Brother McCoy is a nice 59 year old Black gentleman of a bright conviction of the good word. He has almost no base to his voice, but he speaks absolutely boldly and clear, a confident man of Christ. 96% of the time, nothing can throw him off, his eyes expressing the smile that is always ready to show forth. He likes my sense of humor, so I liked him right off. When you first get to the Program, they give you a basic blue paperback Bible that most guys trade in eventually on bigger, fancier ones. Not Brother McCoy, he still has that original one, but the cover is very faded from hours and hours of handling, the spine bent so far back it touches itself due to all the thousand bookmarks. He walks with a stiff lean towards his destination, the Bible forever clutched in his hand, his short cropped grey hair and green badge strap signature colors.
Dave and I where reading the Bible and I noticed he had read one word wrong and that has changed the whole meaning of the verse. It is a lot like math in that way, you have to learn how to read it to get it. It used to be that I could never comprehend how a person could study the Bible for years, now I'm getting it. (Writing now from 2014, I have an app on my phone called My sword that has 3 versions of the Bible, plus a way of showing it with numbers after most of the words that you can click on to get translations.) Many of the Pastors here can pull a half hour out of one verse, helping you see the connections to so many things in life. One of my favorites, as kind of a joke, is how satan took everything from Job, BUT his wife, to make it harder on him, lol. Ugh, Job went through so much, not because he did anything wrong, but to be tested. His friends didn't understand either, they kept ripping on him instead of supporting him. Humans haven't changed much since.
On my one hour walk yesterday I made it almost to the lake on Roosevelt (2014 here saying, no, there is a lot of walk ways that wind around beyond there yet, lol, another half hour walk at least.) One of the tall buildings I can see from the mission that I walked by there is called 'The Colombian", a slender, red hued tower on the corners of Roosevelt and Michigan avenues. They had large signs advertising condos for sale, a one bedroom starts at $300,000 and the three bedrooms start at $700,000, wow! So many absolutely wealthy people stacked up 70 floors high, how do I get them to see my art? It hit 85 degrees on that walk, and yet I still saw homeless guys wearing winter jackets... weird.
We had Kent Hall as the afternoon class teacher today and he can be funny! he uses a lot of sayings from his previous life like Stinkin thinkin and Just keeping it real. He'd tell stories about things that messed up his life before to show how dumb we all can be, telling us how he's been there and over come it due to God. I think he has been a big influence on me in that regard. His eyes are always open wide and tend to wiggle a bit when he locks in on people. He makes for a great master of ceremonies on Saturdays praise and testimony, his arms spread out wide to guide people through the songs. I'd almost call him bigger than life, but I have been in too many tight classrooms in front of that big gun of a voice to doubt he is real. I often see him in passing in the hallways, a cell phone held to his solidly, like a military salute.
Every Tuesday now I have counseling meetings with Pastor Schoenberger. We pray in and discuss how I am moving forward on things. I told him today about a turbo charger idea that would be hooked up to a generator/motor to eliminate turbo lag and generate energy for a hybrid system also. Pastor Schoenberger is a fairly intense guy, his eyes clear, never wandering, and his head perpetually tilted to one side. He is on fire for the Lord and likes to spend periods of time preaching in a normal voice, followed by crescendos of emphasis, occasionally pounding on things to wake people up. An ex-Navy man, he is devout to the Lord, much reading of scripture at each of our meetings is a must. he smiles a lot and I am sure he is deeply happy.
Around 6:30 AM our work crew gathers in the auditorium to clean up and straighten the chairs after the overnighters get the morning service and head off to eat breakfast. Security, using radios, call back and forth to see if the cafeteria is ready for the guys to go down. Carl, one of the guards, sits on the stage, his elbows on the piano, leaning forward, talks with the 450+ men. Mr. Friedman will also come in and they don't so much as preach, but relate in a street smarts kind of way, the rules that make things smoother for everybody beyond the walls of the mission. Like don't do things to bother the local businesses, or the people in the stores. They have cameras and contact us when y'all do stupid. He warns them of the flash mobs and to not sit down on the sidewalks near the mission. Dude says, "It was just one guy", Carl says, "No, I saw a group of you sitting in a circle like you had your own campfire going." Another dude pipes up, "Yeah, be sure to bring your own chair next time." Carl, always ready, replies, "You better make that chair your bed then 'cause you won't be sleeping here NO MO!" LOL, everyone gets a laugh out of it. At times one of them might have a bus pass to give out, at others they will take about how the guys should talk with their families or look for jobs. Most all of the guys working at the mission know what it is like, they first lived the life also. Eventually a garbled voice on the radio will tell them the way is clear and they Carl will start releasing a row at a time to walk down to the cafeteria in a controlled way. So many souls, living not how they thought it would be...