Monday, February 17, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 49

   Saw a girl singing last night at praise and testimony... wonderful voice, very cute and petite and I thought how nice she would be. Then, between each song she spoke how much each one meant to her and how each one glorified God. I couldn't help but think, I wish I had that much zeal... but I don't. Would I be comfortable with her?Why not? Am I really saved if I don't feel as strongly as her? I know if I ask people, some would say I worry too much, but salvation is the most important thing in life... knowing if your going to heaven or hell for eternity should be important enough to think about a lot.  I wish I had that blessed assurance, I wish I could hear that small still voice and know for sure. I wish I knew what to pray for, as I just have my doubts about me. I know that if I where to leave here now I would eventually go back to all of my old bad habits, on my own, I wouldn't be able to resist it. Only through God can I do it. Strange how an all powerful God can be thwarted by my weak ways when it comes to me. That was not easy to write, and I'm not even sure if it is right.
   I'm like a pin standing on it's point in a hurricane, like a tooth pick holding back a freight train. All things are possible, no matter how improbable with God.
   I'm sitting on my 'deck'. ok, it's not really a deck, but it's the top bunk above mine and since there is no one living there, I go up to read on my 'deck', lol. Behind me, in the distance, the expressway sits higher then the rooftops and is crowded night and day with cars and trucks, a constant flow that reminds me of the scenes from Star wars. To my left I can see a chunk of the skyline, the base of the Sears tower and 311 S. Wacker. The names might change, but it will always be the Sears tower. A company might buy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon, but they will still be Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Canyon. In all my riding around the city, I can hear at least one person a day say, The Sears tower, but never hear it by that interloper name. All in all, I really like to sit on my lil deck, cross legged, and read my Bible and write in my journal. I'm near the front of the dorm and can watch guys come and go to pass the time.
   Next week I am riding with a different driver. I had been with Cleveland, and things have gotten better between us. He is a short, gruff, and given time, affable Black dude that talks like he has a mouth full of gravel. He has always been a truck driver, and maybe that is where he will feel best, out there on some long highway by himself for long periods of time. Then again, he is like a cat... if you get him to like you, that is pretty cool, lol.
    Even though I had been on the central Loop route for about a month now, I'd still have a hard time getting you anywhere. So many things to take it, so much noise, so many distractions... so many pretty girls! An amazing variety of beauty! Hot ones, tall drinks of cool water, adorable cute short ones, long legged, classic statuesque trophy wives, haunting dark haired hunnies that hurt your neck as you turn to take them in as long as possible. I don't think I ever saw the same one twice, the city is huge! How do you get to know a route when the main thing you see isn't in the same spot the next day?
   The next driver I will be riding with is Bosley, the Black Rodney Dangerfield, and on a new route in the northern Loop areas. This is going to be interesting. Boz don't take crap from no one, and I will have to be sitting within 2 feet of him for hours, I have to make a good first impression and not make my job a nightmare.
   It's February in Chicago and the weather has been good, not going down to freezing much and at times going up to 50. I saw a guy the other day riding a bike in the Loop wearing shorts. I also see 5 or 6 guys and girls a day on skateboards or Razors. It's fun to see a dude gliding down a sidewalk (or at times, the middle of an empty street), serenely curving around corners and people like a seagull down a beach. So effortless, often with the hands tucked in pockets instead of outstretched for balance. Every once in a while you'll see a gray haired Grandma on a Razor, a bag of groceries on the deck between her and the handle bar upright. I guess the skateboarding thing started over 40 years ago... time moves on.
   From the big window at the end of the third floor hall, you can see the new DeVry building off in the distance, between Wabash and Michigan avenue, a prominent spot in the skyline. It was a skeleton of steel girders when I first got here, and then I watched, week by week, the two shades of blotchy blue windows go up. At first I didn't like it, but now I enjoy it's distinctiveness. One of the best views of it is from down on Wabash, looking north as it forms a zig zag blue streak into the sky, highlighted by the red CNA building behind it just down the way.
   Then there is the square cube, the Union Station power plant, a Art Deco edifice from the early 30's. Tall, dark windows accentuated by the two huge smoke stacks and 3 smaller ones aimed straight up like battleship cannons. Those stacks have a wonderful ruddy rust color late in the day... I wish I had a way of capturing it, or to at least find someone else that appreciates it.
   You can see the Chicago board of trade building with it's robed statue figure on the top... have to find out what it is some day. (and a note from a few days later, saw in the Suntimes that the building was sold for $160 million. The statue on top is of the Roman goddess Ceres, who was in charge of agriculture, grain crops, fitting for a building built on the trade of such things). The CBOT is on Jackson and Lasalle, ironically close to Financial street and VanBuren with their cool, dingy old restaurants and dives. I like the idea that the old school feel of at least part of the Loop is still there, a real slice of the late 60's in the south west corner of one of the financial hubs of the world. Lasalle street, or as they call it at this end of the city, the Lasalle street canyon, is famously used in a bunch of movies. The Chicago board of trade stands proud at the southern end, flanked by the Federal reserve on the west and the bank of America on the east, followed northward by a parade of banks from around the world, oddly close to a giant homeless shelter.

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