yet! :o)
hugs from us,