Archive for November, 2011
About a month ago, the Revolution Hawaii team did random acts of kindness at the mall. A few people held doors for people and greeted them when they entered and a few gave out free hugs. If you know me at all, you know that I love hugs so I was on the free hugs team. We started in the food court and held up our free hugs sign. We weren’t very successful and even got a talk from a security guard telling us that we couldn’t do this here. So, we decided we would do it at the bottom of the escalator in the mall. Some people would smile and laugh at us, some would completely ignore us, but some would go in for the hug. We were able to give a lot of hugs. Unfortunately another security guard told us that if they had to tell us that we weren’t allowed to do it there again, we would be kicked out of the mall. So, we stopped giving hugs at the mall, but went across the street to the beach to give hugs before it was time to go.
Now that you know that, I can move on with my story. A few weeks ago, on Sabbath I was supposed to go with a few teammates to meet up with one of the guys that was about to graduate from the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). But, last minute I decided not to. While I was sitting there reading, John and I started to talk a bit, and then we’d go back to what we were doing. We were listening to Jesus Culture while we were sitting there doing our work, sometimes between writing and reading we would just start singing. During one of our talks, John started to talk to me about how his grandpa just lost his best friend of over 50 years. It made him think about if he would’ve lost his grandpa, which made me think about if I would’ve lost mine. We sat there and cried realizing how much we take our families for granted. I’ve always been grateful for a wonderful family, but it really hit me hard at this time. After we finished what we needed to do, I called my mom and John called his. When I was done talking to her, I went into the apartment to ask John if he still wanted to go to the ARC. To be honest, I thought he’d think it was too late and not want to go…but I asked anyway and he said yes. So, at about 4:30pm we took the bus to the ARC.
As soon as we got close to the ARC, we saw a beneficiary from the center. He had all his bags with him, and he told us that he got kicked out. We stood there and prayed for him, helped him bring his bags to the bus stop, and let him use my phone to get someone to pick him up. After he made arrangements, John and I went back to the ARC. We hung out with the guys there for a bit, and then we decided to head back home. We saw our bus about to get to the stop that we were going to get on, so we started to run down and catch it. We missed it, so we just stood there smiling. A man on the bench by the bus stop asked us why we were smiling. We were able to tell him we were smiling because we had Jesus. After we said that, he told us that he could use some Jesus. So, we sat there at the bus stop with him for the next hour or more. He shared with us about his life and struggles. It was getting super late so we decided we should catch a bus to get home. We said goodbye as we were getting on the bus.
The bus we got on was packed full. It was fuller than a bus going to Wrigley Field on game day. It was crazy. While we were standing there John started talking to a man on the bus about politics. While they were talking a woman behind me told me that my bag was unzipped. I took the bag off because it wasn’t unzipped, it was just ripped and I didn’t want anything to fall out of it. It was from her saying that, we started talking. She told me how she was feeling really claustrophobic and tired. It was about 9:00pm and she told me she had been working since the day before at 4:00am. I asked her where she worked and she told me that she worked for security dispatch at the mall. I asked her if she remembered when there were people giving free hugs and she said yes. I told her how John and I were the ones that were giving out free hugs. She told me that she thought the rule was silly, but it was something they had to enforce.
I’m not exactly sure how the conversation got there, but we found out that she went to New Hope Church. We told her how we went there one time with some of our friends from the ARC. When we got off to transfer, she got off with us. Out of all of the people on the full bus she was the only one that was getting on the same bus as us. As we were waiting for the bus, we continued to talk to each other. She told us that she works so much because she has a daughter back home with no father to support her. She also supports her mother and her father. Her dad has a job, but his job isn’t enough to support all of them. Her stop came up, and we thought it was our stop too so we got off with her. As we were saying goodbye to her, I gave her my phone number and told her that if she ever wanted to do anything or someone to pray with to call me. Then, at the same time as I said that both John and Andrea said at the same time, “Let’s pray right now!” I was thinking the same thing, but I didn’t vocalize it. We stood there and prayed with her. While we were praying she began to weep. I rubbed her back as we continued to pray. When we were done we gave her hugs and started to say goodbye again. As soon as we finished hugging her, she asked if she could have another hug. We were like “heck yes” you can have a hug. We shared with her how funny it was that she ran into John and me as, out of everyone on our team, we are probably the people that love hugs the most. So we stood there for a little while more in a group hug.
After we split ways we realized that we had gotten off at the wrong stop. But, it was completely worth it!