Tam (that’s me): Chat, chat, chat – question, question, laughter.
L: Laughter, chat, chat – answer, answer, question.
L: What did you and your husband do in Nashville?
Tam (still me): Oh, we were pastors.
L: Silence. Body language changes. Chatting stops.
Sunday morning Brent and I volunteered for the first ever Glitter Run here in Hollywood, CA.
This is our life and ministry motto: To better know how to serve your neighbor, you must get to know your neighbor.
We arrived just before 7 a.m. for check-in, instructions, and assignments. We were glitter shooters at the Yellow Tent.
That’s right. Glitter Shooters, y’all. We are winning at life big time! And you know we will be adding that skill to our already unique resume.
We got to our tent on the closed off iconic Hollywood Blvd, at around 8 a.m. That’s when I met L and shared that sweet, but brief chat above.
I wasn’t surprised when she shut me off. And I certainly wasn’t offended. There was a story behind her silence – and I respected that.
The event began shortly after our conversation, and we were all quite busy for the next couple hours shooting yellow glitter at runners <<< That will never get old! We ran out of glitter before the run was over, but that didn’t stop the runners from glittering up. Nope. Those amazing humans dropped to the ground and rolled around in glitter droppings. THIS is how you do life!
Before I knew it, it was time to clean up.
And then it happened. L came up to me, somewhat reserved, then asked if Brent and I were pastors here.
I am not kidding; I had to choke back the tears. I could tell this wasn’t easy for L. Her words were soft, laced with a hint of painful memories.
I explained that we are burdened for those who have experienced hurt, rejection, and pain by loved ones, friends, and the church – and how we want to love, listen and learn from them.
Her next words were, thank you.
L is a late 50’s gay woman who grew up in the church. Her church and her mother disowned her.
L loves God.
L is a Yoga instructor, lover of doing good things, owner of Cocoa the rescue dog, super beautiful, passionate about helping others improve their health.
L loves God.
L and I had some things in common, but the one that connected us on the deepest level is our love for Jesus.
We both shared stories; strangers, choosing vulnerability, proving that at our core – we all just want to be known.
But the fact that she was so hesitant at first, further confirmed why we are here… To love as Jesus loved.